Day care change - what would you do? — The Bump
January 2016 Moms

Day care change - what would you do?

Hi ladies - I have a major conundrum I can't figure out.  Today we were just offered a spot in an awesome day care program we applied to way back when I was 5 months pregnant or so.  But now that we've been sending our LO to a lovely home day care for almost 3 months, I'm finding the change difficult to deal with.

I'd love some objective people to weigh in because it's triggering my lingering anxiety issues a bit and I'm having a hard time thinking clearly.

Pros of the new day care:
-it's a wonderful, developmentally focused program that transitions into preschool and then pre k.  We could literally keep her in this program until she starts kindergarten and their preschool and pre k programs are amazing.
-it's also a fun day care - they have a lot of dress up days, etc.
-our friends have sent their daughter there since she was 3 months old (she's now three) and they love it.  Their daughter begs to go even when she's sick and has made a lot of friends.
- our LO would be around other babies her age.  At our current day care she is the only baby.
-it would make my husband's job and life MUCH easier.  This day care is literally down the street from where he works.  As of now he's had to switch his hours from 11-7 to 730-330 to be able to leave early enough to pick her up from our current day care.  (1.5 hour commute.). He would be able to switch to a 9-6 schedule which would help him a lot w work.
-hours are better 6-630, vs 8-5.
-being in a developmental program with other kids her age (including cute little report cards and milestones they let you know about, like when kids should be engaging in imaginative play, etc) is probably better than just hanging out at our current home day care.
-we plan to have another baby in a couple years and that baby would automatically get a spot at this day care, which is huge becayse it's nearly impossible to find care for babies under 1 year or 18 months in LA.  Even at our current day care it wouldn't be a guarantee because she only takes one baby under a year old at a time, and I know some of the 7 other couples who send their kids there will be trying for siblings too and the timing may not work out.

Cons:
-This is the biggest one - right now I spend an hour with LO in the morning (play, snuggles, walk the dog together, etc.) then I drive her to day care, which is 15 min away.  I would still get the hour of play and getting ready, but I would never be the one to drop her off or pick her up from day care because it's an hour commute from where we live and from where I work.  I don't know why I'm having such a hard time dealing with not being the one to drop her off in the mornings, even if I still get my hour with her to have fun, but I am.
-the day care is again, an hour away from me.  This freaks me out in case of an emergency, but my husband would actually be closer (less than 5min) than any of us would be at the current day care.
-new day care is $90 per week more expensive, ($390 vs $300) though they do provide all diapers and wipes. It's not a deal breaker for us financially, because since this is the day care we always wanted to go with, it's what we planned for, bit obviously we would miss the savings.
-our home daycare provider is such a lovely woman and my daughter loves her.  She is excited and happy to go to day care every day, and I worrying she won't like it as well or will have a rough adjustment.
-also, our current day care provider picked us over several other families for her only slot for a child under 1, so I would feel terrible for only using her services for 3 months, and then only giving 2 weeks notice.  I know that's not at all more important than what's best for our family, but it would just suck.
-I am a creature of habit and I have really gotten used to our routine and changing her care really triggers my anxiety.  (Again, not a good enough reason not to do it, just how I feel at the moment.  
-this working out would be very tied to my husband's job.  If he ever wanted to leave or lost his job, it would be a needlessly long commute and we'd probably have to find somewhere else.  Though he has no plans to leave and his work just renewed his yearly contract, as they have every year for the last 4, so it's not a huge concern.

Overall, I think it would be better for LO developmentally, it would definitely be better for my husband's schedule and work performance, but she'd be far away from me and therefore I'd never be able to pick her up or drop her off, which I'm having a hard time with emotionally.

I would SO appreciate any thoughts!!

Re: Day care change - what would you do?

  • Oh,  I forgot to mention the biggest pro of all for the new daycare.    Right now we're kind of struggling with the 8 to 5 hours of our current daycare because of occasions where I have to be at work early or my DH has to work late.  It's only a few times a month, bit enough that we have had to try to hire a part-time nanny to do pick ups or drop off's 2 to 5 times a month. We still haven't found some one (we're doing a trial run with someone tomorrow) but with this new set up my husband would always be able to pick her up and drop her off so we wouldn't have to do that.   We would still occasionally need a babysitter or my mom to come down to watch her for a couple of hours when one of us has a work event but, that would be at our apartment and we wouldn't have to deal with needing someone on an ongoing basis and having to trust that person to drive LO around (which is scary for me!)
  • I say daycare. I'm a big fan of the kids being around other kids their age they learn quicker. I like the way daycares has set activities and curriculum... they're on the schedule also. But with a home daycare provider if that woman is sick or she has other arrangements or plans who's going to watch the kids? I understand you're concerned with dropping off and picking up but that's a small setback but you can always call the daycare and speak to the teachers, you will still have the daily report they send home so you can see what she's doing during the day. Does That Daycare have cameras where you can log online and watch what the babies doing during the day?

