Daycare Update

The father’s day present L made for his dad at daycare! A little more sophisticated than what I think mommy could have drummed up . . .

As I peruse old posts and the various stages of my website which “used-to-be,” I realize that it has been a long time since I updated on L’s daycare situation. Selecting a childcare option for one’s own can be a difficult process – do you go for a nanny, an at-home daycare, or a formal daycare situation? Cost-wise, daycare settings can be as costly as sending a child to a private school, so it is good to feel secure in your choice.

Fortunately, we couldn’t be happier with the daycare setting we have chosen – which is the daycare based at T’s old workplace.  Knowing that the daycare was part of a large corporate setting made the choice an easy one for us. Many of T’s coworkers had children attending the daycare and to be able to serve the 300-odd children who are going to the daycare, you’d expect the school to be well supplied and well organized. The “indie” in me would love to choose an at-home option or to have the “personal touch” of a nanny, but having a formal daycare setting gives one significant advantages – the caregivers here are highly experienced, most with 6 years or more of experience providing direct childcare.  And they are used to a wide variety of chidlren with a wide variety of needs, and are able to adapt to the needs of parents. L will never forget the teachers he has had, who all show affection and care for him on a daily basis.

Adaptability to Children

When selecting a daycare, it is important to describe what your child is like and to find out how the daycare adjusts to fit your needs.  For example – it was really helpful to us that our daycare allowed us to start out part time and then transition later to full time, and they also were careful to allow each infant to have their own schedule in the classroom. As L was not initially much of a napper, it was really great that they were sensitive to his needs and allowed him to roam free when the other children were having naptime.  Now, out of his own volition and growth he has come to nap for several hours in the afternoon and did great but being eased into this schedule.

Adaptation to Parents’ Needs

I also like the adaptability of the center to my own needs as a parent.  Each concern or fear I had at the daycare enter was addressed with ease and concern. One of my big fears was making sure that breast milk I pumped for my son was adequately used and taken care of, and I know that, within the rules of the daycare, the providers did their best not to waste milk.  They also worked hard to ease my son’s transition to whole milk in his toddler class. I thought I was going to continue to pump for his full second year of life (I did not; I stopped pumping at 14 months or so), and knowing my concerns I was given the option to continue breast milk into the toddler years. I was even surprised to learn that they were willing to try cloth diapering for me. After we went through the process and what it would entail, I elected to use disposables (the idea of carrying diapers to and from the daycare on a daily basis just became too much for ue).  But the fact that L’s caregiver Linda was completely open to the idea was a huge help.

Now L is in the toddler classroom, and they continue to wow me with their adaptability to our needs. They always adjust his schedule if he is going to have an early dismissal, and if he comes in late they always save breakfast for him. The communication between us and the daycare is extremely high; we talk about L each day as I pick him up and my parents are free to come and go as they please to visit him or to pick him up.

A Variety of Experiences

Attending a daycare exposes our son to things we could never provide at home. Each day we come home with a detailed paper outlining what he did during his day, any significant events (including incident reports in the event of a fall), and we frequently have his artwork and photographs to enjoy.  He paints, works with cooking, pretend play, singing, reading, and interacting with other children. The intellectual stimulation there couldn’t be higher – they read and read to him and enjoy when he brings in books; they do all sorts of arts and crafts, and they have great gatherings involving parents to commemorate holidays like the center’s anniversary, Mother’s and Father’s Day, and “end of summer” bashes – all of which really help engage us in his school life. I am only too excited to sign L up for gymnastics at his daycare and I am pretty much hooked on this place overall. In the event that we move (which is possible within the next year or so), what will break my heart above all other things is having to discontinue his daycare and find a new place. I’m pretty sure that while whatever we find will be great, I will definitely have to sustain a withdrawal period from the wonderful world he gets to attend now on a daily basis.

Suffice to say that we couldn’t be happier having sent L to a daycare. Daycare can be a great experience for your child, so embrace it!