Finding New Day Care

So, it is official.  February 17th will be EH's last day at his current day care, and February 20th starts his new - but sadly temporary - care set-up. 

It's been a tumultuous past couple of weeks.  After the sad realization that he is just not thriving at his current day care, DH took the lead on finding new day care providers.  He posted a listing on Craigslist and weeding through the responses.  I contacted a few other larger day care centers, but DH was convinced that a different day care center wasn't going to be that much different than his current center.  

So after many emails and meetings, we found a woman who lives not to far from EH's current day care, who is willing to watch him for the next couple of months for about the same price that we're paying right now.  Sadly, she's only going to be able to watch him until the first week of June, until her kids are out of school for the summer, so we are still on the search for an amazing, somewhat permanent care person, but we're excited to know that he'll be getting much, MUCH more attention in his new situation. 

EH is very excited!
It will just be her and EH until 11:30 when her five-year old comes home from school, and then for the rest of the day it will just be the two of them.  One of our biggest complaints about our current day care is that they aren't able to take the time to help him fall asleep at nap time, and he's simply not a just-lay-him-in-his-crib-and-let-him-fall-asleep sort of baby.  On top of that, the cribs are in the main room where all of the kids play and right under these bright florescent lights, and with EH's penchant for staring at lights it's just not a good set-up.  So in his new care setting she will be able to take some time to help him fall asleep, and he'll be in a quiet, somewhat dark room where he can rest without distractions. We did a trial day and we could not have been more pleased with how things went.  EH took 3 amazing naps, came home happy and well rested, and the woman thought he was the best baby ever.  (We made sure to let her know that he's not always this good.)

So we're excited, and hoping for the best.  But it's also a little sad, because we spent a lot of time and research trying to find the perfect yet affordable day care set up for EH.  We made sure to only consider centers that were accredited by the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) because we wanted a center that had a real focus on early childhood education since we thought EH would be there for the first few years of his life. 

Now we realize that NAEYC accreditation - while important - is not as critical for infants.  Although I still think that the care workers in EH's day care room did the best that they could, the fact is that 4 infants to each adult is still way too many to allow for much quality education time to occur.  The employees are spending most of their time giving bottles and changing diapers.  There just isn't a whole lot of time for one-on-one interaction, and that is something that we were really hoping for. 

On top of that, EH has been incredibly sick ever sick he stepped foot (or rather, car seat) into day care.  He's had five ear infections in three months, the flu, and now a cold (although fortunately not an ear infection yet.)  Everyone keeps telling us that it will be great when he's older because his immune system will be so strong, and I believe that to some degree, but right now having a chronically sick infant is not only exhausting but it's sad. No one likes to be sick. 

Our hope is that we will be able to find in-home day care for EH until he turns 2, at which time we will re-enroll him in a center-style day care so that he can develop his social skills and start learning things like sharing and all of that fun stuff that they do in the toddler and preschool rooms at day rooms.  In the meantime, we will continue to socialize him with other kids whenever we have the opportunity, and we'll just keep our fingers crossed that we'll be able to get him a spot in a good, accredited center whenever he is ready to go back. 

Of course, who knows how all of this will change if we decide to have a second child.  But that is a conversation for another day!


Corinne said...

Look at that happy face! Glad to hear you've found a replacement - although temporary at least until you find something permanent you know he's going to get good, consistent attention.
Hopefully something will work itself out for your more long-term situation!

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