Worried about putting my kids in day care

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  • #28357
    DO HopefulDO Hopeful
    Participant

    Being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) for the last 2 years, I am worried about putting my kids in day care. 😮 I’ll be taking one class, the first of many premed classes, this spring and I know I have to figure out where my kids will be staying while I’m in school. Luckily my older child is 4 and in preschool twice a week, but naturally, I was not able to get classes on the days she is in school. I was thinking about putting my 18 mo. old in the same preschool, but it would be pretty expensive for both to go there. Aside from the expense, we really love the preschool. There is a daycare nearby that watches kids by the hour. Or I guess I could put them in a home day care so they will be in a smaller group rather than in a big, less personal, day care setting. Of course being a SAHM, my other mom friends kind of frown on the whole day care thing. 🙁 Plus lately I’ve heard some of the negative effects of day care on kids, so I thought that maybe a home day care setting might be a good compromise. The thought of putting my kids in day care has been worrisome for me. I know it can’t be as bad as some of the stories I’ve heard. Maybe my husband and I should just shell out the bucks and put both in preschool.(Although that won’t help for this upcoming term.) I know I have to figure something out or else wait until my little one goes to school full-time, but being 34, I don’t want to put off premed/med school too long. :confused:

    Does anyone have any advice on putting their kids in day care? Does anyone use home-based day care?

    Thanks,
    Vanessa

    #28358
    bekagainbekagain
    Participant

    Vanessa,
    I can totally understand where you are coming from. I have a four year, also; she is in preschool 3 afternoons a week. We are very fortunate in that her preschool also does daycare before and after her class, so she just goes there. If I had it to do over again, I would have put her in daycare earlier. She is a very social child and thrives on the interaction there. It is also a fairly small preschool, so there aren’t that many children in the daycare at any time. I totally trust the people there and would put a second child there in a minute, even though it is more expensive than the daycare at my school. For me, peace of mind about where she is and who she is with is worth the extra $$.
    I also understand no one understanding you putting your children in daycare. None of my friends/sisters-in-law want to be “career women” and totally don’t understand Katie even going to preschool, not to mention day care. I respect them and their decision and desire to stay home, but I don’t share that. It seems very hard for them to understand. I have just come to the point where knowing I have made the best decision for me and my family means more than what other people think – most of time anyway. :goodvibes:
    I can definitely see the advantages of having someone come to your house and just take care of your children. I have had problems when Katie ha a fever but is not really sick, etc. This is probably really bad of me, but I like Katie having a variety of care-givers so it isn’t like she has this intense bond with someone not me. :no: Bad. But, honest! I think you also have to consider what kind of personality your kids are. Some, like my daughter, thrive on the group setting. But others might do better with a smaller ratio.
    Bottom line – don’t be afraid to try out some things! Give it a try and see how it goes. Good luck! 😉

    #28359
    shellbellshellbell
    Participant

    Hi Vanessa,

    I know exactly how you feel. I have a 7, 5, and 18 month old. The hard thing right now is my 5 year olds school schedule. 11:15 to 3:05. I feel like I am at the school dropping kids off all day. When can I fit my schedule in. I am 32 and the years are going, going, gone. I am deciding when to put my ds in pre-school.

    Good Luck
    Michelle

    #28360
    TexasRoseTexasRose
    Participant

    I never cared for the daycare option either, but I’ve had to use it a couple of times over the years. My boys were in 1/2 day Kinder and had to be in after-K daycare 3 days a week last year. ( I was finishing prereq’s)

    My kids have been fortunate in that they were never in daycare fulltime as many parents have to do. I think the biggest problems for children in daycare come when they go all day every day. A commuting neighbor of mine had hers in daycare from 6:30AM-6:30PM. Yes, the 4 year old had some behavior problems. I think maybe he was already prone to outbursts and the stress of 12 hour days was just too much for the little guy.

    I don’t think you’ll run into those difficulties with a part time schedule. (or even an 8-5 one!)

    One thing to consider about home care is that there is no other adult around to monitor the interactions between your child and that of the caregiver. Just something you need to have in mind when you are making your choice.

    Any childcare option you come up with will have plusses and minuses, so do what you are most comfortable with.

    BTW, I find it interesting that some of you have SAHM friends who don’t even put their kids in preschool. My friends and I rejoiced when the kids were old enough to spend a few hours a week at preschool! The socialization is wonderful for them and the blissful few hours of peace was well loved by us. 😉

    Theresa

    #28361
    EM momEM mom
    Participant

    I may be really biased here, but my daughter has been in daycare since she was 3 months old, and although I threw absolute hysterics the first day I had to leave her, she actually really likes it.

