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Thread: Going back to work...Picking a Daycare

  1. Hooked on the sauce
    devilwhiterose's Avatar
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    #1

    Help Going back to work...Picking a Daycare

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    Neither me or my hubby ever experienced "daycare". My folks had opposite workshifts so I was home with a parent all the time and DHs' grandpa watched him during the day.

    Unfortunately, for the little man, he's going to be in daycare all day, 5-days a week.

    I'm nervous and excited but I have no idea what to look for and what to ask when checking out daycares.

    Can ya help me out?
  2. Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta
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    #2
    i asked the same question

    there is good advice here, and i hope to see some more in your thread too

    daycare help

    teh only advice i can offer at this point is to visit as many as you can!
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    #3
    http://www.naeyc.org/

    This group accredits daycares. They have a really good reputation so you can see if you find something in your area. It was super impt to me to have some kind of outside objective measure of the place to put alongside my gut feeling when I went there. So, I did a lof of background investigation. Even if they are not with Naeyc the place should be able to show some kind of accreditation. In PA, there is something called Keystone Stars. Every state has something to rank daycares. Again, it wasn't the bottom line but it was something objective to measure.

    For infants, holding time was super impt. I didn't like to see a lot of swings or assistive devices. Mixed age is also nice for toddlers. I didn't like to see tv so if you see one ask how it is used and how long. Drop in several times and look and listen. They should welcome parental involvement. Handwashing and hygiene signs and practices are important. There should be signs about that. Cleanliness is also impt. No shoes in areas with crawling babies is impt. A policy about diaper check frequency is impt. A nice mix of toys is impt too. For me, I'm partial to wooden toys and exploratory toys so they were a plus. I like to see areas where mess is allowable--painting, playdough etc. Outdoor play area is also impt.

    DD started out with just another mom in her home from 6 months -1.5 years. She was the only child plus the woman's dd. It was perfect and those folk are still like her second family. At 1.5 she started daycare a few days a week and the sitter a few days a week. When she was 2 she started daycare full time. She's 3 now. Overall, it's been a good experience. I did find that I have to change her as she grows and her needs change. She started out in private places but now am liking public because of the stringent state standards that have to get met. For ex, if she falls or injures herself at school they have to fill out an incident report. They have to get outdoors a minimal number of hours per day. They have to clean up with a certain type of solution. Etc.

    And of course, the most impt thing is the teacher. Are they warm, loving, tough, knowledgeable, well educated for what they have to do, well experienced. Do they seem flustered, overwhelmed, unhappy? Ask about staff turnover and education. Sometimes parents will create online message board discussing their experiences with childcare. CA has Berkeley Parents Network for example. See if your area has anything online. And of course, google the hell out of the school. Sometimes, if they are public, you can find annual reports, audits and stuff online as well as the parent reviews.

    Good luck! I too never went to babysitters growing up so it was hard to put dd there but overall, it's been good. And now that she is old enough to talk my comfort level has increased even more. I go to her daycare all the time to read them stories or to do projects with them. You want a place that will welcome that kind of thing if it is something your schedule will allow.
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    #4
    Thanks for that site Marley!

    I'm not ready for this. I can already see myself dropping him off and bawling the whole way on my first day back to work.
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    #5
    It's not easy, I know!
  6. You may call me "Lippy"
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    #6
    Definitely do a LOT of looking. Check for state laws and talk to the teachers and the administration of the school. I toured tons of daycares for Peanut and got put on a lot of waiting lists. If it is anything like GA be prepared that they may not be able to take your little one right away. I was only able to get into 3 of the 6 that I listed for during the time that I need them for Peanut.

    The state of GA has a website that shows any state violations and complaints that a daycare has and how they answered them. It was quite an eye opener. I talked to a lot of the parents and toured the schools. For me, the stricter the rules the better. I wanted a place that didn't just use the bare minimum state laws but went above. I also wanted a high teacher to student/baby ratio and I wanted a place that was attentive not just to Peanut but to me. I didn't want somewhere that was just a "kid farm" that would brush me off as "one of those parents".

    I also had to think about location. With DH deploying, I needed to think about my work schedule and traffic and what is the most convenient for drop off and pickup. It is a lot to think about but you'll pick the right one.
    I would like to be with my for a while but thats what made me so tired in the first place!
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    #7
    We did a lot of research on the type of daycare we wanted and once that was decided it made it a lot easier. We also used a lot of instinct when looking at the place. See the kids in action - what are they doing, how are the teachers interacting with them. Also, if you can, consider have your kid go a few hours a couple different days.
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    #8
    Check out lots of places and trust your gut!!!!
    They'll probably schedule a tour for you (which the staff will be forewarned about) so I also suggest just popping in one day for a surprise visit. I worked at a Five star facility for a few years and there were still things I didn't like about that place and people I would never trust with my children working there.
    Ask lots of questions. The ratio, the schedule, how they communicate with the parents, etc.
    I hope you find a good one for your little guy.

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    #9
    Are you looking for a daycare center? Or a licensed daycare provider? Personally I'd look into both.I'd ask the daycare center.How often they clean, and sanatize there toys and there room. How many worker will be in the room.So it will be adequate.

    A daycare provider.I'd ask them to show you all the training they've completed.If they have a handbook.That you can take home.And ask them could you come for a visit.To see how she interacts with the children.How often she disinfects the toys,daycare area.What kind of activities she does with the children


    A licensed daycare provider would most likely be able to spend more time with your child.Because there only allowed to have so many kids in there home!



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    #10
    I'd go through the base if I ever needed to put our kids in daycare.
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