Toddlers: 24 Months+

Full Time Working Mom's - What do you want out of daycare?

I have no choice but to have fulltime childcare for my toddler (30 months). We are currently weighing our options... full time care center? pre school? nanny? in home care?

We can't decide. We want our son to have a good mix of free play, care, and activity. What are your expectations of child care at this age?

Re: Full Time Working Mom's - What do you want out of daycare?

  • My child goes to a daycare at a local church. In August she'll start K3, which is a structured kindergarten-type program in the mornings. The afternoons consist of nap, outside play (or the gym depending on the weather), and then centers/inside play until pickup. My child is in the 2-year-old daycare program right now, which basically follows the same schedule. They work on what they call "skills" in the mornings, which is learning letters, numbers.. coloring inside the lines.. matching.. tracing.. etc. They have a different activity each day such as music, art, library time. We moved to this daycare in September and I've been very pleased and seen huge growth in my child. She thrives in this environment. Her previous daycare had a similar program, but felt very clinical. The teachers at the new school are very doting and you can tell they're invested in (and even love) the kids. So I totally think you can find somewhere that offers all of your desires in a daycare setting. Each child is different though, and yours may not respond like mine in that setting. And that's okay. Explore lots of options and you will know what's best for your family. Work schedule dictates a lot of what you can do. If you and your husband both have to work late it may be hard to find a center that stays open late enough. I hope this helps. Good luck!
  • DD goes to daycare part-time right now, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then we are extremely fortunate that our mothers divide the other 3 days that DH and I are at work.  It's what we can afford right now and the grandmas love their time with DD at this stage in her life.  As for what I want out of a daycare, ours does a very good job.  DD gets lots of interaction with other toddlers her age, though they're all still mostly parallel playing.  And one of the teachers is bilingual like us so DD still hears spanish on daycare days.  They do all kinds of art activities, have story time and music time, participate in clean up time, and play outside (weather permitting of course).  They also center the month's art activities around a shape and 2 colors and give the parents a monthly newsletter telling us what that month's shape and colors are so we can reinforce the learning at home.  When DD was younger before she was talking the teachers taught her (and DH and I by default) baby sign language that really helped us understand her needs when she was first learning words.  I'm very happy with our DC, even if the drive to get her there and pick her up is a little long.
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  • DD will be 2 in a month and has gone to daycare full time since she was 8 weeks old. 

    Her daycare is very consistent with their daily schedules. Her current class plays together, does a ton of art projects, does zoo phonics and practices colors, numbers, letters, etc.  They sing songs together, have story time, go to the gym to play on cold days when they can't go outside (her DC is in a community center attached to the high school).  DD has learned so much there.  She already knows half the alphabet, 1-2-3, 5-6 colors, songs, etc.

    My biggest requirements are that she is safe, happy, well socialized, and in an environment where she is learning new things daily.

  • My DD has been going to daycare since she was 9 months.  It has been wonderful for her at least, she has learned so much.  They call our daycare a school and they have little lessons each day for the kids. My pediatrician has been very impressed with her development, she is now 27 months.

    I am not sure about the daycare system in other places but in NYC it's very learning driven instead of just watching the kids play all day, I think it's mostly to prepare them for the private school rat race that happens here!   

    I think Montessori Schools are a lot like that, I have heard good things about it so that might be a good option too. 
  • To be socially and intellectually stimulated. But most importantly, happy. 

  • I only work part time and we have inflexible jobs. We chose a part time nanny. She works 730am-7pm two days/week. She has been taking care of kids for years and is great at reading to them, doing arts and crafts, taking them outside, etc. It was $300/week for part time day care and you can't take kids there if they are sick AND they have to be picked up by 6:30pm (which is hard to do for us). The nanny was $308/week to start (we do pay her legally-so there are other fees in addition to her salary).

    The nanny cares for them if they are sick! They will start 2.5 hours days twice/week of pre school this Fall (They'll be 3 next month) for the socialization piece.

    Wedding Fall 2007 Off OCP's since 9/08-started with BBT charts Saw Ob/gyn May 2009 Blood work normal except single copy of MTHFR Clomid 50mg May 2009 Clomid 50mg + IUI June 2009 Femara 5mg + IUI July 2009 Normal HSG July 2009 Femara 5mg + ovidrel+IUI August 2009 Femara 5mg +ovidrel + IUI September 2009 November 2009-normal lap December 2009-met with RE December/January-Injectible med cycle with IUI-Abnormal sperm morpology found-only 0-1% normal All Head defects. Jan/Feb 2010 1st IVF with ICSI-5 week chemical pregnancy :( Feb 2010-male infertility doc says DH's anatomy and blood work are normal so nothing he can do. :( FET July 2010-BFP! Twin m/c @ 5.5 wks :( Dec/Jan 2011 IVF #2 Only 4 eggs retrieved-Ganirelix dose messed up BFFN Feb/March 2011 IVF #3 ER 3/9 9 eggs, 7 fertilized, ET 3/14, No frosties. BFN IVF #4 ER 8/22 9R,7F ET 8/25-3 embies, 1 frostie! Beta 9/2= 54, 9/6=274, 9/8=625, 9/12=2953, 9/16 greater than 10,000. B/G TWINS born April 2012 @ 36wks & 1 day! July 2014-going back for the frozen embryo! ET 7/28, heartbeat seen at 6wks1day with SCH. Miscarriage confirmed at 6wks4days

  • FTM and our kids are in an in home "daycare". The family that watches them is amish. No electronics and oldschool games/learning. We like to teach the kids but ask what they learned that day. DD will come home counting, singing, and is trying for the alphabet. They show affection and love one another.