    I chose a center for many reasons #1-sure there may a person that is a little unbalanced, but they will never be alone with my child at a center (you never know about the home daycare or nanny route…) and will be supervised by the director or other teachers (of course you have to pick a good a good center!). The other 2 things I really liked about the center were the activities that were planned, my daughter is learning a lot every day and the socialization is great. Something I didn’t think about until my daughter could move around but makes me much more comfortable now is that a center is very well childproofed…they are in one room or on the playground and everything in these areas is tailored to the appropriate age and safety. I didn’t fully appreciate this until I heard of 2 kids lately killed by TVs falling on them when they pulled on the furniture that the TV was sitting on. Freakish to be sure, but I just don’t have to worry about this where my daughter is.

    Without a doubt, it is very hard to trust your children to someone else’s care, but if you pick the right people/place it can be a very good experience.

    #28362
    DO HopefulDO Hopeful
    Participant

    Thanks for the responses. There were some advantages regular day care has versus home day care I hadn’t thought of before, i.e. safety issues, more adult supervision, etc. And it’s true that I won’t be putting them in day care all day long, just a few hours at a time. So if I look at it that way, that’s not too bad. 😎 My older daughter is more reserved, a little more shy – preschool has given her the opportunity to play with other kids her own age (we belong to a playgroup but the kids are much younger than she is). My younger one is more outgoing, more independent and warms up to people easier – but I suppose she could still benefit from a little socialization at day care or preschool.

    I guess I was worried about the horror stories I heard about kids becoming wild or violent from being in day care. And I guess I can control outside influences only for so long until my kids are exposed to everything under the sun when they eventually go to school all day long. 😮 I’m glad I’m not the only one who has the same concerns, and I’m glad to know that day care can be ok for kids with the right personalities or in small doses.

    #28363
    DONOTDELETE ****DONOTDELETE**
    Participant

    Hey there 🙂
    Just a bit of a heads up. Check out the following website: http://www.naeyc.org/

    It is for The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). They are a group that evaluates and provides accreditation to schools and day care centers. The purpose of NAEYC Accreditation is to improve the quality of care and education provided for young children in group programs in the United States.

    They look at curriculum, student teacher ratios and over all safety.

    My boys happen to go to the on-site daycare center at my University twice a week. They are accredited and have actual early childhood education students and graduates working at the center.

    SM

    #28364
    PremedRNPremedRN
    Participant

    DOHopeful,
    I can really identify with you. Before starting school, my 2 little ones had never been babysat by anyone. My husband and I worked opposite shifts to avoid this, but because of the scheduling of my classes, I had to have a sitter. I did find one in a home environment, who doesnt watch many kids, and she is pretty cheap compared to lots of other places. She only charges me 3.50/hr for 2 kids. My littlest one would cry when I left, I cried my whole way to college everyday for a while, I didnt know if I could continue to attend college feeling like that. It did get better. My kids arent watched for full-time, that makes it a lot better as far as the guilt we feel as mothers. Next semester Im dropping part time, my kids will be at the sitters for only 7 hours a week divided into 3 days.
    It was my personal choice not to go the day care route….a lot of them were sat up like school….I personally didnt want that, my kids were too young for school things, and I felt they had a whole life time of learning when time for preschool and beyond. Aside from this, my sitter doesnt have soo many kids, she finds it hard to give individualized attention. Like I had observed with some daycares. And, I didnt want my kids forced to take a nap if they werent tired. The home environment is working great for me.
    Goodluck in your endeavors!
    —-Dana

    #28365
    LaramisaLaramisa
    Participant

    My 7 year old has been in full time daycare and after school care since she was 3months old and I’ve been really happy with it for the most part. I decided against a nanny or home daycare for the same reasons someone else mentioned (always more than one person there in case one worker is not doing a good job or has an emergency to deal with, safety, staff professionally trained in early childhood development, good socialization).
    She always has liked daycare and we have good friends from this experience and other adults she has developed ties with.

    This year we switched to the after school program at her school, which initially I was happy about because of the convenience and relatively low cost. But the staff are well meaning but not as well trained (e.g. they are not as skilled dealing with discipline issues in a calm way and they are not as creative in structuring appropriate activities) and are sometimes overwhelmed with the number of kids.

    So as someone else said a good daycare with well trained staff is worth every penny even if it costs you more money.

    The downside of all day care for me is that I would prefer that she not be full time away from home during the day because it is really too exhausting for her. If she could come home at 3 she could rest for a bit or do something more restful than still being at school. Also of course I’d like to see her more.

    #28366
    busymombusymom
    Participant

    Just my two cents. I had my first while in medical school. He hardly went to his daycare the first year. I skipped alot of class to stay at home with him. In hindsight, it was a mistake. He had severe separation anxiety and did not adjust well. He never knew if he was going to school or if he was going home early. But, with number two I was in residency. She started a 6 weeks and went full time from day one. Surprisingly, she did much better. She never cries when I drop her off at school. She is a very loving girl and is well adjusted. I actually have much less stress with her than I did with my first. Maybe it’s just second child syndrome, but I believe that if a child is started in daycare early and consistently then they do very well. Again, just my 2 cents.

    #28367
    MarilynMarilyn
    Participant

    I understand as well. Neither of my 2 girls have been in daycare either and I don’t really want them to. My oldest did got to a church pre-school part time 2 days a week and she did love it. I just can’t afford it anymore.

