We've used preschools for our two boys. We like that it's more educationaly focused and not just a place to watch the kids, which most daycares seem to be. The downside is they cost a lot more (at least where we've been).
My daughter is 9 months old (as of Sunday). I work a Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm schedule. My wife is a nurse and works a different set of days each week, but always 3 days a week. She also has some seniority, so she only has to work a weekend once every 4-5 weeks.
My in-laws watch our daughter one day a week, and we have an awesome nanny that watches her either one or two days a week, and we just found out from her this morning that her and her husband are moving out of the area at the beginning of May. This sucks, because, as I said, she is an awesome nanny who is in school to be a child development specialist and works for us at a very reasonable rate.
My wife was in full-on panic mode, because she doesn't want to put our daughter in daycare, and ideally neither do I, but we aren't in a financial situation where we can really afford to go nanny-shopping. I would assume the daycare at the hospital where my wife works is decent enough, but I don't really know. At this point, I'm just looking for things to tell my wife when she gets home tonight to help calm her down and not be so upset about the situation.
Cliffs: Tell me about your experiences with daycare for infants/toddlers.
We used an in home daycare (only 1 other infant/almost toddler)for our first daughter from 6mo to almost 2 and then moved her to another in-home, but one that had an actual learning curriculum. Our daughter now is also in an in-home, but she is a friend. I think it's important at a very young age not to put them into a large daycare setting and in an environment where there won't be a bunch of older kids rough housing.
The education part is huge once they hit about about 2. When we were looking, a structured learning time was a major factor.
We never used a sitter or full-time daycare provider for our son, for multiple reasons.
Our daughter first went to a babysitter at about 2 1/2 and that was a good transition from being home with me and our son. We knew and trusted the 'sitter, so we were at ease.
About 1 1/2 years later she moved to a daycare (at a local church). The structure and setting was a good move at the time. Shortly after being there, she started preschool mixed with daycare.
I have loads of experience.
I worked at day care centers a couple years before and for a year after my first child was born. The first was a smaller family owned center that had two locations. They were good, but not great. We had infants up to school age kids, but never in the same area. There are a ton of regulations at the state and national level about the teacher/child ratio and size of the areas and those were all followed, but they didn't really go above and beyond.
The second place was part of a larger corporation that runs centers mostly connected with office buildings. They have a whole philosophy about learning and what not, and I can tell you that the center I worked at was really good. We followed all the state regulations, and went above that to be certified by NAEYC, the National Association for the Education of Young Children. We had to have curriculum for every age group, including infants, stricter ratios, more varied learning opportunities...it was just better. And yes, it was more expensive.
My oldest kid was in day care from 6 weeks. I had to go back to work, and fortunately I worked at a day care so I could be with her on my breaks, but it was rough. Now with the little one, she has never been to day care, my husband is a stay at home dad. So she is not as comfortable being left with the sitter, but she gets to be with her dad all day which is pretty awesome.
This is the thing about day care vs. nannys, the really sad scary truth is that no matter who you leave your child with, something horrible could happen. I prefer larger day cares over home day cares because they are required to follow more regulations, and there is more of a paper trail for you to find out if they are really good or not. Look around and ask lots of questions. Take your time (as much as you can) and do some research. As a day care worker, there was nothing worse than spending 8 hours with a child, building a relationship and watching the child grow up, but having a parent who didn't even take the time to know my name, but were the first ones to complain about how high the cost was or that we didn't provide diapers. If you want to get another nanny, have you thought about a nanny share? Or if your current nanny is going to school for education she might be able to help you find someone from her classes.
What ever you decide to do, good luck. Try to remember that day care or nanny or stay at home parent, if you love your kid and show them that, they will be ok.
My experience is that use daycares when you have to and try not to depend on them. No matter how great they are, you're probably going to experience an issue with someone that works there that misrepresented the place.
Good daycare workers are always in demand. For kids younger than 2 I prefer nannys, older than that you can use daycares.
Daycare is great for developing social skills. Our son has never been afraid of other adults (gets shy but that is normal) and will run up to other kids.
The bad thing is that they can't perform simple first aid. Our son had a splinter that was sticking out and could easily be removed, but the lawyers don't allow them to touch it. I had to leave work and do it myself. It's good to ask the daycare director about first aid. They also have a different definition of diarrhea. They will call us if he had 2 loose bowls and tell us to pick him up. If we tell him he's on antibiotics, then they won't call us. Or if we tell him he was eating a lot of fruit with fiber, which he does often. Two loose bowls is not diarrhea. Doctors consider at least 4 loose bowls to be diarrhea. It's very annoying.
A little warning to the OP. If your child has not been exposed to kids before, expect your child to get sick a lot. The amount of different germs and viruses that get spread is crazy. Many parents stick their sick kids in daycare and they infect others. Our son was getting sick very often with different illnesses and had many ear infections (although he was diagnosed with enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which may have made things worse for him). Now that it's warm he's been better.
Last edited by SinisterMind; 04-27-2012 at 11:44 AM.
That sounds like a horrible day care/school- thanks for the public announcement to never send a kid to Goddard. To have no/little interaction with the other age groups is ridiculous and there is no point. Add on top of that the fact that they won't do the most basic of first aid? Those are two big things that should come out in the initial interview process and be a red flag.
I'm not surprised at all about the first aid or digestive rules thing. Once you get larger than a one-facility provider, they've got so much liability that they can't "take chances". Taking chances meaning using common sense and yanking a splinter, cleaning a simple cut, or saying - oh, that poo is soft and just informing the parents rather than freaking out about it.