  • Both of my children have been in care since they were three months old, my daughter is now finishing her kindergarten year at a charter school and my son just turned two. We started my daughter in a Montessori when she was 2.5 and they have both been in one ever since. At first I wanted a safe place where my daughter would be cared for and have social interaction. When she was 18 months we had to relocate and the new school was similar to a Montessori with real life activities, more structure and curriculum. For me this made sense after I noticed it was more education based than supervised playtime. I do feel all children need playtime but our family relies heavily on structure and routine. When the one year relocation was over we decided that the traditional daycare setting was not enough for us and we sought out to find something more, which landed in a Montessori. 

    Every child is going to get something different out of every situation; as long as my children are coming home happy, unharmed, well nourished and able to interact with others I am ok- but I want more than ok. They are exposed to music with different instrument exposure and now my two year old sons favorite toy is his youth sized guitar (followed by his dump truck). They do a lot of puzzles with knobs to help form grasps for holding pencils down the road, they play in a kitchen center and practice washing dishes, baby dolls, sweeping floors and other practical life things. They build off of each experience and task before moving onto more complex tasks. My daughter was reading simple words by her 4th birthday, and now she is excelling in a rigorous academic kindergarten (though she wouldn't know it) because she loves learning. Don't get me wrong- my kids still play like wild animals at times, they let loose and act like kids which is very important, but their early care experience is having a life-long positive effect on their personalities. 

    Sharing; waiting your turn; learning the world doesn't revolve around you (that's hard...); eating things you might not love (my daughter is SUPER picky) because that's the only option; empathy for other children; leadership skills. Those are all things that I have learned to look for, even though it didn't start out that way. 
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  • Both of my kids go to a day care center. My son has been going since he was 2 months old.  It is very much like a school structure, with plenty of room for creativity.  He is learning so much and most importantly, socializing with other kids his own age.  My daughter is 3 months old & has been going to the same place since she was 2 months as well.  They take kids 6 weeks to school age.  There is a playground for when its nice out, and a gym for cold & rainy days.  My son does a lot of art projects, sings, knows his numbers (and can count to 10 by himself), colors, ABCs, shapes, etc.  They even help with potty training and introduced it before we did since my son seemed interested in sitting on the potty.

    Its hard to find a daycare/nanny/anyone you trust with your children as much as yourself.  I consider myself VERY lucky to have found our center.  It is expensive, but worth the money IMO.  I know my daughter is in an infant room where she is well cared for & loved & the teachers remember the kids as they move from age group/room. 

    I want my children to be happy and well cared for while I'm gone at work, just like they would be if I was with them all day.  They're happy when I leave & happy when I pick them up.  Just the other day I walked into my son's room & he was rolling on the floor with another class mate and they were giggling up a storm.  It made me so happy to hear that and let me know that he was ok.  Even after 2 years there I still get a little pull at the heart strings when I say good-bye in the mornings to them both.
  • I think that there advantages and disadvantages to either care that you choose.

    Originally, we had DD with a home daycare provider because it was cheaper than sending her to a daycare center. While DD was between the ages of 1 to 2.5, the home daycare was great, but as DD got older we began to have issues with the provider. She wasn't taking DD outdoors enough, and the provider was complaining about DD over stupid things that would upset me. Also, toward the end of having DD in her care, the provider injured her shoulder and had constant doctor's appointments. At some point, we just couldn't afford to take the time out of work for the provider's appointments, and she wasn't reimbursing us for any of them either.

    Just a few months ago, we switched DD in to a daycare center. For her age, this was a really good idea. At the home daycare, DD wasn't being socialized enough either, and since DD is an only child, I felt that socialization was really important. So far the daycare center has been great. There's always someone there to care for DD, no matter if a provider is sick, so we haven't had to take any time out of work.

    If we had another child, I think I would probably go about daycare the same way we did with DD. Since infant care in a daycare center is generally more expensive, I would do a home daycare with the next kid from 1-2.5, then switch them to a daycare center after 2.5 when the daycare center rate is cheaper. I feel like the home daycare provider was good to provide the individual attention that a younger child needs, and that the daycare center is now teaching her the skills she'll need to attend school next year.

    DD never had any issues with either forms of care. I think she likes the daycare center more now because she's at the age where she likes having all the other children around, but she was happy at the home daycare too.
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