Jul 14, 2011

The Search for A Daycare

Last week we found ourselves in search of a new daycare provider. Wednesday I worked from home as Lauren had a doctor’s appointment that would take a few hours that morning. Well, that appointment yielded some bad news for all of us, especially Lauren and London. Lauren has some back problems that are now requiring more doctor attention and treatments that will numb her back. The doctor is placing lifting and movement restrictions on her because of numbing factor. Days that she actually receives treatment she will have to spend in bed. This means she can’t watch London for us any more.

We are so sad to be losing Lauren as our primary care provider for London. London loves her so much. The two doors down commute has been so nice and easy. All we have to do in the morning is get London up and walk her down in her PJs with a change of clothes in hand. Days Cameron is home working, he often lets London sleep in, waiting until she wakes up naturally. Lauren has even been kind enough to let us extend London’s time with her into the evenings so we can catch a movie or do yard work. And she’ll still be available to watch London for us on the occasional evening.

After our experience with an accredited daycare center a few months ago and the huge price tag attached to it, we decided we needed to focus on in-home daycares. The bigger problem was we have no recommendations to go on. All the kids we know that require daycare are either not located near us, or our neighbors, who some how all have grandparents available for childcare or have schedules that allow one parent to be home at all times. One neighbor we talked with actually asked us to let them know how our search goes and what we find, as they are looking to place their two-year-old daughter in daycare a couple days a week to get her more socialized.

Luckily, I remembered an in –home daycare’s web site I had found and was impressed with when I was pregnant. The owner/provider’s home is about 10 minutes away from us. I’d never further investigated it though since after being laid off I had no clue when I would need such services again and then we’d made such great arrangements with Lauren that we had never needed to. Thursday I sent an email inquiry just to see if this lady had the availability. The owner, Miss Victoria, called me back later that day. By the time we’d hung up, I’d scheduled a visit for Cameron, London and myself for Friday evening.

Everything checked out pretty good. We felt comfortable with Miss Victoria and her set up. She has a high capacity license, so London would be with 9-11 other children, but she also has an assistant, so the caretaker to child ratio is more like 1:4 or 1:5. She takes the children to a park two blocks away every day and lays the day out like pre-school. She even feeds them breakfast through afternoon snack and has taken nutritional courses to ensure the kids are served healthy offerings. On top of that, she brings in a professional photographer 1-2 times a year for pictures that we can then opt to purchase, and she tries to bring in special visitors like the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus throughout the year. During our visit, she also asked a lot of good questions about London to access whether she’s be a good fit for the kids she already watches.

On Google, Miss Victoria has several raving reviews from parents who have had their kids with her, some for over two years. By Friday night, I’d emailed her for references, who I spoke to Tuesday evening. More raving reviews from two mothers who had been using Miss Victoria’s services for 1 and 3 years.

I feel I’ve done my due diligence and my gut says this will be a good place for London and could be for the long-term, even until she starts Kindergarten. So we’ve started the process of enrolling London with Miss Victoria. She’ll start August 15th, possibly sooner. I’m a little worried about the adjustment for London, as she will no longer receiver one on one attention, but at the same time I know this will be a good experience for her. It will do her good to be around other kids and begin to get the social interaction on top of the jump start in education. But at the same time I know she and Lauren are going to miss each other. And I know it’s hard for Lauren to give up her daily companion, even when London can be a bit tiresome.

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