Friday, November 10, 2006

More waiting, but on a list this time

Today on my lunch break, we went to visit our first daycare. (What do you mean we can't just put The Baby in a crate during the day like The Dog??) We live in a part of town where daycares are very scarce, and while it's fantastic that we live so close to where I work (about two miles), that means that pretty much any drive to a daycare will be out of the way for me, and not that convenient for The Husband, either.

That is, except for this one daycare that we literally can see from our back deck.

I had some initial reservations about this daycare because it's affiliated with a church--and we are not church people. I think I wasn't as much nervous about a religion-heavy curriculum (which obviously wouldn't even matter as an infant anyway) but the possibility of being looked down upon for not being members of either that church, or any church, for that matter. But, it was very nearby and the best choice at least as far as convenience is concerned, so we decided to check it out.

We both loved it. The director was helpful and knowledgeable, and the teachers seemed friendly and caring with the children. The center voluntarily adheres to better-than-state-regulation requirements (for example, they're allowed to have ten infants per two teachers, but they choose to keep it at eight). The facilities were new (the center just opened in August) and tidy and seemed to offer a lot, including a decent-sized gym for playtime when the weather is poor and going outside to the playground is not possible. There seemed to be children from a wide range of ethnicities there, which I think is great for kids who are learning to be social with others their age. They're also planning to implement an afterschool program soon, which would come in handy when that time comes. Although the center is located at the church and it is owned by the church, there's very little actual association with the church, and religion and prayer are not incorporated into the curriculum. They keep their doors locked at all times and someone from the staff has to let parents/visitors inside the building. And, one of my favorite parts is that in addition to an open-door policy where you can visit anytime, they have webcams in all of the classrooms, and parents get a username and password that allows them to access the webcams from any computer, so you could check in on your child from work if you wanted. I can't tell you how much I love that.

The catch, of course, is that there's a waiting list and there's really no way they can tell us if we'll get in by early May when we need it since it depends on so many things. They're about to start cleaning the list to get rid of people who put their names on multiple lists but never called back to say they didn't need a spot, but that may or may not help us's just hard to tell. But between the convenient location and our positive visit to the center, it's definitely our first choice, and we added our names to the list. We were told to call back in mid- to late January to check on our status on the list, though they still might not know if there will be room.

More waiting.

While looking for back-up options, I accidentally stumbled upon something else that may or may not work out. I did a search on our local jobs site, intending to check the availablility of in-home providers as a possible option, when I ran across a job listing for a daycare that's due to open in January and is in the process of hiring its staff right now. The big disadvantage there is that there's no track record for the facility because it's new, but it's possible that others don't know about it yet (they haven't advertised about accepting children yet, just for staff positions) and there might not be a waiting list (yet). And the good thing about this one is that it's about a mile from my office (so, about three miles from home). It's definitely something we're going to look into, though I think the first daycare is still our first choice, at least for right now.

What we may end up needing to do is find a daycare that can get us in when we need it, and stay on the list at Daycare #1 until they have an opening, then switch to that one. It may mean driving out of our way (pretty significantly) for a while until a spot opens up, but it doesn't seem quite as bad if we know it's temporary.

Are you really sure I can't just let The Dog and The Baby share a crate while we're at work??


At November 11, 2006 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I threaten to leave my kids in the crate all the time. :)

Wouldn't that be great if everything worked out perfectly? At least you guys are exploring options earyl and not waiting until the last minute.


At November 11, 2006 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, the child care dilemma. But, it sounds like you found some very viable options. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you to get into the center of your choice!

I honestly think my kid would enjoy a crate. ;-)


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