Dear god in heaven...i just talked about poo consistency on an internet forum in a non humorous manner. I am now officially old. Pass the prune juice, please. What time is matlock?
Tornado- Primrose is an example of an overpriced, under hyped daycare/school around here. We have a few friends that went that route and pulled their kids. This is largely due to the "snobby" atmosphere, but also because they do tend to be hands off when it comes to the basic care of the kids. I can only assume that first aid would fall into this category.
We have been using Primrose for the last 2+ years. I liked our prevous school a little better, but they aren't up here. Problem is here that we don't really have a better option for a pre-school so we pay the little extra and deal with their fussiness over poop and fevers. I do have to say though that their educational program is pretty good. Our oldest son went into Kindergarten being able to read and write years above his grade level.
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I have not heard of CCLC, but we have one right by my house. Reading through the curriculum, they actually sound a lot like where we go. A lot of focus on creativity, social learning, and problem solving. I really like the idea of letting a kid learn to problem solve and figure things out rather than just being told what to do. It has made a big impact on our daughter and we saw almost immediately how she started to approach things and using logic when she was only 3.
Ya they are very in-tune with each individual kid. Everything is really on their schedule, if they don't want to do something like go play outside then they don't, they stay inside and do something else like paint. As they get older they have an option for a development based class more along the lines of what you would find at Montessori. I think they ratchet it up a notch too since it is on the Stanford campus and it is mostly faculty kids.
they're steppin' on my rhythm and they're stealin' all my lines
We've only used in-home daycare when there's 6 or less kids and not many infants. No offense to anyone that likes them, but we never went to the huge "puppy mills" like Kindercare or Kids Kastle. Toured a few and it was just brutal. I just felt the environment wasn't a focused, loving atmosphere.
Always tour any place you are thinking of using during business hours so you can observe the layout and see how they interact with the kids. It should be clean and orderly and preferably no TV or a very small TV.
Evaluate their hours of operation for whether or not they work with your realistic work schedule. We've seen them operate 4 days/wk (WTF?!) or closing at 5PM (WTF?!).
Daycare near home VS daycare near work
I like daycare close to home for logistics as my job is on the other side of town.
Most of the in-home places we visited, it was obvious we weren't going to use them based on something I've mentioned above. You should be looking for a person that genuinely seems to enjoy having kids around. They should be happy (not like stoned or a grinning idiot) and the kids should actually listen when the provider is talking. At your daughter's age, I'd make damn sure there's NO television anywhere that she'd be able to watch it.
In Portland, we've seen everything from $30 for a half day to $50/day. I used to wonder why we don't go on more vacations or have an awesome home entertainment system or why my track Miata project isn't done, and then I realized that our daycare bill was almost twice our mortgage - ~$1800/mo.
In today's economy, it might be possible for you to barter with nanny's to get a better rate. or you and your wife might be able to leverage her weekdays off to knock some $$ off the nanny rate. We were recently able to do this and it's helped tremendously. Still, for two kids, it's close to 2X our mortgage, just with more features and time flexibility. We don't have an extra room in the house, otherwise, we'd probably look into an au pair; although, again, the pricing.
The first kid seems to have picked this up. She's 2.5, and only been "sick" once...we both got food poisoning from a father-daughter day out
edit... talk about timely... http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/cutline/...151539970.html
Last edited by jnm2.0t; 05-10-2012 at 02:59 PM.
they're steppin' on my rhythm and they're stealin' all my lines
Our 1st son will be born in a few weeks here, and we already scouted out our daycare.
Weve gotten some indirect pushback from family about it, but as the woman, I never saw myself as the "stay at home mom" and Ive been crystal clear about that from the beginning. Additionally, no one in our family saw fit to financially prepare themselves for being the stay at home grandma so imo theyve got no leg to stand on. Ours is going to daycare 3 months after hes born, for a few months FT after that and then only part time for the rest of his little kid life. Well pay for the full time care then just lose the $ when he doesnt need to be there. Imo, its not the end of the world.
As far as in home vs daycare....its still someone else with your kids. We like the flexibility of a center and found one that locally owned, with great reviews and with a nice staff (from what we could tell on our unannounced visit).
Im not saying it will be an easy thing to hand my kid over to strangers (hell, I barely trust a few souls with my dog ) but in the end its best for our family, overall.
I'm a little late to this party, but I'll share my experience with daycares. My wife took some time off with the first, but in reality, the baby had to go to a daycare and the only place that had openings at the time was a Phoenix School. She did great there until she moved from the baby room to the infant room and there was not enough supervision (we found pumpkin seeds in her barf, amongst other issues.) We then moved her to a KinderCare. They were great until they had some internal firings/hirings and other random stuff. The teachers were great, but everything went low-income all of a sudden and yeah... we moved on. We still keep in contact with some of their old teachers.
When the second was about two years old we found an in-home daycare provider right down the street from us. She and her partner were good with the kids. The hours were okay but once the girls got to the age of needing more interaction with a larger group of kids, we found a great pre-school. They both have excelled because of this pre-school and we will always support the school in any way that we can.
In the middle of all of this, we interviewed at a Montessori and that was just an awkward conversation when the owner found out my wife taught public school. It went downhill and got ugly fast. This place let the kids set their own pace for learning, etc.... One of these prodigal children is a classmate of Cara's now in kindergarten. It's the same kid that calls me Mrs. Titleist, etc. Smart kid... needs a complete ass kicking.
In the end, get referrals from friends. But remember to take into account the age gap between their kid and the referral. Places change and cycle like anything else.