You might have guessed that we would come to this point…the point where we’re looking at other Daycare options. Now that winter weather is upon us (first chance of snow this weekend, we’ll see!), since the grandmas’ commutes are so long, and since Curly has become very mobile, thus reducing how productive Nutella or I can be when “working” from home, we need to find a more full-time, close-by situation. We also find it important now that he’s a bit older that he have interaction with other babies and children, and a routine schedule throughout the week.
We began interviewing home daycares this week. Since we were not sold by any of them, the search continues. Here’s a summary for the first 3:
#1 – Nice, chatty 50-something woman and a 20-something assistant watching up to 7 kids, most of which were there. Almost all of the people in the house were related in some way. In my un-PC manner, I’m going to say it was white trash city. The older woman was grandmother to the 18 month old (whose 20-something father was in and out of the house), and mother to a 6 year old girl. The 6 year old boy belonged to the assistant. In the living room were 21 and 27 year old sons of the older woman, just lounging on the couch. The contractor father of the brood showed up caked in mud and reciting the mental list of groceries he was leaving to pick up. Also present was a 7 month girl whose mom picked her up while we were there, a one year old boy waiting to get picked up, and a 14 year old girl who sadly was dealing with fetal alcohol syndrome and thus, had the mental capacity of a 3 year old. The tv was on the entire time and the house was dirty. But the best part? She asked us “Who is the mother?” and I replied “We both are, we’re a lesbian couple.” She was taken aback and said “OH! We don’t say THAT word. You’re a ‘female’ couple…we have a couple of those on our block.” She went on to say, “I take it neither of you is married.” I said, “We’re married to each other.” She said, “Well, I would still give you the single mom discount, waiving the $40 application fee and daily meal fee.” OY!
#2 – Another nice, chatty 50-something woman with a clean, organized house. She never watches more than 4 children, 2 of them are her 3 month and 2 year old grandchildren. I told her we were a two-mom family and she didn’t bat an eye. She had some great answers for our questions and we got a good feeling from her, except that she doesn’t typically allow “drop-ins.” I read online that if a care provider doesn’t allow drop-ins, it’s a red flag. I asked her why not, and she said it’s not usually good for the child. I said that if it would leave Curly in tears, then we wouldn’t do it anymore, but I don’t think she was sold on the idea. (It’s not like we want to drop in often either, I was just checking her answer to that question) Also, her house was not at all childproof. She had ceramic figurines displayed very low, just waiting to be knocked over. When I mentioned it, she said they’ve survived all the children she’s watched. She teaches them not to touch. It just left me wondering…
#3 – A 30-something single mom who later told us she’s not the one who typically watches the children…the other staff person who was not present does. They’re licensed for 7 children and only one person typically watches them? Three children were there- a one-year old was just getting picked up, a 19 month old was finishing his first day, and the woman’s 7 year old daughter was standing by. The play areas were great…fully loaded with toys, games and other activities. The tv wasn’t on and she said they only watch children’s educational programs here and there. The catch (if we were truly interested)? They won’t have an opening until the Spring.
So, 3 strikes so far. Next up, we ‘re hoping to call more home daycares and schedule interviews with nannies, with the possibility of starting a nanny share with a friend of a neighbor who is losing her provider come January.