June 2012 Moms
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Daycare Q

Last December, I attempted to put dd in daycare so I could work. I was in a brand new city. I didn't have much time to look for a center. I didn't realize my job would be the commute it was either. Overall, I just wasn't ready. As much as I love being home with her, I'm starting to lose my marbles. Also, we are getting by on one income, but we don't have a comfortable cushion that I would like to have.

So, it's back to work I go. I have an interview for a job where dd would only be in a day care 3 days week. I'm crossing my fingers it goes my way.

I didn't like the daycare I had put dd in initially. I can't pinpoint why.

I've been online trying to find centers to look at. I have a good idea of questions to ask when I visit, however could you share with me what it was about your center that you chose it for your child? What are some key things to look for that you may not have thought about while touring the centers?
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Re: Daycare Q

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    EMOmammaEMOmamma member
    edited September 2013
    We have 3 centers in the area that are really equal on paper - about the same cost, security measures, have preschool and pre-k in addition to regular daycare, no big negative reports, etc.  The difference between the 3 for us was really the vibe (like pp said).  
    We liked the other 2 but about halfway through the one we picked we could just feel that it was the right place.  
    Try to check out both chains/franchises (Goddard, Kindercare, Bright Horizons ) and locally owned centers, also traditional and Montessori - you'll find the one that fits you best.

    ETA - my kids love daycare.  Other than a few bumps in the road (some trouble with DS biting) they are really thriving.  

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    Thanks, ladies.

    I am scheduled to look at a Bright Horizons center next week, along with a few non chain centers.
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    I got a good vibe from the teachers right away.  The director and most of the teachers have degrees in early childhood education.  The school is NAEYC-certified and has the highest rating from my state.  The classroom is tidy and well-organized.  The playground is awesome.  The food is all made on site (I still send about half of DD's food because she is allergic to dairy, but DS eats school food). 

    I could go on and on.  I love the school.  Good luck with your search, and trust your gut!
    DS born 8/8/09 and DD born 6/12/12.
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    emberlee3 said:
    I got a good vibe from the teachers right away.  The director and most of the teachers have degrees in early childhood education.  The school is NAEYC-certified and has the highest rating from my state.  The classroom is tidy and well-organized.  The playground is awesome.  The food is all made on site (I still send about half of DD's food because she is allergic to dairy, but DS eats school food). 

    I could go on and on.  I love the school.  Good luck with your search, and trust your gut!
    All of this, especially the 'trust your gut'. If something doesn't feel right or seems off, I'd move on. Things that were important to me were the low turnover rate of teachers, education of the teachers, the look and feel of the building/rooms. I love that we bring DDs food. Parents can stop by whenever they want to visit. It'd be a big red flag for me if I had to call first. 
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    Yes, I agree with PPs. Trust your gut. I had a whirlwind time finding a daycare. I only had time for two tours. The daycares were night and day.

    Things I didn't like about the first one: it was dark, old toys, a giant tv hanging from the ceiling, and the teachers looked miserable and had no energy. I got such a bad feeling from it and never would have left DS there.

    Things I love about DS's daycare: it's bright and colorful, it's immaculately clean, the teachers are educated and high energy, no tv, they provide food for toddlers. I had a totally different feeling from the first place I saw.

    Good luck with your search and with the interview! :)
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    To just add on to what the other ladies are saying. Here are a couple of things about our center/preschool that stood out to me compared to others:

    1. Low teacher turnover. All of the teachers at our school have at least a 2 year degree in early childhood or some sort of related degree. The teachers stick around so the kids don't see different faces everyday. Our teachers know our kids.

    2. Food. Our center has its own chef that comes in everyday and prepares wholesome nutritious food for the kids. The menu is incredible. They eat much better than us. No chicken nuggets or frozen food here.

    3. Playground. The kids get to go outside everyday 2x a day. Even the babies. The babies have their own playground separate from the older kids that they can play and explore. They have that "squishy" ground so even the non walkers can have fun.

    I love our daycare but you really have to go with your gut. You have great suggestions here. Its hard to trust someone else with your child. Good luck!
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