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I'm so confused about the daycare situation! Most likely we are going to do a center day care, so I've been visiting some that are nearby and recommended by friends.
Daycare A: $40 more a week, not flexible with teachers taking kids out over the summer (you can lose your spot or have to pay full time to keep it), won't guarantee a spot in Dec (if another person with an infant comes along sooner and is paying full time they will take them first) but had great talking points on the tour including developmental curriculum even for the babies and preschool teachers with early childhood degrees, only 8 infants total
Daycare B: $40 less a week, very flexible with teacher schedules, will hold a spot til Dec for sure, but the infant room can have up to 18 babies (13 were there when I toured!), teachers don't all have early childhood degrees
DH thinks it is a clear choice to Daycare B due to the money and flexibility. Even though the ratio of caregivers is the same, so many babies in one room was overwhelming! The preschool teachers not having degrees also makes me nervous, DH thinks I'm overthinking--says if we aren't happy then we can switch in 3-4 years when the baby is really learning stuff at daycare and it actually matters.
I would say daycare B. The flexibility is important, after all, if the first daycare gives away your spot over the summer or fills up before December, it doesn't matter if the teachers have degrees, right?
But I'd also say, degrees would not be as important to me at this young age. Everything- EVERYTHING- is a learning experience for a baby. Even just looking at a tree or touching a stuffed animal. You have to put your baby where you feel comfortable, but you also don't want to disrupt his schedule later on by potentially having to switch caretakers once you've gotten comfortable.
Good luck with your decision!
I worked Daycare for 8 years. I've NEVER EVER EVER seen a room with more than 9 infants. HOWEVER, it depends on your classification of infant. A true infant room ends at a year however there are "infant/toddler" rooms that are just larger rooms divided that accomidate up to age 2.9 (again I'm going of of MA, NH regs) I would look into your state regulations regarding classroom rations and stuff and go off of that. Each state is different. Regarding the certifications it is also different per state. For example in MA you have a Department of Ed EEC that has a certification requirement that you assist in a room for X months and then take X classes to be certified. If you are going for Infants/Toddler you cannot be a 'teacher' in another room unless you have that EEC license. (And yes INfants and toddlers are combined). The "ratios" of kids in the room is dependent upon ONE teacher certified at all times and x amount of 'teaching aids' which can just be high school kids that pass a background check. In NH there is no licensing program but instead a person must have completed 12 college credits in an education program and most centers require them to be WORKING on a childhood ed degree or some variation. I have to say when it comes down to daycare go with the CARE vs. the "curriculum". We have some INTENSE structured programs here curriculum wise but 9 out of 10 times there is just not enough time in the day to get things done. Also the larger the classroom the less "interaction" is going to be done because transitions take longer (speaking from personal experience) the time it takes to prep-diaper-wash-sanitize 4 children is a very different time frame to 10 children. The more kids there (especially dependent ones) the longer it takes for things to get done. meals, naps, etc. PERSONALLY, I would go for the smaller program. I've worked in different centers and what they REALLY do is not always what they SAY they do. Kind of shiny cover deal. So don't be afraid to ask questions, get involved and speak up if you see something you don't like. I actually just pulled my girls from a center because they were saying they were giving them juice when it turns out they were expecting my 18 month old to get her ONLY water out of an open face cup. A skill many 2 yr olds haven't mastered. Be openminded and ask lots of questions. Sorry for the spillage but hope it helps a bit
^Yes that! While I think it's great that teachers have ECE degrees, a lot of "teachers" at day care centers get their spots based on experience. I have a friend who currently works for a child care center. She took some classes but mostly has been babysitting and raising her own children for the last 6 years. They considered that "work-related" experience. As long as everyone knows CPR and first aid on young children and infants, has passed a thorough bg check, and *feels* like good people to me, I'd be happy with "B".
I've provided childcare in my home off and on over the last couple years. I don't have an ECE degree but then I'm not teaching the infants and toddlers anything a loving mother wouldn't teach them.
I would say most definitely daycare B. Unless they are of "preschool" age, I don't see the importance of an ECE degree. Just because someone has that degree doesn't mean they have better knowledge of how to care for an infant. My MIL had a licensed home daycare for 18 years and I worked with her for a few years. Neither of us had degrees in ECE but we had a TON of experience with infants and toddlers between the two of us.
If there is a daycare willing to hold a spot NOW for December and hold your spot over the summers, that is amazing, just make sure you understand if you have to pay anything while they are holding your spot. The reason I say that is because I have never in my life heard of a daycare holding a spot without some form of weekly payment, even if it is half off the regular tuition. The typical situation you hear about is what you described for Daycare "A".
Overall, I'd say if daycare B really checks out and you read the fine print and check the state regs, etc, then go for it!
^That's true. I don't know of any around here willing to hold a spot over 6 months in advance, and definitely not without some sort of monetary payment to hold that spot. Actually, any parent that ever looked for childcare for an infant that I interviewed with, was usually looking within the last month of pregnancy and/or during their maternity leave. It's nice to have an idea in advance of where you'd like to have them go, but I think you might want to wait a bit until it's closer to that time frame before you commit. Also, you might have a very needy baby who would do better in a home-care setting (I suggest if you go that route you make sure they have either state licensing or if they are license-exempt that they have their fingerprinting and background check completed recently).
Krissy, mom to three lovely little girls and one sweet little boy LOGAN THOMAS born 8/19/12
They both check out fine as far as being qualified, and both of them have the same ratio for the infant rooms (4:1). Daycare B did have four teachers in there with the 12-13 babies.
Daycare B does require a registration fee and the first week of tuition to be paid to hold a place, which is fine with me. Daycare A just feels better to me. I asked another teacher today about losing the spot, and she said she pulls her kids out every summer and never loses her spot...I'm wondering if they work with you more than the "official policy" once they get to know you.
I'm torn about the in home situation too. I was thinking a center would be better because then the baby wouldn't have to transition when it was time for preschool, and I wouldn't worry about a single care giver getting sick or something happening where they wouldn't be able to watch the baby.
My daughter goes to a daycare center and around this time each year they send a letter home asking who is keeping their kids in the summer and if they plan to return. If returning, they need to pay their application fee in order to hold their spot all summer. Lots of teacher parents I know keep their kids in two days a week to help with adjustment once they go back to school for the year.
I'm a firm believer in two things: 1..you need to be comfortable with the center regardless of the price. Your child will be there a lot so if $40 a week we are talking but you love center A, do it. 2....you get what you pay for (at least in my state). Bella's daycare is not cheap but I am completely comfortable with her there. All teachers have a early childhood degree and the head teach needs to keep up with their credentials.
In the infant room, Bella's teacher taught them sign language, something she learned in school. I LOVED that!!
Think about keeping your little one in a few days a week during the summer...trust me when I tell you that you will be better off. I see the kiddos who come back after a whole summer off and they are struggling bad with being back...breaks my heart Plus, it gives you the freedom to get things done and if you need to do any teachers days....
sorry this is a book but I did a TON of research when Bella went in
The daycare DD is in has a 4:1 ratio for infants, which I think is not bad compared to other places, but it's still hard for the teachers to handle (they can only feed and hold one baby at a time). When she was a baby they had 2 teachers and 8 babies in that room.
Baby Caleb - born on Sept. 15, 11.31 pm, 8 lb. 15 oz.