THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A DAYHOME
I absolutely love our dayhome provider, Nancy. My daughter Grace adores her and even says “I love you” every Friday when they won’t see each other for two days. I feel blessed every single day that I found Nancy and I can trust her to take care of Grace when I am at work. With her care and love, Grace is learning lots and growing more confident each day.
People often ask me how I found Nancy and how I chose the dayhome. I tell them a bit of research, lots of actual viewing of dayhomes, asking lots of questions to the dayhome provider (and yourself), and some luck. Breaking it down some more, here are some things that I considered when chosing a dayhome.
TANGIBLE THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Is the dayhome licensed?
Close to home or to work?
Does the dayhome have up to date CPR and first aid training?
What is the physical layout of the dayhome?
Who else lives at the home?
What is the cleanliness of the dayhome?
What are the day to day routines?
What do the children eat for meals?
Where do they take naps in the home?
Do they get enough exercise daily?
The first question was a deal breaker for me. I absolutely wanted Grace to be with a licensed dayhome that is regulated and constantly checked on. There are too many scary stories on the news of how children at unlicensed dayhomes are abused. I wasn’t going to chance it and will take every precaution I could. Location and distance were huge things for me to consider. I didn’t know if I wanted the dayhome to be close to home or work. The argument for being close to work was I can pick her up faster in the event of an emergency. Given this (hopefully) won’t happen very often, we opted for a dayhome close to home.
We went to a lot of different dayhomes to check out the layout of the home and ensure all the environment was safe. Of course I knew it is inevitable that Grace was going to fall and get hurt, I mean she could barely walk yet. That said, I ran through every emergency situation in my head and tried to envision the safety route. I also confirmed my visions through asking a lot of questions to the dayhome provider. I became one of those moms that interrogated every dayhome provider. No shame. Better to be safe than sorry!
Because I wasn’t going to be with Grace every day, I had to know what she would be doing every day. I wanted to know it all – what she will be eating, how long she will be napping, what she will be learning, and if she will be getting adequate exercise. I wanted someone that will help Grace grow physically and mentally.
GUT FEELINGS TO CONSIDER:
Are the other children in the dayhome healthy and happy?
Does Grace interact well with the dayhome provider?
Does the dayhome provider love what they do?
Do I feel at peace when Grace is at the dayhome?
Will Grace grow to become a good person there?
A lot of the answers are subjective and somewhat wishy washy but it all boils down to your gut feeling with the dayhome provider. The very first place I visited, I cried while I was STILL THERE. I felt like all the kids were crammed into one room where they had to do everything there. I felt awful that I was going back to work and couldn’t take care of Grace on a daily basis. I felt that way for days even though that dayhome wasn’t even being considered! When I visited Nancy, Grace was very comfortable with her. They actually “talked” and held hands. Nancy was the first dayhome provider to interact with Grace during their first meeting. Nancy treated her like her own baby rather than someone she was paid to take care of. That “feeling” was what won me over and the deciding factor.
Best of luck to all the moms looking for their perfect dayhome provider! I really won the lottery with Nancy.