Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Choosing a day care

Next week I'll be back at work, which I'm excited about, but the thing that I'm not too excited about is that we will have to send Luke to be cared for by people we don't really know in the afternoons. I realize that there are people whose job it is to do this, and have much more experience in caring for babies than I do, but it's still terribly unnerving to think about, and I'm glad that Ryan will be the one dropping Luke off every day, and not me.

We have a day care all lined up, deposits paid, start date set, forms filled out, etc. But this morning I got a phone call from another small day care that's run by a church and happens to be loosely affiliated with our church, saying that they have an opening in the infant room on September 1st. Now that we have a choice, it's a tough thing to wrestle with.

The first day care is close to where I work. They don't have a half-day program, which means we're paying for all-day care, even though we only plan on taking Luke there in the afternoons. On the other hand, we would have the flexibility of having a full day available if, for some reason, Ryan gets called in to work dayside. Since we're paying for all-day care, it's a bit more expensive.

The second day care is nearly downtown. We would only be using the afternoon care, which makes it a little less costly, but we wouldn't have the flexibility of having the mornings available just in case. But I went and toured it this afternoon, and I have to say, I just feel better about this place. The first place seems perfectly adequate, but there have been a couple of things about them that have seemed weird to us. A couple of times, when we've called them, they just answer the phone with "Hello?" - if they answer at all - and then seem cagey about identifying themselves. They told Ryan that it was because they thought he was a solicitor. But if you're running a business, shouldn't you answer the phone every single time and answer a little more professionally than that?

I'm also a little more inclined to go to the second day care because it's affiliated with a church, which appeals to me. The teacher-to-child ratio in the baby classes are the same (1:4) at both, but the teachers in the baby class at #2 are a married couple who have been at this place for 17 and 18 years. That slow turnover is pretty amazing, and it's a big plus to me.

The biggest thing, though, is that the place that called today just gives me a better feeling. I can rationalize the pros and cons all day long about each, but a big part of parenting, I'm learning, is that sometimes your gut just tells you what to do (or what not to do). And with a decision like this, I think that going with our guts may be the most important thing we can do. I guess we'll talk it over tonight when Ryan gets home from work, and see where our guts lead us.


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