“Strangers raising my child” – this phrase (that I recently heard) really irks me. I hear people say this when trying to decide whether to stay home or return to work outside to the home and send their children to daycare. I have to say - this statement really hurts my feelings since to me, it implies that I love my child less than someone that decides to stay home with their kids. Frankly, financially, I did not have the option to stay home. I feel passionate about this topic since I have had the opportunity to experience three different options of childcare: family members, nanny, and finally, daycare.
Right after PP was born and I returned to work, she actually stayed with family members, which was nice (since I don’t think I was ready to hand over my baby to anyone but family at that point). Unfortunately, this did not work out, so we hired a nanny. Our nanny was great and there were a lot of conveniences that having a nanny allowed, but she wanted more hours, which we could not afford. Therefore, we decided to explore the daycare option. We checked out a few places and ended up selecting a Kindercare facility close to my office.
I have to admit, it was very hard for both PP & myself the first couple of weeks. PP entered daycare at the peak of separation anxiety (10 months old), so she really did struggle at first. However, she got through it & is now thriving at “school.” She still has a tough time at drop off but by the time I pick her up, she doesn’t want to leave!
I certainly don’t consider her caregivers “strangers” though. The teachers really bond with each child & make the effort to get to know each family as well. PP loves when Ms. Ali holds her in the morning at drop off & loves spending time with Ms. Jenn throughout the day. I feel that PP is really benefiting from the structure that daycare provides (which I might not be as diligent with at home) as well as the education & socialization she gets. PP also comes home with fun art projects, handmade holiday cards, new songs & dances that she learned and she has lots of little friends (and boyfriends!) at school.
So as you can see, I did not immediately jump into daycare and I had a chance to experience different options and only then, did we head down the daycare avenue. But, I have to say, that my husband and I are extremely happy with our decision to send PP to daycare & would never dream of taking her out now. I know that every family is different, but this was the best decision for my family & we wouldn’t change a thing!