Why did you choose your Day Care provider? (For infant to 3)

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
  • poll: We currently use...
    Day Care Center : (7 votes)
    30 %
    In-home Center (not a relative or nanny) : (7 votes)
    30 %
    Nanny (In your home or baby share) : (2 votes)
    9 %
    Relative : (1 votes)
    4 %
    Parent stays at home (no day care) : (0 votes)
    Mixture (some days one type, some days another) : (0 votes)
    Mixture (one child in one type, another child in another) : (0 votes)
    I don't have children yet, just wanted to follow this post (and polls are fun!) : (6 votes)
    26 %
  • Post # 2
    42 posts
    • Wedding: May 2012

    We currently use a home day care, which costs us $200.00 per week and this is all we have ever used as I was overly found of the big centers I looked at.  To me the centers were too overwhelming and I felt like my son wold be just another number  rather than loved, not to mention the over 500.00 per week price tag made me want to throw up in mouth. Also, upon reading reviews about some of the centers was a lot of turnover and I really wanted consistency as much as possible. 

    Post # 3
    535 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    Bumping because I’m curious too!  Anyone have any advice??

    Post # 4
    512 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    We currently use: a Montessori-certified private Day Care Centre.

    Cost: $60 per day until 3 yrs of age when it drops to $50.

    ***Since I live in the province of Quebec, I can submit for reimbursement from the gov’t for a portion of the cost since daycare is subsidized here. Reimbursement is based on income & with both our incomes, we fall into the highest bracket so we are expected to pay 55% of the cost while the province pays the other 45%. Lower income families pay less. Some parents submit for this reimbursement throughout the year but we save it for tax time to make up for the fact that we pay taxes in two provinces (we work in Ontario but live in Quebec).

    We have always used this same center since DD was 13 months. I went back to work when she was 12 months & my mom watched her until our space opened up.

    What I like about daycare centers: Everything, she loves it & is learning so much. The teachers are serious about their work yet still affectionate & compassioante. There is a mix of nationalities and ages in both students & staff. I just really agree with alot of the Montessori approach but I think other centers can be just as good. I especially like their focus on nature & the outdoors, music, art & self-expression. I’m shocked at DD’s development but I think most parents feel that way regardless of thier child care.

    What I don’t like about home centers: I’ve seen/heard about some bad ones with kids stuck in an airless, windowless basement all day in front of a tv. But I especially don’t like the lack of accountability when there is only one person watching a group of children. In a center with multiple staff, they naturally watch each other. Also, I hate to do it but I tend to assume that most people run home daycrares so that they can stay home with their kids & make a bit of extra cash, not because they feel a calling to work with children. Also, anyone can run a home daycare, anyone! I know in Ontario, some home providers have been shut down & then simply re-open with a different location/name. There was a documentary on tv & I was horrified. It just makes me nervous, the only way I would do it is it is was someone I personally knew really well.

    I’m currently pregnant with #2 and our curent daycare would charge a flat rate of $900 per child, per month for more than 1 child. We would maybe also consider a nanny which would be a bit scary too but at least that way, there is more transparency & I’d have more control.

    Interesting fact: Oprah did a survey once that illustrated how most people are willing to spend way more per hour to have someone clean their house than they would pay for childcare! Scary!

    Post # 5
    512 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    Regarding PP’s comment about turnover…our center is really hard to get into & vacancies rarely become available. Our center only accepts kids 12 months or older (most moms here take the full 1 yr mat leave) & they do not allow parents to sign their kids up until they are born so there is automatically a one year wait.

    DD has been in with the same group of kids since the beginning. I know this also because they advertize upcoming spaces on the bulleting board & they are few & far between. I agree with PP that a high turnover would be worrisome and the lack of turnover tells me that they are doing something right.

    Post # 6
    4416 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    My daughter is about to turn 1, and has been attending the same daycare since she was 3 months old, when I went back to work. 

