Or rather, I should say, searching for daycare sucks! Wait a minute, you ask, why are you looking for daycare NOW? You’re not even due until July, and aren’t you taking time off work after baby is born? The answer to that question is yes, I am taking 4-6 months off work...and I don’t want to spend that time stressing over finding daycare for the little guy. Surprisingly, finding infant care is proving to be harder than I expected.
I’ve visited two daycares so far. The first, an in-home daycare, was right up my alley. They took the steps to get certified as an eco-healthy daycare, they have 1 employee dedicated to the babies and 1 dedicated to the older kids, they are affordable and I really liked the approach they take with encouraging brain and muscle development in their infants. There were only two downsides to this daycare: (1) they don’t offer a part-time rate (not such a big deal, since my post-leave work schedule isn’t finalized yet and their full-time rate was still really reasonable), and (2) they have no infant openings. Umm, that downside #2 is a deal breaker...DARN!
The second one I visited, a Montessori school, gave me a bad vibe from the very beginning. They were unorganized, they didn’t even ask me my name before they let me in and showed me around the place (while the kids were there, no less), the location was not at all convenient for Karl or me, the infant room had an overwhelmingly strong scent of bleach and the people there didn’t seem to actually know anything about nor practice anything Montessori-related. When I asked them what a typical day was like in the infant room, they said that they really just let the babies set the schedule. Umm, how about tummy time, active learning, singing/sign language, physical touch, cuddle time, reading, etc? No, none of that? You just let the babies decide what they want to do all day?? This one got graded a solid F by me, so it’s been crossed off the list of potentials.
We also had two other candidates – an in-home nanny and a Montessori school near my office. Both had great potential...until the nanny decided to retire and the Montessori school closed down. Ugh!
One other place near my office, that a lot of coworkers use, has no infant openings until January 2011 when they might have one. I inquired at this place in February, and they don’t have a SINGLE infant opening until next January?! Plus, they are one of the more expensive daycares around so I’d rather not go there if I can find another option that suits our needs.
Henry...can you watch the little guy for us? Guess not - those pirate duties take up too much of your time (just kidding, BTW, about having Henry be our babysitter!).
Which leads me back to square one in this search. My next step is to use a place called Child Resources, which is similar to an apartment finder service but for daycare. Here’s my wish list:
(1) A somewhat convenient location so that Karl and I can share in the drop-off and pick-up duties without either one of us going completely out of our way.
(2) Agreeable to cloth diapers and breast-feeding.
(3) Eco-conscious in their cleaning practices.
(4) Affordable (which, in the Seattle area, means I’m hoping to get by at less than $1,500/mo for full-time).
(5) Practices some type of active learning that encourages motor functions and brain development from the very beginning. I love the concept of the Montessori method, but I’m open to anything that helps our little guy develop and progress like we want him to.
Is that too much to ask?? I guess time will tell, but until then I shall keep up the search!
Oh, and real quickly I want to mention that I've turned on comment moderation. This just means that if you post a comment (and I love getting comments!), it won't publish until I've accepted it. I've gotten a few odd comments lately so this seems like the best solution. And to the guy with 'Demon' in his name that left the rude comment (that has since been deleted) - this blog isn't really for perfect strangers (although I certainly don't mind the perfect strangers who stop by here!), but it was and is primarily for our family and friends who live all over the U.S. and the world...Washington, Oregon, California, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, (soon-to-be) North Carolina, Hong Kong, Thailand, etc. This is my way of keeping everyone up-to-date with what's going on in our lives, and I make no apologies for sharing personal details of my life and "thinking that anyone would actually care". Cheers! :)