My childcare choice – Daycare it is!

“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!

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4 Responses to “My childcare choice – Daycare it is!”

  1. Don Mills Diva July 29, 2008 at 11:21 pm #

    I always wonder how come men who work outside the home are never asked how it feels to have other people raise their children?

  2. Jen Y July 30, 2008 at 10:23 am #

    I had always planned to stay home with my DS, and did for a year and a half after he was born. I must admit, I never wanted to put him in daycare because “I believed that I was the best person to raise my son.” Geez, I was so judgemental! Circumstances changed, and I needed to go back to work. I looked a soooo many daycares and found that Kindercare was also the right fit for us. It was a little rough at first, but he adjusted really well. And, he has learned so much already. I love that he is on a solid routine there–something we didn’t really have at home.

  3. Sarah Hubbell August 3, 2008 at 6:32 pm #

    I don’t have to work for financial reasons but I choose to, because I learned quickly that staying at home full time wasn’t for me. I have kept my babies home for at least the first year, then tried a home daycare, and eventually ended up in a Goddard School three days a week. I LOVE it. He learns SO much, and since he is so shy the group dynamics are REALLy good for him. I’m getting ready to send my baby to a similar daycare center soon, and although I’m nervous, I know he’ll be in great hands and I’ll be happy to work in peace.

  4. casual friday everyday August 28, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    Thank you for this post. I’m guilty of saying this. Not to other Mothers but when my husband and I would speak about my desire to be home with the kids. And I know in my heart it isn’t true. I would still be the parent. I would still be the one raising my children. Just like we don’t say the teachers in school are raising our children, neither should we say that about daycare workers. It is insensitive and cruel to say something like that to a working Mother.

    Nell