Day Care Centers


I love when he puts his hands in his pockets!

Tonight we put in our “two weeks notice” that we are leaving Winwood. We’ve been soul-searching for a while, and we finally can’t handle it there anymore. We pay top dollar there–one of the highest weekly rates around. And what do we get for it? Well, we do get some amazing teachers: Ms. Patricia, Ms. Chanelle, Ms. Stephanie, and Ms. Youn. I’m sad these teachers won’t get to meet or care for Harper.

And the rest? More to come…

 

Our little monkey!

 

 

On the Friday before Halloween, Jacob’s daycare center had a Fall Festival.  The older kids decorated their classrooms, went through a “not so scary” haunted house, and pigged out on pizza.  Everyone was supposed to dress up and there was going to be a parade around the building to show off the costumes.

I got off work early and was so excited because this was the first “real” thing we were doing at Jacob’s “school.”  I know there will be many more to come, but to say at work, “I have to go to my son’s Fall’s Festival” was just a neat experience. My mom and dad came too, so little J had four adults to hang out with him.

At first they said the babies wouldn’t participate in the parade because it was a little cold. Jayde’s mom was there–and we said the babies had to be in the parade! I have to say, they were the best part of the parade.  They were so cute!

Well, Jacob started daycare, not me! I went back to work full-time after taking off 18 weeks. I think it was a tough adjustment for both of us. For me, it was hard to leave my precious little guy. For him, he just had a hard time waking up early. We get up at 5am to start the day, which is a far cry from the 9am wake ups of the past. Luckily, Jacob can sleep at daycare while I actually have to function at work.

The daycare said they could use cloth diapers if I got a note from Jacob’s doctor. Thankfully, our Dr. was willing to write him a note. At first, the ladies were worried about the cloth, but after I went in and showed them how easy it would be for them, they thought it was a great idea. Each night this week, when I go to pick him up, we have long talks about cloth diapers. The ladies think if everyone knew how easy they were to use, more people would be using them. For daycare, I send him with Thirsties. These are so similar to regular disposable diapers that it seemed like a good choice. What I really like about these diapers is that the inserts come out automatically in the wash. With other pocket diapers you have to pull the insert out before throwing them in the wash. Since I come home with a wet bag full of a day’s worth of dirty diapers, I appreciate not having to go through the bag and pull out inserts from all the diapers.

On Monday, I arrived with Jacob, a huge bag of cloth diapers, changes of clothes, a blanket for his crib, and more bottles than he should use in one day. Since I breastfeed Jacob at home, I never know how many ounces of milk he drinks at one sitting. I had read that babies should only eat 1 – 1.5 ounces of breastmilk for every hour they are away from mom. That would have meant sending in 10-15 ounces (or three bottles with 5 ounces in them). But when my mom or friends watch him and give him a bottle, he will sometimes eat 6 ounces and cry for more. So, I sent three 5 ounce bottles and three 1 ounce bottles. Each day this week, however, I’ve come home with more bottles with milk still in them. Today, Friday, I only sent him in with three 5 ounce bottles. That seems to be the magic amount.

On that first day Jacob was great. I passed him off to Mrs. Stephanie and he never looked back. I had to talk to myself the whole way out the door to keep myself from crying. Jacob takes a lot cues from how I act, so I wanted to be strong for him. When I got out to the car, I teared up a little, but by the time I was out of the parking lot, I was good to go. I had to get my game face on for the traffic that was ahead.

One of the main reasons we picked Winwood was because they have Toddler Link video cameras in each room. From my computer at work I can log in to see how little Jakey is doing. We also get guest accounts so that grandparents can also look in if they want. I think most of my week was spent watching him at daycare. For the most part, I can tell he’s happy and having a fun time. But there are other times when I see him crying and no one is sprinting to him, picking him up, and planting one million kisses on him like I would if I were there. But, then again, I don’t want them kissing and hugging him!

I just keep telling myself that this good for him. Since I’m the only one at home right now, he was starting to get really attached to me. I know this interaction will help him be a little more “stranger” friendly. He’s also getting to see older kids crawl and walk, which I hope will encourage him to roll over 😉

A full body shot of his first day of school outfit

Happily helping me get together his bottles in the morning

While Hayden was still in town we visited four day care centers in the area.  I had done my research and came up with questions to ask at each center.  The best part about our visits was seeing all the little kids!  There some really flirtatious little boys in those centers.  Too cute!

After visiting all four we came up with our list of the top three.  Right now we are waiting to see if we will be moving next November.  If we are, we probably won’t put the G Baby in day care.  But, if we are going to be around for awhile we need to make this decision and get on a wait list.

1.  Kinderworks.  This is right around the corner from where we live.  Besides being close, we both really like the teachers in the infant room.  This is the day care that had the open house one weekend. We also went back during the week to see the teachers in action.

Kinderworks teaches Baby Sign Language, which I really like.  They also have video cameras in each room so family can log on using a secure site and watch the kids! We would get five accounts to share with grandparents and siblings!

Once the kids get out of the infant room they move around between rooms a lot and have different activities in each space:  language arts, science, math, and gym [all age appropriate, of course, and with specialized teachers].  The only tuition option is 5 days a week; this is the most expensive day care for infants.

2.  Kindercare.  This center is about 10 minutes from our house.  This school was very open and light and the associate director we spoke with was very welcoming. The infant room was clean and bright, and the teacher was friendly.  They do not teach Baby Sign Language or have video cameras, and the kids are in the same room all day.

The bright spot about this center is the flexible tuition.  We could bring Baby G two days a week, three days a week, or five days a week either for full days or half days. If we stay in the area after Hayden returns, maybe I could work part-time and the flexible schedule here would allow us to pay only for the day care we would use.  This tuition is the cheapest of the three for infant care.

3.  Winwood.  This center is about 15 minutes away from our house.  It seemed like the other two centers were a little newer and brighter.  Winwood does teach Baby Sign Language and has the video cameras like Kinderworks.  Tuition here is only for 5 days a week and ranks number 2 price-wise.

Right now we are just waiting to see where we will be living at the end of 2010.  I think we have some really great day care centers in the area.  I would love to stay home with Baby G, but I just don’t think we can afford to live in this area on only one salary.  The decision will be to go to our number one center, but pay more; or choose number 2 or 3 and pay a little less.  Oh, the decisions we will have to make!

A new day care center opened within walking distance of our house.  On Saturday there was a public open house.  Hayden and I went to check it out, but were overwhelmed with all the questions we knew we should be asking.

We liked the philosophy on which they operate, we were extremely impressed with everything we saw…but it was the first center we have visited.  I think next week will be a flurry of visiting centers since Hayden leaves next Saturday.  In this area, people get on waiting lists BEFORE they are even pregnant.  And we found out there are two kinds of waiting lists:  free and deposit requested.  Including a check with your application apparently moves you to the top of the waiting list.  Once we pick a center, we will pay the application fee.