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  #1  
Old 08-10-2010, 03:42 PM
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Default Moving From at Home Daycare to Daycare Center...

I'm thinking about moving my child from an at home daycare to a daycare center. I'm thinking that more structure will be good for both of us.

She is only in care 3 days a week. Do you think it would be ok to start her at a center for 1 day a week and 2 days at the home daycare and slowly integrate her into the new environment? She has been in an at home daycare all of her life and I just don't want to shock her too much. I also want her to be able to get used to being in more of a classroom setting.

Any thoughts???
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2010, 03:46 PM
Janet
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Default Definitely ease her in...

It can be really rough to make the adjustment all at once. Not just for her but for you as the parent. More than likely, policies will vary and you'll need time to make adjustments to that. The difference is pretty big between how a daycare center runs versus how a home daycare runs. I would start out with a day a week so that everyone can get adjusted. You may also want to keep on good terms with your current provider so that if a center isn't working out, then your child will have a familiar place to come back to. I wish you the best of luck with the transition
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:52 PM
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Yes I agree with Janet. Start out a drop in basis (if you can) that way you are not committed to the center. That way if your dd doesn't like the center she (and you!) can go back to the home center.

Keep us posted and good luck!
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  #4  
Old 08-10-2010, 05:20 PM
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A few things to consider...
I have worked (as a Teacher and Director) in preschools, centers, and I now have a home daycare/Preschool. From my experiences, I think homes offer the best environment for young children (my opinion). Centers can often be large and impersonal. Ask the director about the teachers in the classrooms. One of the complaints I would get in the centers was that the lead techer would go home at 3 or 4pm and then they would hire teenagers or part-time workers to "close" the classrooms. They also often combine classes at the end of the days so they can send teachers home early when they get within ratio. I feel that is a lot of daily transition for young children. Also there tends to be a high turnover rate in the centers because of low pay etc... So ask the Director about that as well.

Some options might be...
1. If it works with your schedule you might put her in a 1/2 day preschool program 2-3 times per week. A traditional preschool will offer more of a classroom enviroment than a center.
2. Try looking for another home daycare that has a more educational/structured program. I run a preschool/home daycare and only take 2 1/2-5 year olds. My daycare area is set up like a classroom. This works for me and I market to parents looking for those preschool features but still want to continuity of care and a home-like environment.

Good Luck in finding the best place for your child!
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  #5  
Old 08-10-2010, 05:25 PM
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If you can find a center that is willing to accomodate a one day per week arrangement, then I would recommend enrolling your child and trying it. If it is feasible for you, I would consider keeping her in the FCCh 3 days per week for now and trying the one day per week on the 4th/5th day of the week that you do not require care. That way, you can do it when you are not working, can start out with a half day, then move into a full day if your child seems to like it. You can then move your child into attending more often as needed. This way, you can also drop in unnanounced a little more frequently since you will not be working, AND you will not alienate your current provider by removing your child from her care one day per week, with her knowing that she will be losing your child to the center in the end. I would personally be willing to work with a family who was contemplating this change, however, you will find that many provders takeit personally and will not be happy about it at all.

That being said, if you do go with a center, I highly recommend that you:

1. Ask for references from current and PREVIOUSLY ENROLLED families.
2. Drop in unannounced frequently
3. Ask about teacher turnover: how long have the current teachers/staff been working there - if they are fairly new, ask WHY.
4. Ask what credentials teachers hold.
5. Tour the ENTIRE environment before enrollment.
6. Request a free day so that you and your child may attend together for a portion of the day to get a feel for the schedule/routine
7. Ask how they feel about parental involvement in the program.
8. What is their philosophy of early care and education

Of course, many of these things should be asked/done in FCC as well, but in my experience, many centers do the bare minimum in an effort to increase profit. Overhead is really high for centers, so often teachers are paid very low wages and have no/little benefits, resulting in high turnover and your child having to bond with new caregivers frequently. (I don't say these things just because i am a FCCP, I observe and assess centers for our R&R regularly and more often than not, centers recieve very low scores)

Best wishes to you and yours....
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2010, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet View Post
It can be really rough to make the adjustment all at once. Not just for her but for you as the parent. More than likely, policies will vary and you'll need time to make adjustments to that. The difference is pretty big between how a daycare center runs versus how a home daycare runs. I would start out with a day a week so that everyone can get adjusted. You may also want to keep on good terms with your current provider so that if a center isn't working out, then your child will have a familiar place to come back to. I wish you the best of luck with the transition
Thanks Janet, that's what I was thinking. Probably would be a good idea for me also, as I am not used to a center at all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Former Teacher View Post
Yes I agree with Janet. Start out a drop in basis (if you can) that way you are not committed to the center. That way if your dd doesn't like the center she (and you!) can go back to the home center.

