How to Survive Day Care
The idea of taking care of your child and being a stay at home mom is awesome, but it is not the luxury for every one so you may have to consider daycare for your child. This was a big step for me and sometimes you can get lost in the process and not be too sure of which direction you should take. Here are 10 tips you should consider when looking for a daycare 🙂
Do your research
Throughout the whole process you want to make sure that you do your research on the different daycare’s that you may be interested in. I literally spent 3-4 months looking for the “perfect” daycare. Now I don’t want you to be confused when I say the perfect daycare, because as we all know nothing is “Perfect”. Perfect to me was a reasonable price, location, how many teachers, their online reviews, the experience of the teachers, if there was a playground outside, the daycare’s structure, a great set of guidelines and rules, how secure the area is and how clean the facility is.
Do a policy check
Always check the policy! There may be regulations that you might not agree with as a parent. The last thing you would want to do is have your child going to school there and then you find out about something you don’t like or agree with. You want to make sure you familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations. You want to make sure that your child cannot be picked up by just anyone.
Plan a visit
Call the daycare and ask to schedule a day where you can visit the daycare for yourself. Try to book times away from the time the kids nap. You want to be able to see how the kids interact with each other. You also want to see how the teachers interact with the children as well.
Look for RED FLAGS
During your visit to the daycare you want to keep an eye open for any red flags. Look for anything that sends an alarm to your brain and says “STOP, This is not the place for you.” Look at the children and observe how well they play with one another. Observe the teachers and see if you notice anyone who spends more time yelling at the children rather than interacting with one another. Is the playroom too clean? Having a clean day care is super important but you also want children to be able to be children. A daycare that is TOO clean can sometimes mean that none of the kids played with any of the toys or ran around at all. You want them to enjoy their day at daycare; this is how they learn to interact with other people. This is how they learn every day skills.
Ask plenty of questions
You are spending lots of money to have your child cared for, make sure that you are spending that money wisely. Ask plenty of questions and don’t be afraid to ask all the questions that come to mind. In the process of my search, I kept a journal where I would write all of the possible questions that I could think of so I wouldn’t forget to ask them. I would also jot them in the notes section in your phone if you don’t have a notebook.
Bring a lunch box
Food is important to me. Especially when my son has been eating homemade baby foods since he started eating solids. I personally like to make sure that he has breakfast, lunch and plenty of snacks to get him through the day. I like to pack him with things that I know he loves to eat and won’t give the daycare staff a hard time during lunch. One of the things that I do to make the process easier is by placing sticky notes on each item in his lunch box that has instructions on when I would like them to be given to him and how. My son is a very picky eater so there are tricks to get him to eat. I would label them with his name as well so that there is no confusion with the other kid’s foods in the daycare. This is one of the best forms of communication between me and the daycare staff!
Trust your gut
You are a mother now. You literally have this super power that signals you when something is not right. Use it. You will know when a daycare is not the right fit for you. That is OK, do not get discouraged, and keep on looking. It’s not a matter of you being “picky” you are being wise. This decision that you make is going to affect your child and as a mom we always want the absolute best.
Bring Comforts from Home
This is going to be the first time that your child is going to be a part of this environment. This is all very new for your little one. All babies handle their first time differently. Some may be OK with you leaving them for the day and others may have a meltdown. Bringing things like toys, books, pillows or blankets that your child is familiar with may help them adjust to the new environment.
Personal Storage / Cubicles
Ask the daycare if there is any storage or cubicles for the children to put their personal items in. You want to be able to bring extra clothing, food, snacks, wipes, diapers, formula, milk, extra bottle, pacifiers, Sippy cups and anything that you know will make your life and the daycare’s life much easier.
This transition is going to be difficult for both you and your little one. You are going to feel super overwhelmed, this is normal to feel. You just have to give yourself time to look for the right place. Look for a place that you are comfortable leaving your child for the day there. That’s why it is important to do your research. That is why you want to take your time. Take a deep breath; everything is going to be ok.
Last thing, let all of the teachers in the building know you are a maniac. No. Seriously, that is exactly how my first interview with the day care went. I am one crazy momma, but that’s what makes me an awesome mom. That’s what makes me a mombie!
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