I have known for a while that this is the direction that we were headed but there were a lot of factors and quite a few things to figure out to get to this point. I know the childcare hunt is among the most stressful things about having a dual working family, but the added factors of prematurity really takes things to a whole new level.
I have made endless pro + con lists over the past few months while debating between a new Nanny and a daycare center. There were very real advantages (and disadvantages.. but Im trying to be positive here) to both situations and at the end of the day we are just following our gut and making the best decision we know how to make right now. I am comforted knowing that it is not a forever decision and if it is not working out for any reason (most likely from a medical perspective) that we will change course.
I also made lists of the must haves and the nice to haves in a daycare center.
small program - no more than 35 kids in the facility as to reduce the amount of potential germ carriers.
clean facility & documented cleaning routines
documented and enforced sickness policy for children and workers
experience working with early intervention
play based program
nice to haves:
close to home
flexible week options
willing to use cloth diapers
has an established pre-school program for 3 & 4 year olds
The program we have found fits all of our must haves and most of our nice to haves. It just opened about 7 months ago and currently has 9 children enrolled (out of 23 max). At first I was turned off by this and then came to realize that this was probably a really good thing. We think it offers the right balance for us.
Only time will tell.
While on the daycare search I was quite honestly shocked by some of the responses I got when I started to talk about Virginia's needs and basic medical history. I felt it was prudent to share this information to get a real understanding of what their policies and procedures were for everything from sickness to classroom dynamic. I should have known better, but I was pretty shocked at how many directors/representatives seemed very uncomfortable with the prospect of caring for a child with different needs. To be honest I really just immediately wrote them off and didn't care to explain that while we have concerns about her entering daycare, her day to day needs are really not a whole lot different than any other child. I didn't waste a breath to let them know how resilient, smart, curious and amazing she is. This is a place where I am not interested in teaching moments.
Their loss, not ours. I mean seriously.. look at this nugget ;)