Keep us posted and good luck!
Great idea!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by originalkat View Post
A few things to consider...
I have worked (as a Teacher and Director) in preschools, centers, and I now have a home daycare/Preschool. From my experiences, I think homes offer the best environment for young children (my opinion). Centers can often be large and impersonal. Ask the director about the teachers in the classrooms. One of the complaints I would get in the centers was that the lead techer would go home at 3 or 4pm and then they would hire teenagers or part-time workers to "close" the classrooms. They also often combine classes at the end of the days so they can send teachers home early when they get within ratio. I feel that is a lot of daily transition for young children. Also there tends to be a high turnover rate in the centers because of low pay etc... So ask the Director about that as well.

Some options might be...
1. If it works with your schedule you might put her in a 1/2 day preschool program 2-3 times per week. A traditional preschool will offer more of a classroom enviroment than a center.
2. Try looking for another home daycare that has a more educational/structured program. I run a preschool/home daycare and only take 2 1/2-5 year olds. My daycare area is set up like a classroom. This works for me and I market to parents looking for those preschool features but still want to continuity of care and a home-like environment.

Good Luck in finding the best place for your child!
Thank you for all the tips!! I really do love home daycare as well...just have had a little bit of bad luck with them recently. And I don't want to keep moving her around and since she is close to preschool age I thought I could really search around and find a permanent home for her till school. I will write all these down and make sure to bring them up when I am looking!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
If you can find a center that is willing to accomodate a one day per week arrangement, then I would recommend enrolling your child and trying it. If it is feasible for you, I would consider keeping her in the FCCh 3 days per week for now and trying the one day per week on the 4th/5th day of the week that you do not require care. That way, you can do it when you are not working, can start out with a half day, then move into a full day if your child seems to like it. You can then move your child into attending more often as needed. This way, you can also drop in unnanounced a little more frequently since you will not be working, AND you will not alienate your current provider by removing your child from her care one day per week, with her knowing that she will be losing your child to the center in the end. I would personally be willing to work with a family who was contemplating this change, however, you will find that many provders takeit personally and will not be happy about it at all.

That being said, if you do go with a center, I highly recommend that you:

1. Ask for references from current and PREVIOUSLY ENROLLED families.
2. Drop in unannounced frequently
3. Ask about teacher turnover: how long have the current teachers/staff been working there - if they are fairly new, ask WHY.
4. Ask what credentials teachers hold.
5. Tour the ENTIRE environment before enrollment.
6. Request a free day so that you and your child may attend together for a portion of the day to get a feel for the schedule/routine
7. Ask how they feel about parental involvement in the program.
8. What is their philosophy of early care and education

Of course, many of these things should be asked/done in FCC as well, but in my experience, many centers do the bare minimum in an effort to increase profit. Overhead is really high for centers, so often teachers are paid very low wages and have no/little benefits, resulting in high turnover and your child having to bond with new caregivers frequently. (I don't say these things just because i am a FCCP, I observe and assess centers for our R&R regularly and more often than not, centers recieve very low scores)

Best wishes to you and yours....
Thanks Crystal! Remember I had an agreement with my provider about a certain guest and that she was to give me notice so that I could find backup care? Well her notice was as I was dropping my daughter off. I didn't think that was very nice and it didn't leave me with very many options. So, I feel as if she wouldn't want to work with me on the issue I have, as I have already given her a chance. If she takes it personal that I am trying to ready my child for a more structured setting, then really she should have thought about that before she put me in an awkward position. I'm kind of sad that she will be out of the home environment, but at the same time I am excited for her because I think she will like having a lot of activities to keep her occupied!

