So are you using/planning to use a Daycare Center or an In-home Daycare?
Just wondering...I am in a research phase and can't decide on which one to go for...but I know I need to make a decision soon!
Center. We had the same reasons that the PP's did. It was also a flexibility issue for us. All of the in-home daycare providers around here wanted to you to pick up by 5:30. That was just not doable for us. Plus, the issue of sick time/vacation time was a problem for us too. You never have to worry about that with a center.
Having said that, I wouldn't have absolutely ruled out an in-home daycare had we found the right one with the right people. Plus, there were definitely centers that we would never have considered. We have a center with a very "homey" feel. Plus, they only take six babies (in their own room, away from the "big" kids), so we knew DD would get plenty of attention.
DD is at an in-home center and has been since she was 6mo old. Honestly, I wanted her at an in-home center in the beginning because I hated the idea of her being in a room with a bunch of other infants. I fully intended on moving her once she was a year or so. But I love where she is SO much that I'm not moving her anywhere!
If the in-home center is licensed then they have certain standards that they must comply with. That keeps the numbers down and ensures that the curriculum is up to par. That being said, DD is thriving where she is. Her DCP is hispanic and so DD knows both English and Spanish. Plus I can totally see how much the DCP loves the kids. It a home and the DCP's DH is often there. He loves the kids too!
ours is the perfect hybrid! it's a daycare center in a home. the first level of the home is dedicated entirely to the daycare operation. there are two providers (and one main substitute), who are an older woman and her DIL.
the place was rec'd by several people, including a parent whom i had known for several years.
after making a list of the features we wanted in childcare, we decided that an in-home center was what we wanted, so we set out looking for in-home providers who had dedicated space for a daycare (as opposed to an in-home provider who just kept a few kids for income). we found a huge difference in the quality of care, of facilities and of qualifications, etc.
we also made a list of things we wanted to see when i did visits:
- happy children
- clean facilities
- happy providers
we weren't so interested in seeing clean children, b/c that usually means they aren't having much fun! i was also not so disturbed by runny noses, b/c kids have runny noses. they just do. you can wipe all damn day long. they will run right after you wipe. now, crusted snot, different story!
We love our in-home provider. But, found her through a referral service - we don't pay her directly - we pay them, they pay her. They also do unannounced checks periodically - and, provide her with some basic training. If she's sick or on vacation, they find us a replacement.
We couldn't be happier. DD loves her. She loves DD. The other kids love DD. She's smiling when I drop her off, and smiling when I pick her up.
Will do! Thanks ladies for all your feedback!
Have a nice day!