Thursday, November 13, 2008

We have daycare!

I wanted to get daycare out of the way since places fill up fast. So many of the providers I called either knew they'd have no openings when we needed it in October (I'm taking 12 weeks off from work after the baby arrives in July) or wouldn't know till next summer. I didn't want to put it off till then.

I ended up finding a licensed in-home daycare in our area...a 5-minute drive away...who would have a vacancy when we need it. She told me over the phone that she's been licensed for 15 years (with no negative reports...I checked), she has 3 kids of her own (ages 18, 6, 20 months), and she has a part-time assistant who has 7 grown kids and 6 grandkids!

We interviewed her Monday night and I visited on Tuesday when the kids were there. I also talked to two moms whose kids go there, and my husband talked to one of the dads (via email...turns out they work for the same company). They all gave her glowing reviews and are very happy with the care she provides and all said they would recommend her to their friends and family. We went over last night and paid a retainer fee (equal to two weeks of care) so she will keep the spot, which becomes vacant in August, open for us.

She operates the daycare out of her basement (a walk-out) and it was very clean and organized. There were posters with baby sign language, the alphabet, colors, shapes, numbers and also a poster with all of the kids' birthdays on it. Lots of toys and books but they were all put away on shelves and toyboxes. No clutter at all. The yard was large and had lots of play stuff, too.

The infants (18 months and younger) sleep in portable cribs in a separate room; the older kids nap in the main room on mats. Also, the infants are only in the other room while they are sleeping or getting diaper changes; otherwise they are in the main room with the other kids in bouncers, swings, etc. so they aren't just lying in a bed all day long and secluded.

She teaches a preschool program to the older kids (ages 3-5) which includes sign language. The younger kids also learn stuff since they're in there, too.

She also particpates in the USDA food program so other than breastmilk, we don't have to supply any other food which will be nice. I won't have to pack containers of baby food, snacks, etc. each day.

When I visited they were just getting ready for lunch (ravioli, green beans, applesauce and milk) and her assistant was leading the 5 older kids in prayer at a little table. The younger ones were in little chairs with trays attached on the floor and she and the assistant fed them. After lunch, the younger ones (4 total) walked into their room to take a nap. Very orderly and no fussing at all. She fed the baby and then took him in as well. I was very impressed with how organized and scheduled everything was.

The kids at the daycare were all nicely dressed and well-groomed...none of them looked "ghetto" if you know what I mean. lol....

I'm happy with our decision and glad it's out of the way. One less thing to worry about!

Here's a picture of her house:


kikimonster said...

That must be a relief to get that out of the way. But a 18 year old and a 20 MONTH old? God bless her!

RooBabs said...

Holy cow! You are on the ball!! Day care is probably my biggest worry about starting a family, since we definitely can't afford for me to be a SAHM. Then again, most daycare is super-expensive, so hopefully I'll be as lucky as you when the time comes.

But at least I know now that I'll have to start looking around early.

The place sounds perfect, and it seems like a great fit. Way to go!

ptg said...

Wow, you ARE on top of the ball! We figured out daycare in June (Pnut was born in September)...but like you said, tons of places fill up and waiting lists are definitely no fun.
Glad to hear it's all figured out and you can start with the fun stuff soon!

Amanda said...

Wow!!! You are so lucky to find a quality in-home daycare! The house is beautiful, and obviously well run and organized!

c said...

That was fast! But it's better to be on top of this than waiting around a few more months. Sounds like a great place for your baby. It must be such a hard decision to decide between different places.