Thank you so much everyone for your input!!!
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  #7  
Old 08-10-2010, 09:18 PM
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is she 4 years old?

i'd say home childcare is best, but i agree that when they're 4 it is good to prepare them for school by putting them into a structured program. just be careful with daycare - a lot of times they claim to have "preschool" but very little teaching actually happens. they're still a center and operate for profit. a center i worked at claimed they had preschool for the 4 year old class, but they took in so many kids it really was no different than the other rooms in the center - the teacher did a lot of supervising and hardly any teaching.

look into head start in your area too. it's based on income and you basically have to be very low income to be guaranteed a spot, BUT if they have extra spaces available because some of the kids didn't have transportation - or whatever the reason - they will give those slots to people that normally wouldn't qualify.
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  #8  
Old 08-11-2010, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by QualiTcare View Post
is she 4 years old?

i'd say home childcare is best, but i agree that when they're 4 it is good to prepare them for school by putting them into a structured program. just be careful with daycare - a lot of times they claim to have "preschool" but very little teaching actually happens. they're still a center and operate for profit. a center i worked at claimed they had preschool for the 4 year old class, but they took in so many kids it really was no different than the other rooms in the center - the teacher did a lot of supervising and hardly any teaching.

look into head start in your area too. it's based on income and you basically have to be very low income to be guaranteed a spot, BUT if they have extra spaces available because some of the kids didn't have transportation - or whatever the reason - they will give those slots to people that normally wouldn't qualify.
She's only 3 right now, but I'm going to be taking her out of her daycare now anyways....so I don't want to change daycare and then change in another year.
I will look to see if they have head start programs, but does she have to be 4 to qualify for that?
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  #9  
Old 08-11-2010, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWTC View Post


Thanks Crystal! Remember I had an agreement with my provider about a certain guest and that she was to give me notice so that I could find backup care? Well her notice was as I was dropping my daughter off. I didn't think that was very nice and it didn't leave me with very many options. So, I feel as if she wouldn't want to work with me on the issue I have, as I have already given her a chance. If she takes it personal that I am trying to ready my child for a more structured setting, then really she should have thought about that before she put me in an awkward position. I'm kind of sad that she will be out of the home environment, but at the same time I am excited for her because I think she will like having a lot of activities to keep her occupied!
Wow! I cannot believe she would have the audacity to go ahead and have that "guest" over at all, considering your situation and the fact that you are a paying client, she knew your position, etc. I don't blame you for going ahead and finding another child care arrangement. Good luck, I hope your search goes well and that you find the perfect "fit" for your child and your family.
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:09 AM
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Have you considered finding a home childcare that offers the structure and programs of a center? In my area anyway, that seems to be the trend of home daycare. For instance, we offer spanish and music classes, Travel-Tots (a multi-cultural program) and visits from ECFE...and of course a preschool program.

You may be able to find the best of both worlds!
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  #11  
Old 08-11-2010, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
Wow! I cannot believe she would have the audacity to go ahead and have that "guest" over at all, considering your situation and the fact that you are a paying client, she knew your position, etc. I don't blame you for going ahead and finding another child care arrangement. Good luck, I hope your search goes well and that you find the perfect "fit" for your child and your family.
I know, right?? I was a little surprised that she did too, but I guess that's how it is.
We are still on good terms and I don't feel like my daughter is in danger so we are really going to take our time finding a place for her. I don't want to rush it! My provider is also pregnant right now, so I know that she will be taking leave for the baby anyways. We haven't discussed it, but in a way I don't want to move her around a lot. She has just been moved to this daycare. So if we find a place that would cover preschool in a structured environment I think it will be the best. In the past I think my daughter has gotten bored and I want her to have a lot of activities and other kiddos to keep her occupied. She loves other kids!!!
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jen View Post
Have you considered finding a home childcare that offers the structure and programs of a center? In my area anyway, that seems to be the trend of home daycare. For instance, we offer spanish and music classes, Travel-Tots (a multi-cultural program) and visits from ECFE...and of course a preschool program.

You may be able to find the best of both worlds!
I guess I am just shying away from it because at home daycares don't have a "boss" to answer to and I don't want to have to fight with a provider because I have an issue with how they run their business. It's happened twice in a couple of months now, with 2 different providers. Just don't want to deal with it. I'm sure there are some awesome at home daycares and I might reconsider and take a look around my area...just haven't decided yet.
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by DWTC View Post
She's only 3 right now, but I'm going to be taking her out of her daycare now anyways....so I don't want to change daycare and then change in another year.
I will look to see if they have head start programs, but does she have to be 4 to qualify for that?
In my area some religious schools start doing half day preschool for 3yo, normally 2 or 3 days a week for ~ 2.5 hours each. My DSs have all done it and I'm really pleased with what they got.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:04 PM
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I guess I am just shying away from it because at home daycares don't have a "boss" to answer to and I don't want to have to fight with a provider because I have an issue with how they run their business. It's happened twice in a couple of months now, with 2 different providers. Just don't want to deal with it. I'm sure there are some awesome at home daycares and I might reconsider and take a look around my area...just haven't decided yet.
That is certainly understandable...
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