I may be one day shy of 16 weeks, but Lance and I decided to begin our search for daycare for Baby R. We’ve been spurred into action because of a favorable work schedule this month and after hearing the horror stories of friends that waited too long and then found that the best places were all booked.
We worked up a checklist of basic questions after some internet research, and went to our first two appointments. Today we visited two daycares on my street at work. The great thing is that they are literally right down the road, like a quarter mile. The two daycares couldn’t be any more different from each other. The first was a locally owned spanish immersion center. They have three locations around the Triangle. The prices there are very reasonable and we really liked the intimate feeling inside. The Director knew the name of every child and all of the teachers seemed very engaged as we walked through. As great of an impression as the first place made, the second made just the opposite. It is a much larger, nationally-owned daycare. The woman we were supposed to meet with wasn’t there, so they had to find someone else to meet with us. We had to sit around for 25 minutes while they figured this out despite having an appointment made on the phone that was confirmed via email. Then, we saw the pricing. It was $350 more per month than the locally owned daycare across the street. As we began our tour we expected to notice a big difference in the classrooms to maybe help justify the increased cost. But we didn’t see it. In fact, the locally owned daycare offered video monitoring for parents where the national chain did not. Both allowed cloth diapers, a big plus since (at least for now) we plan to use cloth full-time.
So, if we were just choosing between those two, no deliberation would be required. We were really happy with the spanish immersion program. Next week we will look at two daycares closer to home, and then hopefully we’ll have a decision by the end of August. It felt kind of surreal to be going through this process, especially because I don’t even look pregnant. The good thing is, I finally feel as if we are proceeding with true optimism, and no longer waiting for things to go wrong. This is the first of many exciting preparation steps to go through before welcoming our little one in 5.5 months!