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Parents and Guardians Forum>Searching For A New Daycare Center
happymom 12:39 PM 02-09-2017
I found a new daycare center that I like. I have been looking since a few days ago after getting some advice from daycarediva among others. I'm hoping I can get more input from you guys as to questions to ask and things to look at.

The director seems great

They have a bus, rather than a van, to transport to kindergarten (although they don't currently transport to our local school...but say they can likely add it to their route).

They offer activities for non-nappers! I plan to tour and ask more questions about these activities.

Cloth diapers

Openings for my kids

Playground has grass and kids get to plant flowers/vegetables

Distance from home: 4 min (same as current daycare)

Daycare center capacity: 31 (current daycare capacity is 125)

Things I'm not so sure about:
The infant/ones room is combined

3-5 year olds share a room

Cost is higher than what we are currently paying

Playground is much smaller

I'm going to miss some of the staff at our current daycare so much. Some of them have such big hearts and love my kids
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Leigh 02:41 PM 02-09-2017
Originally Posted by happymom:
I found a new daycare center that I like. I have been looking since a few days ago after getting some advice from daycarediva among others. I'm hoping I can get more input from you guys as to questions to ask and things to look at.

The director seems great

They have a bus, rather than a van, to transport to kindergarten (although they don't currently transport to our local school...but say they can likely add it to their route).

They offer activities for non-nappers! I plan to tour and ask more questions about these activities.

Cloth diapers

Openings for my kids

Playground has grass and kids get to plant flowers/vegetables

Distance from home: 4 min (same as current daycare)

Daycare center capacity: 31 (current daycare capacity is 125)

Things I'm not so sure about:
The infant/ones room is combined

3-5 year olds share a room

Cost is higher than what we are currently paying

Playground is much smaller

I'm going to miss some of the staff at our current daycare so much. Some of them have such big hearts and love my kids
Having mixed ages is a positive, IMO. They my kids love being with kids that are different ages and abilities. The older kids learn about nurturing, the younger kids have olders to be positive influences on them and help them when they need it.

Cost-you get what you pay for, I think. It sounds like it's going to be a better environment.

The smaller playground? Eh. Big is impressive, but supervision can be better on a smaller playground, plus, kids don't really NEED a lot of space to be creative and have fun. As long as it is "big enough", that should be fine.
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happymom 04:19 PM 02-09-2017
Thank you,
My 4 year old does really well with babies, but he has a really big problem with 3 year olds. He thinks they are all mean and doesn't understand that they don't have the same cognitive skills as he does. I have been trying to work on that with him, but I was VERY impatient when he was nearing 4.5 and still in the 3s room.

Gosh, this just makes me realize how many things his current daycare has been unable to work with me on.
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daycarediva 10:28 AM 02-10-2017
Mixed ages is AWESOME, imo. Ask how they separate the kids for activities. Centers? I pair similar children together (developmental). SO while I have 4 2's today, and 2 4's, my 4's are together and my 2's are together. They interact, but I think issues with developmental levels or your son being frustrated is much more to do with supervision, and subsequent frustration than a mixed age group. Infants and 1's together- awesome. Babies learn so much by observing. 1's may be talking, walking, babbling more, and require less 1:1 than infants do anyway.

Smaller center is a plus, even a smaller playground for a smaller center makes sense.

I would really question their non napping policy, make sure you get that AND the intent to transport to your future school in writing, too.

Would they be willing to work with you on the deposit? Eg I charge an enrollment fee, last two weeks up front and then the first two weeks. If parents can't swing it, I will work with them on the last two weeks. Allow payments to be made each week and sign an agreement stating that.

GOOD LUCK!
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happymom 11:03 AM 02-10-2017
Does it seem like all centers are the same? Underpaid, overworked, underappreciated staff?

It's no wonder people end up in illegal childcare situations, to be quite honest. There is a website called glassdoor dot com that allows employees to write reviews on their companies. The "new center" has an awful review. Unfortunately I am having a very difficult time finding true reviews from real life parents...all of the "reviews" I have read, I can tell have been written by the director (her name is listed on them). Biased, see?

It's no joke when parents say finding good child care is hard.
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happymom 11:04 AM 02-10-2017
Originally Posted by daycarediva:
Mixed ages is AWESOME, imo. Ask how they separate the kids for activities. Centers? I pair similar children together (developmental). SO while I have 4 2's today, and 2 4's, my 4's are together and my 2's are together. They interact, but I think issues with developmental levels or your son being frustrated is much more to do with supervision, and subsequent frustration than a mixed age group. Infants and 1's together- awesome. Babies learn so much by observing. 1's may be talking, walking, babbling more, and require less 1:1 than infants do anyway.

Smaller center is a plus, even a smaller playground for a smaller center makes sense.

I would really question their non napping policy, make sure you get that AND the intent to transport to your future school in writing, too.

Would they be willing to work with you on the deposit? Eg I charge an enrollment fee, last two weeks up front and then the first two weeks. If parents can't swing it, I will work with them on the last two weeks. Allow payments to be made each week and sign an agreement stating that.

GOOD LUCK!
Thank you, I do plan to do all that and ask for financial accomodations. Thanks!
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daycarediva 12:30 PM 02-10-2017
Originally Posted by happymom:
Does it seem like all centers are the same? Underpaid, overworked, underappreciated staff?

It's no wonder people end up in illegal childcare situations, to be quite honest. There is a website called glassdoor dot com that allows employees to write reviews on their companies. The "new center" has an awful review. Unfortunately I am having a very difficult time finding true reviews from real life parents...all of the "reviews" I have read, I can tell have been written by the director (her name is listed on them). Biased, see?

It's no joke when parents say finding good child care is hard.
yes, I hear you.

In perspective- staff leaving under good terms often do not go spreading the word. Angry parents and former staff WILL, kwim?
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happymom 03:16 PM 02-10-2017
I have definitely taken that into consideration. Thanks for all your help.
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CalCare 05:28 PM 02-10-2017
I would ask what education each of the current staff has. At the previous center there were teachers that were doing things that were not developmentally appropriate. Also, how current are their classes? If they took ECE classes 25 years ago, they may still believe in Time Outs, punishments, shaming for guidance and they may not accept current generally accepted practices. Another thing I would need to know is what their curriculum is all about. I would hope it was child directed and based on children's needs and interests.
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Tags:center, mixed ages, own child, switching providers
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