Two weeks ago, Chris and I decided to change daycares for the kiddies. After a series of events that I just wasn’t comfortable with, we started looking around and found a daycare that was closer to our house. The format and systems that the daycare uses (ex. potty training, daily routine, curriculum, etc.), which is fine because we liked all of that about the other place. Our biggest criteria this time were the teachers. We wanted kinder, gentler teachers, and we really think we found them at our new daycare. The kids start at the new place on October 31, so we have one more week at our current daycare and then onward and upward.
The situation at the old daycare has been a little tricky, but I think I’ve handled them as best I can. On the day that the final incident happened at the daycare, I went to work fuming. And crying. And fuming some more. My first instinct was to pull the kids out that very day. But Chris convinced me that:
a) we had to give two weeks notice at the daycare
b) we didn’t have anywhere else to take the kids
c) we needed to talk to the administration at the daycare before we did anything
So, I cooled off at work and when I went to pick the kids up that afternoon, I stopped in to see the manager before I got them. Very calmly, I explained the problems I had seen and told her about the incident that had happened that morning. I told her that we expected more from our caregivers and that we had been very disappointed and concerned with the care Michael was getting. The manager listened intently, assured me that she would speak with with Bean’s teachers, and apologized for the problems we had experienced.
Nevertheless, Chris and I began our daycare search the next day. Once we found a daycare a few days later, I had to give notice at the old daycare. I really dreaded that. But actually, it wasn’t so bad. The next morning I dropped the kids off, I asked the front desk receptionist for a withdrawal form, completed it at the desk right there, and – voila! All done!
The kids are starting at their new daycare next Monday and while I’m really nervous for Bean Man, I know that this is really such a great thing. Not only will I feel better about his teachers, but because it’s a daycare in our neighborhood, he’ll be going to school with our neighbor’s kids and children that he’ll eventually go to kindergarten with. Not to mention, it’s so much closer to our house, so Chris can help with drop off and pick up now.
Looking back, there are a few things I would have done differently about picking a daycare. First, I wouldn’t trust other people’s judgment more than my own. I chose this daycare because so many people I work with had kids that went there and they had such glowing recommendations. But the fact is that even if 100 other kids had wonderful experiences, for some reason my kid didn’t. And I should have listened to my own voice instead of following everyone else.
Secondly, I would have looked closer to home for a daycare. It has been really rough to be the only parent responsible for regular pick ups and drop offs because when I started to notice problems, I didn’t have anyone else’s eyes to take a look around. Actually, Chris and I got into a little bit of a tiff over the whole situation. I was mad that he kept saying he didn’t know enough about the situation to help me decide whether to move the kids or not and I kept saying it should have been his responsibility to be at the daycare more (even though it’s over an hour away from his office). It wasn’t really either of our faults, but it was definitely something to learn from. When it comes to caregivers, I’m going to always prefer now that they are somewhere both Chris and I are close to so that we have two sets of eyes checking things out and the responsibility to make major decisions about them doesn’t fall just on one person.
Even though we’ve had this one negative experience, I am still a fan of daycare. When it’s a good one, it’s a place where my kids can learn and grow and be encouraged and stimulated. But if my kids are going to be in daycare, it had better be a place where they are happy and I am comfortable. My standards are high, but my kids are worth it.