Provider or Daycare?
My mother works for an organization that helps mothers (like myself) find a daycare or provider in the area, assist those in developing a daycare and assist those to become certified. I say this because my mother has trained me as to what to look for while searching for a provider or daycare. What is the difference between a provider and daycare? A provider is one who has a daycare in her or his home. Daycare is in a daycare center. As I began my process, I wasn't sure where I wanted my girls to stay; a provider or daycare? It came down to three things, reference, cost, and quality.
Researched equals Frustration
My first tip is locate your local child care referral agency. In New York, there is the Day Care Council of New York and Center for Children's Initiatives. In New Jersey, it depends on what county your located. I unfortunately had the "pleasure" of working with the four C's. After contacting the agency, they emailed me a list of licensed providers. However, most of them spoke Spanish. I then contacted NACCRA, now called ChildCare Aware Of America. They were able to email me a list of daycare centers in New Jersey. I called every single one that was close to my area or in my area and I found one that was affordable, friendly and only 10 minutes away from my house.
When Visiting a Daycare
Do not be fooled by the charming teachers and executive director. As a new mom, you must take a closer look at what is in front of you. Here are two great lists that I found on the four C's website and Center for Children's Initiatives website that I used to help narrow down the daycare centers.
Pros about Daycare
It is never easy to leave your children with someone else for over 7 hours a day. I complained when I stayed home with them but now I wish I could stay home with them all the time. I miss them so much and I wonder what they are doing during the day. However, daycare has it perks:
- Your child (children) will socialize and interact with others
- Your child will pick on new skills to add to their development: My girls would not hold the bottle, a week into daycare, my girls were able to hold their bottle, say "Mama" and "Dada", standing up and trying to walk. They learned to crawl in daycare as well.
- Undivided attention: The teachers love my daughters. When I was home with them, I could not give them all of my attention because I had stuff that I needed to finish.
Daycare is not all rainbows and glitter. There are some set backs of taking your child into daycare:
- Be prepared for your child to get sick more often: When my girls were home, they rarely were sick. Now that they have been exposed to other children; they have runny noses and coughs. The good thing is that it makes their immune system to work harder.
- Staff does not work like a mother: I already created a routine with my girls and now that they are in daycare, they have a whole different schedule. I constantly wondering if they are getting fed everything, are they taken naps. However, the staff is wonderful so I stop worrying so much.
The best part of daycare is picking my girls up and seeing them smile or crawl to me with excitement. It is the best feeling in the world! Any questions for us? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org