    My oldest is 7.5, middle one is 4 and I've seen the difference daycares make in what they are taught vs home daycares of friends. 


    Good luck!!! 
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  • If the new daycare called you up right now and said there was a mistake and you don't have a spot afterall, would you be more disappointed or more relieved? ...There's your answer. :-)
    KFrobSDaniels19fishee333Mamabeagle
  • Based on how you expressed some of the pros about the new option, it seems like your heart has already partly decided. If you've gotten a good personal vibe from the new daycare from being there AND it will make both you and your DHs lives easier, then it is probably something to spring for. I know you said you would feel badly for your current provider under the circumstances, but in the end she also accepts this risk being in the childcare business where families have to move, etc. I'm a big proponent of keeping yourself sane (hard to maintain in the crazy demands of working motherhood or being a parent in general!), and the greater hours, flexibility, and shorter time demands cannot be understated for maintaining both your sanity and energy long term. Your LO is likely a lot more resilient too than you might expect. Is it possible she may not like the change at first? Yes, but if the new daycare has quality caregivers and you have good communication together, your LO will adapt and love it as well. Good luck, let us know what you decide!
  • We were originally going to go with a home daycare on our street, but she cancelled on us at the last minute (literally a week before I went back to work). We wound up getting a spot at the center in DH office building.  We'd been on the wait list since I was 12 weeks pregnant.
    It sounds a lot like your center, it has a curriculum and goes through pre-k.  They send little notes home everyday and email us pictures and we even have patent teacher conferences every 6 months.  It's a lot more expensive than the home daycare would have been, but I'm so glad that's where DS is. When he started, he was the youngest of six babies, but the oldest was only 4-5 months older than him.  He's learned so much from watching and imitating the bigger babies and he loves playing and wrestling with them.  
    Since it's sponsored by DH's company, if he were to leave or lose his job, we'd need to find new care immediately which is a little stressful sometimes.  DH also obviously does the drop offs and pick ups which mostly works out fine, but sometimes he doesn't always pass along my messages to the teachers.  That's a problem with him rather than the daycare though.

  • Agree with PP. Our baby was several month younger than all the other babies, and now she's ahead of the curve developmentally. Keeping up with those other babies was good incentive. 
    I do know how you're feeling. We love our daycare--even with a few roadbumps along the way, but finances are tight. We've qualified for vouchers, but our current daycare does not accept them. Our home church is opening an infant room in their daycare within the next few weeks, and we will likely move her there, since they do accept vouchers. It also will give us an extra hour with her, since it's just down the street from us.
    Even with all the added benefits, I break down into tears every time I think of moving her from "Miss Annette," who will stop what she's doing and cuddle if I say she's had a hard night, and thinking about the other teachers' faces light up when Birdie does something new. I also worry because Birdie has some serious separation anxiety right now, and I know she is comfortable where she is. She hasn't even started going to the nursery during church service at our church.
    We develop a loyalty to the people we trust to take care of our precious babies, and that's hard to break sometime. Just remember that whatever decision you make, you'll likely to be more bothered by it than baby.
  • I would personally probably go with the daycare over the in home care. For me it is structured learning vs glorified babysitter. Yes, the woman may be a very lovely woman who takes fantastic care of the kids, but she is still only one woman with many kids to watch over, vs a daycare with teachers, aides, and frequently involved parent helpers. My 3.5 yr old started daycare school this semester and I've already seen him grow with regards to socialization with his peers, how he handles problem solving, and what he loves to do during his at home free time. It's not to say that I didn't try to get him socialization, but 2 times a week vs 5 days a week is a huge difference and it has been entirely worth it.
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  • From your email I think your gut is telling you to switch but you are nervous....I think you should switch.  Might be rough for a few weeks but better for many years....
  • maureenmcemaureenmce member
    edited October 2016
    Thanks SO much for all of the feedback, guys.  Especially helpful to hear from those who have seen the difference between home and more structured day care, developmentally.  We're going to tour the facility Monday am and decide that evening.  99% leaning toward yes, unless something just feels wrong on the tour.  Thanks again!!
    l4rk
  • Thanks for the update!  Hopefully it works out well for you and DD and maybe dropoffs and pickups will be a good bonding experience for baby and daddy
    KFrob
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