Daycare Questions/Conundrums — The Bump
Parenting after a Loss

Daycare Questions/Conundrums

BootsOrHeartsBootsOrHearts member
edited August 2014 in Parenting after a Loss
Baby Boots has been looked after by my MIL while we're at work, but this winter we'd like to look at switching him to daycare for a few reasons. Cost being one (we pay her market rate for an experienced nanny) but also I'd like him to develop some social skills and participate in structured learning and activities. 

My mother in law is very sweet and loving with him, but she doesn't see the value of exposing him to new people, places, experiences, etc. So for example, she agreed (somewhat reluctantly) to take him to baby story time at the library once a week, but she won't agree to taking him to the farmer's market or walking around the mall, or a Little Gym class, the Children's museum, a kindermusik class, the pool at the gym, walking around downtown, etc.We tried to get her to teach him some basic signs and that never took. It's not that she is being hard-headed, I think she's just not comfortable or familiar with those things. So mostly he just stays at home during the week, except for the library once a week and weather permitting he gets a 10-15 minute walk in the stroller every day. He gets really bored and frustrated so I think it's time to make a change for him. 

My question is, am I going to find a daycare that will give him those kinds of experiences? Or would that be more pre-school? Is pre-school only for older kids like 2+? Certainly he would get more social interaction at a daycare but do they go on walks? or outings? do they have structured activities or is it just supervised play? I'm wondering if maybe we actually just need a new nanny which would be a really hard conversation to have and of course I would be scared out of my mind to leave him with someone new because MIL I trust absolutely and I know she is very diligent about keeping an eye on him. 

There are some church-based daycares/preschools near us which would be handy but I don't know anything about them, would they require us to be part of their congregation? Do they typically have a religious based curriculum? I wish the YMCA near us had daycare but they don't. My SIL works at a Y and said I should be looking for somewhere that is staffed with people who have early childhood education degrees. Not sure if that means ALL the staff or just the leadership. She said the Y daycare basically potty-trained her 2 year old for her! Is that normal to expect that kind of thing? I just don't even know where to start. 

Here's some dessert for reading my rant. 

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Edit to try and make it shorter (unsuccessfully)
**Warning: Losses and living child mentioned**
BFP#1 1/31/12, EDD 10/6/12 Harrison Gray born sleeping @ 18w6d. You changed our lives little guy.
BFP#2 EDD 10/29/13, C/P 2/25/13, Bye little Ish, we barely got to know you.
BFP#3 EDD 12/21/13, Baby Boots born 11/23/13 My rainbow baby!
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Re: Daycare Questions/Conundrums

  • I'm not an expert by any means but I have looked at several day care facilities, most operate pretty similarly.  You can ask what curriculum they use, you will probably hear the same ones over and over.  I have no background in education so I had to go and look them up to decide if it seemed ok.  And they start using the workbooks and doing "formal lessons" at age 2.

    At least around here the church daycare centers will take non parishioners, but members go on the wait list ahead of you, and they do have of course have a religion based curriculum.

    None of the centers I looked at took the under one year olds outside, but at one they will have outdoor playtime usually twice a day.  Our current center does not start field trips until they are three.  I don't remember the policy from the other places.  They do have lots of supervised play, but there are structured activities every day as well.  I really think my son benefits from the social interaction, and for us daycare has been a great choice.

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  • Wifey xoWifey xo member
    edited August 2014
    I certainly hear you that BB is getting bored. Tate is the same age, and is getting really hard to please. I have stations around the house like music play in the media room, playing in the mirrors in my workout room on the mat, books in his room, ect. TX summers are nuts, and outings are tough, but necessary. I plan on being home for a while so I don't have anything to add in regard to daycare, but will tell you DH always says it does his heart good knowing his son is with Mommy all day. Same goes for MIL's. On the flip side, the trade off might be the peace of mind knowing BB's is being loved all day. Nothing against working, daycare, ect, just another way to consider your options. Maybe more outings with Mom and Dad? Have her part time? I do agree that her unwillingness to try your suggestions is going against her. Sorry if no paragraph/iPad. Edit/ typo

     

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  • My girls are at the church based child development center where I work. They go to chapel once a week but it's just a basic bible story and some songs (which all the kids love). Other than that the only religion they have is praying before meals.

    They have outside time twice a day on the playground now, but as infants they went on at least one stroller walk a day weather permitting. They do art, sing songs, practice age appropriate skills and have free play in lots of different centers. As much as I loved having them home with me they are LOVING school and getting a lot out of it.

    ETA: Our center doesn't start field trips until 3, and that's pretty standard due to transportation (vans don't have car seats).
    See this sounds great. He would love that stuff. Maybe I just need to visit some places and see what the kids are doing and what kind of activities they have. I'm not against a church based center as long as it's not over the top. I'm not religious but there's nothing wrong with being thankful for a meal and remembering that lots of people don't have enough. 
    **Warning: Losses and living child mentioned**
    BFP#1 1/31/12, EDD 10/6/12 Harrison Gray born sleeping @ 18w6d. You changed our lives little guy.
    BFP#2 EDD 10/29/13, C/P 2/25/13, Bye little Ish, we barely got to know you.
    BFP#3 EDD 12/21/13, Baby Boots born 11/23/13 My rainbow baby!
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  • @Jessiebug81‌ Our church offers a lot of great options for kids and that will be my first stop when I get my son a little more socialized. Great idea.

