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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a SAHM since dd was born, but we've been living off our now non-existant savings and I really need to make some $. I've been offered a part-time position, 3 days a week. That seems perfect to me, because while we really need $, I am just not ready to put dd in daycare full time.

So....
How do I choose a daycare? I have a list of licensed daycares in the area and plan to call them to A) make sure they take part-timers and B) schedule an appt to see them/interview them.

I'm really feeling some anxiety over choosing the dc because it's really important to me that I trust the dcp and that I feel like the dcp treats dd the way I want her to be treated. We are very much an AP/GD family.

So for those of you who (I guess that's most of you
) who have been in this position I have a few questions:

What questions did you ask your dcp?

Do you feel like your dcp is AP? If yes, how did you know they were? If not, how do you feel about them not being AP?

When you were interviewing, did you "just know" when you found the right one, or did you go with the best of what you had to choose from?

Are there certain things you had to "let go" of? (Snacks you wouldn't choose for dc, TV, discipline, structured naptime, etc?)

I have a ton more questions about how to prepare my VERY attached dd for time away from me, but I'll save those for another thread in a few days.

TIA
 

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I'm working right now and don't have loads of time. But I'll answer two of your questions. This board tends to be less active on weekends, but you might try searching for past threads or google :questions to ask daycare provider" for a start.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mama2alexa
When you were interviewing, did you "just know" when you found the right one, or did you go with the best of what you had to choose from?

Are there certain things you had to "let go" of? (Snacks you wouldn't choose for dc, TV, discipline, structured naptime, etc?)
I just knew. I interviewed 13 providers. Home daycare centers.

let go of:
I'd choose that she watches TV at home and not watch Dora AT ALL (man I hate that show!).

I'd choose that she had more open ended toys.

I'd also be a little more flexible in the potty issue (dcp has been hassling me to move erin along faster.It is busy at my house right now and we are overstressed = not pottying well).

But many many good things have come from daycare. And erin gets to play with leappads and those kinds of toys that didn't exist when I was a kid. So it's a balance. I have also learned to let go a little more and let Erin lead the way. Plus if she were home with me she'd get something like a sandwich every day for a meal. Those kids eat better than I do. When I interviewed daycare providers erin was 4 months old and I could care less what the older kids ate. I got lucky and DCP is great! That said, if we were to switch it would be really important to me that Erin continues to be offerred new healthy foods because peer pressure has helped her try salad, spinach on sandwiches, etc. that she won't eat at home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for replying!

I had my first interview today and thought it went well. Another question for those of you who delay/selective/don't vax:

When is the best time to bring this up? How? Can they refuse to accept dd if she has a religious exemption?

TIA
 

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I brought it up after I knew my dd was already going to get the opening in the home day care and we had established a good working relationship through pre-day care visiting etc. Turns out my dcp also questions vacc and does selective. I think home dcp's can turn you down for any reason they don't need to share. Not sure about day care centers.
 

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re: choosing. we did just know; the providers are wonderful, warm, and caring. the teachers know all the kids. the teachers call us when our little ones are sick (one even called when she was off b/c she heard that dd had a boo boo). it is a totally amazing place. this dcp even permits cloth diapering (they have a separate pail for ds and dd's dipes and we take them home to wash each afternoon).

let go:
hmmm, really only the sugar issue. they eat lots of sugary treats at daycare. that does bother me, but on balance, it's just one thing.

dcp does all of the following fabulous things (in addition to the dipes issue):
1. positive learning (they tell them how to do something, not just "no")
2. no tv
3. craft projects every day for the older one
4. a teacher/baby ratio of either 1 to 2 or sometimes even 1 to 1. this is a university's daycare so they have students who are wonderful and kind with the babies/kids.
5. lots of outside/sandbox time
6. no cio. if they cry, they get picked up.
 

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If you are looking at in-home daycare rather than commercial this may not apply to you but...

The mistake we made in choosing day care was in focusing on the facility rather than the actual care providers. We visited three places and chose the place that was the most professional, sparkling clean, brand new, organized, etc. We took a tour with the director, saw the nice infant room with the great toys, heard all about their approach to day care, looked at the detailed forms that get filled out every day, and were dutifully impressed.

