Ava is our first child so when it came to finding a daycare I didn't really have a clue about what to look for or questions to ask. Heck, I didn't even start looking for a daycare until 3 weeks after she was born (bad idea).
We knew from the time we conceived that she was going to have to go to daycare. I don't know why I waited until the last minute to find one. I guess I didn't realize that daycares had waiting lists and that finding a decent daycare in our area would be difficult. Luckily, I found a place that didn't have a waiting list and we were able to get her in. Looking back now, I get why they didn't have a waiting list.
As a new mom this daycare seemed great. They were nice people, who wouldn't charge me for summer break and would still hold her spot (that's hard to find as a teacher), they had a crib, some toys, and they had space. What could go wrong?
After 3 months of maternity leave I returned to work in December and Ava began going to daycare. Things started off good and then slowly went downhill within a month or so. I made sure to communicate with her teachers and the director about my concerns. When Ava was around 6 months old the final straw broke and I went to work in tears feeling like I failed as a mother. As I went to pick Ava up everyday I noticed she was ALWAYS in a bouncer or a jumper. I decided to ask the teacher how much tummy time and floor time she received daily and the teacher replied, "Well not as much as I'd like for them to but at least twice a week." EXCUSE ME?? TWICE A WEEK? Her response shocked me. How was my baby going to learn how to crawl if she never got to be on the floor? I simply replied, "OK" and left. The next day I went to the director in tears. She addressed the issue and they made more floor space for the babies to have more room for tummy time.
I was so disappointed in myself that I didn't do a better job at finding a good daycare for her. Why didn't I do my research. Why didn't I plan this months in advanced? I went to work feeling sick. Thankfully, within just a few days a daycare that we were on the waiting list for (that I completely forgot about) called to tell us they had an open spot and asked if we would like it. I immediately said YES and Ava started there the following week. Thankfully she wasn't in her old daycare for too long. We love her current daycare and are so blessed for answered prayers!
The truth of the matter is you can only do so much. Even after researching and asking all the questions you can, and finding a good daycare there is always a chance for something to happen that you don't agree with or you aren't happy about. I have learned as a daycare mother it is important to communicate with the teachers and the directors your expectations, concerns, and any questions you may have. Unfortunately, daycares tend to have a high turnover rate. So the more open you are the better it is for everyone.
I am writing this blog post to share our journey and to help other mothers that might be experiencing the same thing or thinking about putting their child in daycare. Below I have included some things to look for and questions to ask, besides the obvious questions like the cost, hours, dates they are closed, etc. Hopefully you might find this helpful.
Things We Didn't Like About Her OLD Daycare
Things We LOVE About Our NEW Daycare
Look Fors and Questions
What are your look fors in a daycare? What's a question you make sure to ask before deciding if it's the right daycare for your child?
Join me in my journey as a wife, new mom and a baker as I learn to balance all of life's aprons.