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So someone at my work pointed out that they waited for a spot at a day care center for 15 months (even before they were really trying). And that freaks me out, so I think the next month, the bf and I will have to go look at and find day care centers.
How do I find reliable, well liked, safe, educational places? Do I just go try out every one that is in google?
I've only used daycare one time and that was while I was back home. The place I went to didn't have a wait list for any of my kids. It was also nice because it was owned by a girl I went to high school with.
I would call around to some in the area and see what their policies are on sick children. I have a friend of mine who had a horrible time with her daycare because of their sick policy. You'll also want to check several in the area just for the rates. Where I am, it is nothing to pay $1500-$2000 a month for child care for 1 child, thus the reason I am a SAHM. I would also ask the places if you can come in and tour the facility and meet some of the teachers/workers.
Is there anyone you can ask where you live? People usually have a lot to say about their day cares. I toured maybe five when I first arrived in town with my son when he was 8 months old. We switched three times until we found one that we liked (none were bad, it was more of a location/cost issue than anything). We are now on the waitlist at three places for baby #2, and even then, I feel like we might not get a spot! Going to do some more hunting in a couple weeks...
Mama to two boys (6 and 2 years old) and expecting a third in August!
Call your city. Ask for a list of licensed daycare's in your zip code. My city sent me a bunch of info. Then I showed up at the daycare unannounced and asked for a tour. Online there are some lists of good questions to ask.
I am actually in college right now taking Early Childhood Education and i will be going back next september to finish my last year and the baby will need daycare starting in December 6 months old I am in placements all over the city at the daycares right now. Make sure you look for a HIGH quality daycare. Go to the center and observe how they interact with the children. I am putting my baby on the waiting list next week once my holidays start.I didn't put my girls in daycare until they were much older so i've been in panic mode about leaving my baby. I asked around with my teachers and they recommended 2 and said to stay away from all the rest because of poor quality. You need to be able to trust whoever you are leaving your baby with and if you don't it will be so much harder.Ask to see their Philosophy statement. Every center has one and it just outlines what they think are the most important things for children and you can get a jist of what they beleive. Just take your time and don't rush and just make sure you are comfortable with your choice. Good Luck!
Here is my advice for infant day care... in my experience... they hire really good people for the toddler and up day care... but they figure that there isnt alot to infant care.... so thats where they put the people that are... eh... not amazing. Im not trying to scare you... just look at the people working in the infant facility. Are they being kind and loving with the children? Are they providing more than just basic essentials like eating and sleeping (aka are they playing with your child and providing mental stimulation)? Do they provide you information on what went on during the day (since your baby cant talk)? Do they have a webcam so you can peek in during the day(many do)? Talk to parents of other infants there... ask em what they like and try to find out what they dont like.
I think the most important question for day care of any age is what the ratio is. The better the ratio, the safer it will be, and the more 1:1 attention your child will get. I have up and left a day care because the ratio wasnt good and I felt it wasnt safe for the children. I didnt want to be a part of that. And when they give you the ratio... think about what it would be like with one less person, is it still good? People are constantly leaving to talk to parents, go to the bathroom, or attend to a specific student so the ratio is usually one less than advertised. (For example: I worked in a class once of 3-5 year olds. It was a 8:1 ratio. But the other teacher in the classroom was constantly leaving to do things for class. Also we were supposed to leave on our breaks. Leaving 1 person with 16 3-5 year olds. Not good.)
Look for Montessori schools in your area... many of them have "daycare" infant programs and people wouldnt think to look there for them. Montessori is also an excellent teaching method, if you child stays there longer. (Make sure its American Montessori... they are a little less anal about their techniques)
Try to talk with the women that work in the infant room. (you may not be able to, since they are busy)... but if you can, size them up... see if they are knowledgeable.
Make sure you ask how many people are CPR/First Aid certified. Especially the number in the infant room.
The National Association of Family Child Care has a searchable database online... you can look for accredited day cares in your area.
Ask if your baby with have his/her own bed. Alot of times they share.
Lastly, look at the cleanliness of the place. Give it the real white glove treatment. Your baby is gonna have all those toys in his/her mouth, and you have to make sure they clean them.
Thats all the wisdom I can come up with Good luck!!!
Where do you live that the wait is so long? I know NYC has an insane daycare/preschool system.
you can google child care resource and referral for yoru state, and find a local agency,they can provide you a list of the liscensed daycares in your area, and you can start from there.
I'm waiting until Feb and then I'll talk to the center that I've been using about saving me a spot in the baby room. they will take siblings before they take new babies, so I should be okay. though I need to let them know asap. soif it won't work out I can find a back up plan
I worked in daycares and I found that the people in the baby room (and the rest of the center) love the babies and treat them well and shower them with attention and love. Personally, I am going to stay home for awhile once the baby is born, just a personal choice that I'm fortunate enough to make right now. But as long as you meet the infant caregivers and they give you a good feeling, I wouldnt hesitate to leave your baby in their care and sometimes they often become almost "part of the family" since they spend so much time with your baby.
Definitely tour and ask tons of questions. We visited two places very near our home and chose the one with the more flexible plan options (one you could only choose 5 day/week for infants but ours you can do a variable number of days which works well with my schedule (3 x week).
Something I didn't appreciate until we started: ask how they handle breast milk & formula- my place was great but I've heard horror stories.