     

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  • Most day cares and preschools are not set up to do outings, especially with the very little ones.  I worked in private preschool administration for a bit.  Liability and insurance wise, plus added staff coverage, it just isn't feasible.  If you want outings, then your best fit would probably be a nanny. 

    For more structured days, I'd look for a preschool vs. a day care center.  Would a part-time MDO program in conjunction with your MIL be an option?  Those tend to be shorter days, less expensive, and typically 2-3 days per week.   That way he could get some socialization time and MIL could have a little time to herself.

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  • twotexans said:
    Most day cares and preschools are not set up to do outings, especially with the very little ones.  I worked in private preschool administration for a bit.  Liability and insurance wise, plus added staff coverage, it just isn't feasible.  If you want outings, then your best fit would probably be a nanny. 

    For more structured days, I'd look for a preschool vs. a day care center.  Would a part-time MDO program in conjunction with your MIL be an option?  Those tend to be shorter days, less expensive, and typically 2-3 days per week.   That way he could get some socialization time and MIL could have a little time to herself.
    Yeah could be! Assuming MIL is switch to part-time.
    **Warning: Losses and living child mentioned**
    BFP#1 1/31/12, EDD 10/6/12 Harrison Gray born sleeping @ 18w6d. You changed our lives little guy.
    BFP#2 EDD 10/29/13, C/P 2/25/13, Bye little Ish, we barely got to know you.
    BFP#3 EDD 12/21/13, Baby Boots born 11/23/13 My rainbow baby!
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  • FmrAFBratFmrAFBrat member
    edited August 2014
    I'm with @andrea ri 80 I don't want anyone driving my kids around. I send my boys to a Daycare that's Montessori based. They even have a licensed kindergarten (& preschool) on site. They do artwork and sensory based play, as well as have visitors from the local police & fire department. They have a playground and a gym they use starting at 1. They read stories and learn sign language as well.

    One thing I will tell you is to look for childcare through your local colleges & universities. Childcare centers like mine don't advertise on care.com or the yellow pages & usually have a wait.
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  • Thanks ladies this really helps! I know most places wouldn't literally take him to a Little Gym or Kindermusik class as an example, but hoping there is somewhere that has some activities like those you would find at a class like that . I realize it can't be all structured activities there has to be some free time too though. 

    I did a little poking around at the pre-school at the church near us.  It says registration is in february for classes starting in September though so I wonder if we've missed the opportunity for this year. It looks like they have a neat learning type environment and they take kids as little as 3 months. Going to call this week and see if I can find out more. Maybe we can start him out with 1 day a week. 
    **Warning: Losses and living child mentioned**
    BFP#1 1/31/12, EDD 10/6/12 Harrison Gray born sleeping @ 18w6d. You changed our lives little guy.
    BFP#2 EDD 10/29/13, C/P 2/25/13, Bye little Ish, we barely got to know you.
    BFP#3 EDD 12/21/13, Baby Boots born 11/23/13 My rainbow baby!
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  • LO is in daycare 3 days a week and has been since I went back to work when she was a year old. She absolutely loves it and has all these little friends, it's really cute to see. She's actually home with DH on Mondays and with me on Fridays (we both do  full time in 4 days at work) and I know she has more fun at daycare - all they have to do is take care of her and do fun things whereas I am washing dishes and cleaning and running errands and whatnot. They are outside every day they can and they take them on walks in the strollers in the neighbourhood. They do tons of activities that I would never do at home (sand tables and water tables for example).

    For me, it's better than a nanny since the daycare will always be open and I don't have to worry about someone being sick or something happening and they have a ton of staff to cover for staff vacation and everything. She gets snacks and lunch and soon dinner so it's just a really easy fit for us. But we are spoiled a bit that she's only in daycare 3 days a week and she has 4 days a week to just hang out and have 1:1 attention. I really like the idea of splitting his week between his grandmother and daycare, might be a nice way to get everything you like.
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  • It sounds like what you need is a nanny as opposed to DC.  At our DC, they do not do field trips/outings until they get to the 3 year old room.  That being said, they do get lots of outside time (weather permitting), even in the youngest baby room (6 weeks - 9 months).  At our daycare they have strollers that seat 4 babies at a time and they can take them for walks and such in the immediate vicinity of the DC.  There is a huge playground out back with a sandbox, kiddie pools, playground equipment, little tikes cars, a garden that the kids can tend to, etc. etc.  In the winter they still play out there in the snow with their snow suits.  But in terms of going places like you are suggesting, they honestly don't do that at most DCs at that young of an age, my guess is because of the liability issues and car seat type issues.

    My personal opinion would be that you need to get a new nanny, although that will likely be a VERY unpleasant conversation to have and is why I personally would never do grandma daycare, even with my own mom.  I just hate having those kinds of convos with family - ick. That being said, it does not sound like Baby Boots is basically a prisoner in your MIL's house.  That's kind of over the top.  I mean if he was like 6 weeks old or something I would totally get not wanting to expose him to germs and the public, but what is the problem with taking him for a long walk?  Or even just going to the grocery store or something?