    We currently use— A private non-denominational Christian daycare center, with a baby room (7 babies), a toddler room (15 toddlers), and a preschool (25 kids)

    It costs (if you feel comfortable)— $46 per day, or ~$1k per month

    This is the only daycare we have used.

    What I liked about:

    Day Care Centers— I love a lot of things about this daycare! I love that DD gets to spend a lot of time interacting with children her own age. At this point, she is the oldest baby in the baby room and she is so bored of playing with babies and baby toys. She is ready to move up to the toddler room. One thing I find about in home daycares is that you’re probably going to have a wider range of ages all trying to play together, which is hard because kids develop so much during those first couple years … a 1 year old and a 2 year old will not want to play together at all! They have completely different interests. DD spending so much time around children that are within a few months of her exact age is wonderful for her development.

    I also like that there are so many different teachers rotating through during the day. It gets DD used to being watched by a variety of caretakers, so she doesn’t freak out the minute I leave the room. Most of the teachers at the daycare are young women with no kids of their own, so clearly they’ve decided to work at this center because they have such a love of children. Also, the fact that they aren’t going home to a house full of their own children means they have a lot of patience and really enjoy playing with the kids, since they know that once their shift is over, they can be kid-free for the rest of the day. Some people might consider this to be a negative, but I really think it’s a positive!

    I will admit that there can be some staff turnover, as the pay isn’t great and the girls are so young. One girl left to go to beauty school, another girl left to go back to college, a third girl left because she was pregnant and had a baby of her own. I don’t mind that people come and go, as long as the new people get to know the routines quickly. A new girl has been there in the mornings for the past two weeks, and she and DD already absolutely love each other. The girl has complained numerous times that she will be really sad when DD moves up to the toddler room. I like that. I never feel that DD isn’t getting enough love during the day!!

    In fact, part of me wonders if an in-home daycare would have more of a problem with this than a center. As PP pointed out, most in-home daycares are run by women with children of their own. So their focus might be more on their own kids, or they might just be plain sick of kids for the moment, or having a bad day, or whatever. I like that the daycare center has a more diversified staff so DD is never subject to the moods and whims of just one person.

    The main drawback, of course, is that policies have to be a lot stricter because they’re being applied to so many kids universally. This can be really annoying at times, and I’ve started threads to that effect in the past. But in the end, I think it’s worth the trade-off and I’m okay with dealing with some annoying policies in exchange for an otherwise wonderful daycare experience!


    Post # 8
    4416 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    KoiKove:  they have some really strict rules, especially regarding medication (which applies to diaper rash cream as well). For example, nothing can stay in their storage for longer than a week, which means I need to predict ahead of time when DD is going to need diaper rash cream so that I can bring it in and fill out a form for it. They have rules about food which make it kind of a pain to bring in your own food for older kids. Once DD moves to the toddler room, no more bottles for her. No white noise when she naps.

    Even though there are a lot of policies that I don’t fully agree with, none of them rise to a level where I say “f*** it, it’s not worth it to deal with this.” I’m going to be dealing with policies that irritate me for the rest of her childhood, since I don’t plan on homeschooling her, so I might as well just get used to it!

    Post # 11
    11760 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Currently use – A small (max 75 children infant – pre-K), family-owned Day Care Center. It costs $300/week which is on the low end here and I was actually shocked by how low it was considering how great the center is. 

    Past – Home day care.  My daughter lasted 5 days in home day care.  We spent a year on the waiting list to get her in and were really looking forward to it. We thought it woudl be great.  It turned out to be a total nightmare.  My daughter was asked not to return (with zero notice) because she “cried too much” (my child never cries.  I’m certain the provider couldn’t handle taking care of my 6 month old and her 3 month old.  Not sure how she planned to bring on even more children.)  It was a disaster situation for multiple reasons and it’s a blessing it happened anyways.  But, I won’t lie, I used to be all for home day care and now I will never send another child to home day care. I’ve just been really turned off by the whole situation.  