Of course we asked about what kind of background the actual teachers had, and their approach to caregiving, and we met them for about one minute, but that was it.

Now I realize how much I really care about WHO is with ds all day. I have seen over time that 1) there is a lot more turnover in staff than I expected 2) they often shift staff around the facility to adjust to the ratios depending on how many kids are in each room, which means less consistency of caregivers and 3) the caregivers themselves vary in quality.

We are currently working to arrange alternative care so we can pull ds out of there. If I had it to do again, I would spend more time on the tours getting to know the individual teachers rather than just the director, and would ask a lot more questions to get to know them and their style, and also ask to spend time in the room watching them care for babies.

Good luck --

Megan
Owen 11/11/04
 

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What questions did you ask your dcp?

I didn't ask too many questions, most provided the info I needed up front, obvious ones like pick up and drop off times, price, etc. I did ask how long providers had worked there and about turn over. Our dc has a website with the providers professional profiles so I can see where they went to school, their certifications, etc. Like a pp said, there are several providers. DD had one in the infant room, now she has a different one in the mobile infant room. But they transitioned her to the mobile infant room over the course of a few weeks and they cover for each other here and there so she got to know the provider and it made the transition smooth. Eventually she'll go to the toddler room and have another provider.

Do you feel like your dcp is AP? If yes, how did you know they were? If not, how do you feel about them not being AP?

I knew our dcp was AP cause they do cloth diapers only, and require only whole foods, no sugary or salty snacks should be sent in with the children. They are also into progressive toilet learning practices that I haven't learned much about yet cuase we're not there yet, but it sounds good. They also do only wood toys, no plastic. All the literature they gave me talked about letting babies develop at their own pace and move onto the next level only when they are ready (its montessori) They also didn't have any cribs, they use little cots on the floor. I did ask about CIO and they assured me, they comfort any baby crying.

When you were interviewing, did you "just know" when you found the right one, or did you go with the best of what you had to choose from?

I just knew. The AP-style Montessori daycare was just so obviously better than the conventional place we visited previously. In fact, it was only the second place we saw and we didn't go see any others. The main thing was the conventional daycare was so cluttered. You could hardly see the floor, there were so many toys on the floor. I thought it looked overwhelming and overstimulating. Our Montessori dc has little tables with a few good toys and books.

Are there certain things you had to "let go" of? (Snacks you wouldn't choose for dc, TV, discipline, structured naptime, etc?)

Only thing we had to let go was the pacifier. They don't do pacifiers and that freaked me out at first but it worked out great, we weaned before she started. If anything, they motivate me to stick with healthy foods and cloth diapers, and I love the way the discipline, they only put down for naps when baby is tired, etc. Its really worked out great, and is worth the extra money, it was more expensive than any other we looked at.
 

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I think the questions and compromises are probably different for center care vs. home care. Because I wanted more consistancy in caregivers and a more home-like atmosphere I chose homecare for the first 2 1/2 - 3 years and then transitioned DS and now DD into preschool.

I started with a few recommendations for home based care from people I trusted. I would probably have been overwhelmed by a list of providers and starting from scratch. Because the people I got recommendations from had done a lot of the background research/checks, I didn't do them. But you should make sure there aren't any complaints against your provider. Somewhere here there are other threads about what questions to ask. I would also say that spending time sitting in a corner observing was probably important than any words.

I was pretty sure when I met the right person. She had been doing daycare a long time with lots of multiple kids, so that made me feel good. Things were clean and organized, but not overly structured. Because she only had infants and toddlers, she was able to tune things to the needs of the under 3 set, which was important to me. She has few enough kids and an assistant, so she (or the assistant) can comfort anyone who is crying, do individualized nap times, and lots of cuddle time. She was able to work with breastmilk, individual transition to solids, and whatever potty-training method each parent wanted to use. She uses very gentle guidance and not a lot of "discipline" per se. The only time she ever used timeouts was for a child who had a real problem with biting, and that was mostly to keep the other kids safe. From that perspective, she's pretty AP.

