Friday, November 12, 2010

Meeting with childcare option #2

On Wednesday after my doctor's appt I went to visit a conventional daycare center to check it out.  I was going this one alone since J was still at work.

First impression was pretty good. They have a keypad on the front door for security purposes (I was buzzed in) and they have a computer where you clock your kid in and out so they can track what time they get there, who drops them off, who picks them up, etc.  Not bad.  The director, Jackie, came to get me and we started our tour.

First stop - infant room.  We walked in to a chorus of screaming babies, but I guess that's to be expected with 15 of them in there. Some were in cribs, some were playing on the floor, one little cutie was walking around carrying a bottle (which she then dropped on the floor and I was glad to see that it was washed off before being given back to her).  There was a woman rocking one baby and feeding him.  I confirmed that the babies are held when fed, never propped up and given a bottle.  They have a daily report that is filled out for each child and given to the parent each day.  There were separate changing stations for boys and girls, they use a crock pot to heat the baby bottles, and for the most part it seemed clean and not that bad. 

Then I watched one of the teachers, who had a baby in her arms, start to walk across the room and, not seeing another baby who was crawling on the floor, kicked him over and practically tripped over him. That baby of course started crying and she had to set down the one she was holding to pick him up and comfort him.  Now, I know that these things happen, but it wasn't the best thing for me to see as a prospective parent.

Then we went to the 'transitional room'.  That room is for 12 - 18 month old babies that are more active and need more activity. They don't put those kids in the restrictive toys like exersaucers because they want them to explore. Makes sense to me.  Each child has their own crib (as they do in the infant room) and there is a weekly curriculum, but she said they don't always get through it since these are 12-18 month old kids and things change.  All well and good.

Next up was the toddler room. There was one teacher in there and only a handful of kids. Most of them were outside on the playground. There are three separate playground areas for the different age groups.  To me, this room kind of smelled like pee. Needless to say I was kind of grossed out.

We made a quick walk through of the after school area. Six local schools actually have drop off to this daycare for kids who need to be watched until mom and dad get off work. Nice to know that they have something like that.

We made it to Jackie's office and went over some of the paperwork.  The moment of truth arrived with the rate sheet.  $187/week for an infant.  Cha-ching.  Natalie from Monday is looking better and better.  We can save $240/month with her - and our child would be in a smaller more personal environment. Hopefully not getting tripped over and stepped on.

So, I am definitely not sold on this place. At least as far as infant care. I really think I want the small inhome childcare for our baby as an infant and then at 18 months or so we will move to a traditional daycare.  We still have some looking to do, obviously, but this place is nowhere near the top of the list.

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