Jack has been at the same in home daycare for 3 years. They were the first people I interviewed and I fell in love right away. They have everything I was looking for. Now, they are set to retire at the end of May and I need to find a replacement.
After I heard the sad news, Jack and I went to visit a daycare/preschool center. I like everything about it, but the price was $13 more a week than we already pay. It would include daycare for one year and then preschool when he was of age. Not that I would put a price on my child’s care and learning environment, but I needed to think logically about this.
I put it off for awhile because I just wasn’t sure. I grew up with my mom doing in home and Jack has been in an in home daycare. For some reason, I prefer in home over a center. This past week, I made calls and went to some interviews of potential day care providers. Here is what I used to guide my decision making process.
Visit the location
I talked with some very nice people on the phone. We hit it off well and I thought for sure they could be the one. But when I got there, the set up wasn’t what I would like. It just didn’t feel right. I visited another and it was comparable to our current provider.
How many kids?
Here is Iowa, a state registered daycare can only have a certain amount of kids. For this past school year, Jack has been the only child while the other kids went to school. So, I knew that I wanted a new daycare that would have plenty of kids to play to interact with. He’s also been the only boy so I would love a higher boy:girl ratio. Just my personal preference.
Is it state registered?
I think it’s good that a daycare is registered with the state. Do I think it makes it better than a non registered? No. To me, it makes a difference. But after visiting my first in home, I was a little iffy about it. But she was registered with the state so she must meet their guidelines. It helped eased my concerns.
As I said above, I wouldn’t want to put a price on my child’s care. But I need to be rational and understand what we can afford. Or if we can afford it now, will be able to afford it when they raise their prices?
As a working mom, it would be very hard to take Jack to preschool and pick him up. I work about 5 miles or so but it’s all busy roads and I just can’t get away. I also start work early, so I need to have a way for him to get there. Also, I asked about whether they had extra insurance on their vehicle in case something were to happen.
Yep, I’m including this in my list. When I went to work after maternity leave, my friends watched him for the first 3 months or so. When it was time, I made an appointment to visit an in home daycare. Half way through, I realized that this is where I wanted Jack to be. I hadn’t been to any other in homes so I didn’t have any to compare it to, but I just knew.
Are we on the same page?
His current provider and I are on the same page on how we raise children. She is so very kind and caring but can be stearn when needed. She is also structured as far as what times they do things. Jack has always be structured, even since infancy. I actually credit her for the little boy that Jack as become. She is with him all day and she has a huge affect on how he behaves. He still has his 3 yr tantrums or whatever, but she has taught him to be polite and to listen.
So, are you wondering what I decided? I mostly went with my gut and chose the in home daycare I fell in love with. She’s older and has 20 years of experience. She is very comparable to the one we have now in all sorts of way. An added bonus is that she has all boys but one girl. She does not have transportation, but she does preschool in her home! So, there is no worry in that area. I decided to go with one that is a tad bit more than we currently pay. But I would much rather pay a tad bit more than take him somewhere I wasn’t in love with.
Although I really hate the fact that our current provider is retiring, I’m much more sure about Jack’s future and so glad the hunt is over.