I don't have an issue with TV, so that she uses in the morning and late afternoon didn't bother me. Its not on all day, but only at times when kids are coming and going, which lets her give each arrival and departure more attention, so for me that was a good compromise. I have had issues with exactly what was on, but she has always listened and changed things at my request. She's OK on food, but probably uses more "pre-prepared" stuff than I would like. She doesn't do a lot of sugary stuff, which I appreciate. She wouldn't work with cloth diapers. People who are anti-plastic, anti-battery, or anti-character toys probably wouldn't be happy with her, but these aren't priorities for me either.

For me, the biggest thing that I had to give up was knowing just how much or when nap was, or what and how much she had eaten that day. DCP just wouldn't/couldn't keep track of everyone's details and so I didn't get that level of knowing how her day went until she could talk to me.
 

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with dc u have to let go of certain things. u weigh if they are all that important and then choose. also keep a list of dcs. so if one doesnt work u have others. i changed 5 in 4 months till my dd like the last one. my dd was 2 when she started. instead of asking questions i went and observed. i asked about what kind of food they give, do they have an open door policy (i can check in anytime i want), what they do to help my crying child, discipline methods. the problem with the ones that didnt agree with my dd was that they were all in home dcs. it reminded my dd too much of home. tv in the second place actually helped her to settle down. at her last place the limited time tv turned out all time tv.

finally my dd settled down in a preschool/daycare play based. no academics. the things that factored were - the personality of all the teachers really match what my dd likes. even at 4 pm thier make up was fresh and they still had a smile on their face. she got to play with older kids. a structure. the other plus things were similar discipline policy to what i use at home and how they comforted my dd - just like me, hold her and talk. after 9 months she still doesnt want to go but if she had to be away from me she would choose where she is now.

i think an important thing that i based my decisions on were my own gut feelings. because there is no way of knowing except by trusting ur sixth sense. for instance just because a provider has good references, is licensed and has a criminal check done - doesnt mean they would be the best.

one thing that i had to let go was how AP they were. in the sense that if my dd cried for 4 hours would i expect them to hold her for 4 hours. i did not. instead they would call me and i would go and get my dd. now the place she is in they are AP without directly saying so. if hte child is upset they may not hold them all the time but find the comfort of having the teacher as well as the other kids try to help the child feel better. my dd definitely cries more for me at home than at ps/dc. there she cries for a few minutes and then is ok. esp. if i leave on a humourous note.
 

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we interviewed 2 people and just knew that one was right and one was definitly not.
The one we decided against: I watched the other kids - a bored 3 year old, a 10 month old who was ignored and given a bottle and 2 2 year olds that had so many time outs they gave them to themselves. My dd did not leave my lap for the whole visit. I could tell she didn't feel "safe" to move around and explore with all that was going on there. She told me about how hard it was for the kids to adjust to the dayhome - that was another clue.

The other one told me that she didn't support CIO, potty trained in a relaxed way, felt communication was important and regarded us as a team in the baby's care. She has turned out to be even better than that too - the food is really healthy, they do lots of crafts, the other kids are super. It also helped that I could spend some time there when there were kids there. The intent was to ease dd into it, but it really helped me feel comfortable that it was a good atmosphere and that made it easier to leave her there when I returned to work full time.

DD is thriving and so am I. She loves playing with the other children, and I love being busy at work. We appreciate eachother more when we do have time together.

good luck.
g.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by meganmarie
If you are looking at in-home daycare rather than commercial this may not apply to you but...

The mistake we made in choosing day care was in focusing on the facility rather than the actual care providers. We visited three places and chose the place that was the most professional, sparkling clean, brand new, organized, etc. We took a tour with the director, saw the nice infant room with the great toys, heard all about their approach to day care, looked at the detailed forms that get filled out every day, and were dutifully impressed.

Of course we asked about what kind of background the actual teachers had, and their approach to caregiving, and we met them for about one minute, but that was it.

Now I realize how much I really care about WHO is with ds all day. I have seen over time that 1) there is a lot more turnover in staff than I expected 2) they often shift staff around the facility to adjust to the ratios depending on how many kids are in each room, which means less consistency of caregivers and 3) the caregivers themselves vary in quality.
ITA! and I think it does apply to home care as well. DD was in 2 centers before moving to home care. Her current in home dcp may not have the biggest, sparkling clean house in the best neighborhood, but she really loves the kids and plays all day with them, makes homemade healthy food and loves my cds too.
 
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