    I don’t know what your husbands work schedual is but I stay at home with the kids during the day while he is at work and when he gets home (at 4pm) I am off to school each and every night. My classes start at 5:30 and I get out at 9pm. I also take 1-2 online classes a semester for gen ed’s (like English Comp, etc). So far this has worked out *really* well for me. I study during my youngest nap time (my kids are 2 and 5) and at night after I get home from school. I make excellent grades as well! I normally take about 14 credit hours a semester.

    Just wanted to share my experience.

    Marilyn

    #28368
    DO HopefulDO Hopeful
    Participant

    I have a day car picked out, but I still haven’t let my kids stay there yet – as a dry run before my class starts in Jan. I know I need to let them get used to it before I start leaving them there for 3-4 hours 2 days a week when my class starts. I’m thinking about letting them stay there for about an hour or so while I finish up Christmas shopping so they can get familiarized with the place.

    Regarding Marilyn’s post, I wish my husband had predictable working hours, but since he’s in the Navy, his schedule varies. Plus, sometimes he has to go out to sea for weeks at a time. He’ll have to do that this spring semester. Since I’ll be taking only one class, hopefully I won’t be too overwhelmed as I try to figure out how things will work while he’s gone (i.e. studying).

    Regarding busymom’s post, my oldest daughter is very attached to me. Even at 4, she still gets a little separation anxiety when I have to leave her, unless I’m dropping her off at her preschool (2 days/wk). I suppose she’ll be ok once she gets used to the day care place unless I can find someone to watch my kids at home – my class this semester is an evening class – all that was left when I signed up. My little one is much more independent and warms up to people much easier than her big sister. I think it really is the second child syndrome like you said – she’s had a lot of socialization with her sister whereas my older one didn’t really play much with other kids until she was 3. So I think my little one will handle the separation better. I guess we’ll see next week, when they get a chance to try out the place.

    #28369
    DONOTDELETE ****DONOTDELETE**
    Participant

    Just wanted to share my opinion on this.

    I have twin daughters who will be three the end of this month. They were in a home care daycare when they were four months to 16 months, at which time we switched to full time center care. They loved their home care person, and we still talk about her and keep in touch through email and letters. At the time my husband and I both worked 40+ hours a week, and the woman that we found was so flexible with us and such a caring woman… we just loved her. She even sat for us a few times so that we could go out in the evening (once for our anniversary, and once for my birthday!!)

    The first center we put them in was a great facility, with a wonderful “curriculum” for the toddlers. The girls got a lot out of socialization and the interaction there. The thing that I didnt like was that the teachers seemed somewhat cold – clinical, if you will. We had decided to put them into a center environment because we knew we would be moving in a few months and wanted them to be used to a center environment before we changed everything all at once! When we moved they were still in a center, but I was only working 30 hours a week then so we put them in care three days a week, I stayed home with them one day, and my husband’s schedule allowed him to stay home with them the fifth day. This, by far, was the most difficult situation we have done. They were never used to going to the center, would cry when we left them and it was always a major upheaval. There were quite a few things going on at the time – we were in a new location, with new jobs, and the center was new to the girls and it was not as good of a place as far as activities and structure, as the first one, although I felt the teachers were more caring than at the first. Other than it being confusing for the girls to only go three days a week, the class they were in had fifteen (yes 15!!) children between 18 months and 2 years old in it. Granted there were three teachers, but it just seemed like too many kids. It was a little overwhelming for me, let alone for their little minds! We had to keep them in this situation for about 8 months, at which time they were old enough (over 2) to go to the daycare at my husbands job – he teaches at a community college. THIS is the ideal situation. Not only is their class limited to eight children, their teacher has been there over 15 years and numerous student teachers come through each semester. This gives them the consistency of the lead teacher while also giving them exposure to a variety of student teachers and new activities that they bring with them. We love this situation, and they are absolutely thriving! One of the nice things is my husband can go down and visit them anytime he wants, and even have lunch with them. I still only work 30 hours a week, but now I spread that over five days and we take more time in the morning getting ready, and I pick them up a little early.

    Do you have a community college or university that has a daycare nearby? I would highly recommend this kind of situation, because the students are just great – enthusiastic and they love to spend that one on one time with the kids! And you are in a teaching situation where the quality of care is really being scrutinized by everyone.

    And despite being in daycare most of their lives, my girls are healthy, bubbly, inquisitive, happy three year olds – and I actually think a big part of their intelligence is having interaction with other adults and kids in the world! AND I am a better mother to them because I use my time with them wisely – because it is limited.

    So, in conclusion, find a center or home care situation that YOU are satisfied with. If you have any reservations about it, your children will sense it (they are good at that) – so YOU need to be completely confident in the situation to give them a good experience. Whether home care or center care is really dependent on your childrens personalities. And dont forget that ALL mothers feel guilty about the decisions that they make about their childrens care – so you have to find the situation that is right for you and your children!! Good luck!

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