    FWIW, although I think a nanny would better suit what you are looking for, at this age honestly I am not big on the planned activities for babies.  (Classes, groups, etc.)  I mean in terms of socialization, they honestly don't really socialize until MUCH later (DS only really started playing "with" other kids probably at around 20 months) and I don't think they really "get" a lot of activities until even later than that.  I mean we were taking DS to the zoo and stuff from the time he was like 10 months but he had absolutely no clue what was going on until probably closer to like 16-ish months.  Before a year, honestly most of the "activities" and things you do are not going to have much of an impact on them other than for them to be exposed to more noises, colors, etc.  I mean that's just my personal opinion.  I can tell you, I didn't enroll DD in DC at 4 months so she could socialize and learn colors and whatnot, you know?  I know Baby Boots is much older, but I still think anything before the age of 1 is generally kind of "lost" on them, so to speak.  For example, I know several people who had nannies/have in-home childcare for their kids until about the age of 1, and then switch to DC for the socialization/education type aspect.  So FWIW, I don't think he really "needs" a lot of outings/activities/planned stuff now.  That is probably an unpopular opinion though.

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  • @mickeym04 I do agree with you to a point. He doesn't really care (or know) if he's at the park or the mall or a Kindermusik class, he just needs a change of scenery and new things to look at, new things to play with, etc. He gets really bored at home day after day. Even just going to the library and playing with a new set of toys and books for a little while is helpful. 

    He is what our pediatrician calls 'high needs' and one of the problems with that is he gets really bored really quickly. Even walking the same route too many days in a row will result in crying and fussing. A toy has a half life of a week or so and then he's bored and doesn't want anything to do with it. 
    **Warning: Losses and living child mentioned**
    BFP#1 1/31/12, EDD 10/6/12 Harrison Gray born sleeping @ 18w6d. You changed our lives little guy.
    BFP#2 EDD 10/29/13, C/P 2/25/13, Bye little Ish, we barely got to know you.
    BFP#3 EDD 12/21/13, Baby Boots born 11/23/13 My rainbow baby!
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  • @BootsOrHearts, I totally feel you.  And I definitely agree with you that a change of scenery is in order.  I think it is kind of nuts that your MIL will only take him on a 10-15 minute walk per day.  It sounds like he's kind of a prisoner in her house (I'm being dramatic, but you know what I mean).  So I definitely agree with you that he needs to get out more, but I just wanted to help maybe "lower" your expectations of what would constitute enough entertainment for him.  Seeing the difference between my 2 year old DS and looking back at how he was when he was Baby Boots' age, I'm like, oh, wow.  I wanted to take him to the zoo, take him to the library, and do all this stuff and looking at how much he gets out of it now compared to what he got out of it then (sitting in his stroller staring blankly), I'm like, yeah, we probably didn't need to do all those activities. 

    So while it sounds like a nanny would be a better fit for you, I just wanted to throw in my vote for DC, because while they don't do all those activities you mentioned, I don't think personally that it's necessary.  I mean at DC, they sing, they play music, they dance, they take them outside to play on a big blanket, they go for walks, and DD is WAY more tired when I pick her up, and sleeps WAY better, than she ever did when she was at home with me on ML just chilling all day.  So there is definitely something to be said for more stimulation, I just don't think it necessarily needs to be what we think it does (classes, museum outings, what have you).

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  • Yup you are dead on! I even suggested she take him on her errands - Walmart, the pharmacy, get the car washed, go to the vet. He would LOVE that! Maybe I need to bring that up again. 
    **Warning: Losses and living child mentioned**
    BFP#1 1/31/12, EDD 10/6/12 Harrison Gray born sleeping @ 18w6d. You changed our lives little guy.
    BFP#2 EDD 10/29/13, C/P 2/25/13, Bye little Ish, we barely got to know you.
    BFP#3 EDD 12/21/13, Baby Boots born 11/23/13 My rainbow baby!
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  • Yup you are dead on! I even suggested she take him on her errands - Walmart, the pharmacy, get the car washed, go to the vet. He would LOVE that! Maybe I need to bring that up again. 

    Yes, because that does break up the day. I find Tate is similar. If I'm not on the floor playing with him, letting him grab me, helping him stand and walk, he fusses. Just going to the kitchen to grab something provokes a long drawn out whine. Otherwise he is an extremely happy and fun baby when stimulated. Good luck!

     

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    Me:41/ lean PCOS, 2 clotting disorders, IC/ DH:41~ TTC since 1/11
    Clomid 50mg,100mg,150mg | Injectables + IUI#1 & IUI#2= BFN
    IVF#1~ 8/2012~ 13 frosties~ BFP! OHSS
    12/4/12 Luke & Kyle born @ 18 weeks
    SHG+ Hysteroscopy+ FET= BFP | Cerclage+ Lovenox+ 5m Bed Rest
    ~Our wee guy is here! 11/27/13~

    PAL January Siggy Challenge~ Good Advice

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