    Home daycare was nice because it was less expensive, less children (less illness) and just felt like my daughter would get more individualized attention (espeically when it was just her and one other baby). Clearly that didn’t turn out!  

    I love our center because it’s small and homey.  They only take 6 infants (one center I visited had 24 in one large room it was insanity).  We just kind of knew when we walked in and toured that it was where we wanted her to be. It felt right, the kids, staff and parents were all happy and polite.

    What I like about a center vs. home day care is more people around/accountability. In my state, home day cares and centers are subject to the same licensing requirements, policies, inspections, etc. But, there’s something about other people being around that increases your comfort level, at least after a bad experience like mine!  

    Cons of centers – no part time care for infants so I have to pay for the whole week even though I only use it 4 days) Typically meals aren’t included, but the center we are in does 2 meals and 2 snacks so that’s awesome!

    I think our center is pretty rare (in our area) in that it’s kind of the best of both worlds (home day care and a center).  For instance, they allow for flex schedules past 6 months (bigger centers I looked at put them all on a schedule at 6 months), they allow things like white noise, etc. to make baby more comfortable.

    My best advice is get on waiting lists NOW for anywhere and everywhere!  It doesn’t hurt to check places out either.  There’s a lot of research and interviewing to be done, so the more time you have to do it, the better.  When you find a facility that’s right for you, you’ll know.  Stay on waiting lists at places you don’t end up using just in case you need a backup.  Once your child starts, listen to your mommy instinct – if something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not!





    Post # 12
    191 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    We have an in-home nanny for our 18-month-old. She is here 4 days a week (I’m home the other day), but 40 hrs/week. We pay her $12/hr, so $480/wk prior to taxes. I could not possibly love our nanny any more than I do! She takes him to tons of activities (they went to the park and library for story time today), she does arts and crafts with him that I am not creative enough to do, he gets constant one-on-one attention so he is extremely verbal (he is speaking in full sentences, can count to 10, knows letters and colors), and he has never, ever been sick. We have nanny cams (she is fully aware) but truthfully we never even turn them on anymore. 

    We looked at a day care attached to a university that had very good baby to provider ratios (2:1 in infant room, 3:1 in toddler rooms). I’m sure we would have been happy with that, but my husband and I both have busy jobs and the convenience of having someone come to our home so we don’t have to worry about drop off or pick up is invaluable.

    We will probably send him to preschool part time at 2 1/2 or 3 just to get used to a school-like setting, but right now we could not be happier with our situation. I live in fear of the day our nanny tells us she is quitting to go back to school (nannying is not her long term plan). I strongly recommend a nanny if that is an option for you. 

    Post # 13
    2442 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2012

    We currently use—an in-home daycare for my 8 month old

    It costs (if you feel comfortable)—$175 a week

    We have used in the past—This is the only place we’ve been

    What I liked about:

    Day Care Centers—Not having to worry about finding back up care if the provider is sick since there are so many staff members

    In-Home Centers—That it’s more of a home feeling.  I feel like I’m dropping her off at grandma’s vs school.  It’s a much smaller group of kids too so I feel like she gets more on on one attention. Plus my daycare lady is a retired preschool teacher and college professor who was on the board for early childhood education at one of the local colleges so she has a ton of experience with children and highly values early education.


    What I didn’t like about:

    Day Care Centers—My nephew was in one and used to be sick all the time. I know that is just one center but I do have a fear of germs in such a large place with so many kids.  They’re also a lot more expensive and typically the centers around here hire mostly young girl with little to no experience and have a high turn over rate.

    In-Home Centers—The interview process, background checking, checking on licensing, calling references, etc. and trying to find someone who I meshed with.  It was also hard finding in-home centers with openings.

    Post # 14
    535 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    KoiKove:  Thanks, that was really helpful!  I just started TTC but I’m worried about daycare because there’s a severe shortage in my town.  Some of the popular places have a year+ wait list!  Some of my friends that have kids joke that when you’re thinking about having a second, you tell your daycare before you tell your mom!  🙂  

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