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  1. #1
    abigailsmom Guest

    Default Starting my 2 year old in daycare in January... help lots of questions...

    (Cross post in Toddler preschool and BB Lounge)
    I have so many questions that I do not even know where to begin. I need help please. Due to lots of $h!t in my life, I have to put Abigial in daycare in January. I do not know anything about this stuff! Can anyone help me with good things to ask/look for/watch out for/etc?

    Thanks in advance,
    Mama to the reason I get up every day, Abigail

    Robyn's Nest Creations

  2. #2
    trumansmom is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Default RE: Starting my 2 year old in daycare in January... help lots of questions...

    I made my daycare decisions based on referrals from friends and gut reactions.

    Things I asked:

    What is an average day like?
    What sort of activities are done?
    What is the criteria for grouping? Age? Ability? Potty Training?
    How much time is spent outside?
    May I see a menu for this week?
    What is your disciplinary philosophy?
    Where will my child sleep?

    And , I assume it's okay for me to drop in and visit at anytime, correct?

    The last one is a biggie!

    Good luck. I know your situation is very difficult right now. Just remember children are very adaptable. It sounds like you are doing all that can be done to make Abigail's life secure and happy. Please don't agonize over daycare. Just trust your gut and know she knows how much she is loved. Plus, at 2, she's going to have a blast with new friends!

    Take care,
    Mom to Truman 11/29/01 and Eleanor 4/14/04

  3. #3
    stefani is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Default RE: Starting my 2 year old in daycare in January... help lots of questions...

    Hi Robyn,

    One thing that comes to mind is see if you can observe the children for a couple of hours here and there (different times, so you see when they are eating, sleeping, playing, etc.) I know that takes time, but it will help you decide and feel better about your decision.

    Ask what is the maximum number of children per adult as well.

    At two years old, Abigail is probably able to tell you about her day, so that will help. Ask her lots of questions. Remember you can always move her after a few months if you don't think it is the right daycare for her.

    My son is only 15 months old, and he started daycare 2 days a week since he was 6 months old. I feel better about putting him in daycare now because he is more mobile, and interact with other children. It was hard at 6 months old.

    Good luck!

    Mommy to DS born 5 Sep 03

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Chicago, IL, US.

    Default RE: Starting my 2 year old in daycare in January... help lots of questions...

    Robyn, I've had DS in daycare since he was 3 months old--he started part-time and gradually increased to full-time. He goes to a major national chain center rather than a home-care center, because the home-care centers near us were HORRIBLE. There are many things to consider when choosing a center. We have had a good experience overall, and DS has really gotten so much out of the socialization, age-appropriate toys and activities, and supervised active play several times each day.

    The PPs have great ideas about what to ask for. I agree that you should be able to drop by at any time of day, although I'd exclude drop off time, pick up time, and nap time for obvious reasons. The other thing I found very helpful was to ask parents who are sending their children to that day care what their experience has been like. We were visiting one day and on our way out, another mom was on her way out from dropping off her infant. I asked her if she had a minute to talk about day care and she was very happy to answer my (many!) questions. She really helped to put my mind at ease.

    The other thing to consider is cost. –And please know that I mean this with every ounce of sensitivity I have!--I have no idea what your financial situation is like, but some national chain centers (like the one where I send DS) have sliding scales for costs or government subsidies for families making under a certain amount of money. This can be very helpful—I think there are very few people who have unlimited resources and it is really awful to have to make cost a factor in your child care decision—that is, having to send DC somewhere you don’t like because it is the only place you can afford.

    Please feel free to ask me any questions about the center we chose (it happens to be Kindercare) or about what it is like to have DS in daycare.

    DS #1 5/02
    DS #2 1/05
    DD 8/09

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Phoenix, AZ.

    Default RE: Starting my 2 year old in daycare in January... help lots of questions...

    If your child has a good daycare, after about a month she will love it! Expect the first month to be rough and your child to have a few sleep issues. Try to get your child on the daycare schedule now. What I mean by that is if you are going to have to get up at 6:00 am so you guys can get to the daycare on time start doing it NOW. Most daycares have 1 nap after lunch for the 2 yr olds. Try to work on that schedule too. The first week plan on giving your child plenty of transistion time from you to the daycare. I still give my dd about 10 minutes every morning. I sit and read a book to her or dance with her. Most parents don't, but dd (or maybe me?) needs this much time together. I also get to chat with the teacher a little more and see how my dd interacts with the other kids.

    Also go with your gut, I had to pull my dd out of her first daycare. She wasn't getting the love she needed. It might be hard adjustment for Abigail at first, but once she starts making friends and doing cool art projects you would never do at home, you'll know she is in the right place. My dd is excited to go to daycare.

    One last thing. I know you can go by any time of day (and you should), BUT unless you are going to take your dd home, try not to let dd see you. At two they will often have screaming fits and be extemely upset that they can't go home with you. Do what you think best, but often it isn't worth the hour of crying that can ensue. Of course your child might not be like this :)

    Good luck, and email me if you have more questions.

    Karin and Katie 10/24/02

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