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Nashville child care?

So, I *know* that "they" all say to get on waiting lists even before you get pg! - But we had a rather long road getting here so didn't have the luxury of making any advance plans.  

So, today I call the daycare that I was just certain was going to be perfect in every way (location, cost, and etc.) - and they're waiting list is *closed* because it grew to over a year and a half wait! 

I'm not really sure where to start figuring out "plan B."  We're expecting 2, and I'm terrified of the cost.  Also, with 2 I know it will be harder to get in.  I was hoping to wait until the end of the first tri to deal with this - but I guess not! 

Also, location is pretty important to us - DH and I live in the West End area and work downtown.  I just can't see leaving out house, driving to Brentwood or Bellevue or where ever, then backtracking 20 minutes to work!  But, of course, we'll do what we have to do. . . . .

Also, with 2, it crossed my mind that in-home care might actually be just as cost effective. . . . any ideas or recs of how to begin researching this?

Sorry for all the questions, and thanks for any help you can offer! 



Re: Nashville child care?

  • Oh, also - we'd obviously need somewhere that takes infants (which doesn't seem that common), and best case would be somewhere that at least offers care during normal working hours - as opposed to, say, a mothers day out program that offers 9:00 - 3:00 three days a week . . . .although beggars can't be choosers! 

  • Not sure how much help I am, but we started our search last month. For us there are not many options here in Mt. Juliet. We've toured 3...one we're on the waiting list for, one we would never want to go back to, and the final one - not our top pick of what we had in mind for our baby, but will do until something better comes along, and we have a secured spot for our baby in April.

    I googled a lot to find reviews on citysearch, etc. I've looked on craigslist.org and seen some in-home daycare listings, but they don't look quite what I'm looking for...I'd love to take the baby to in-home too (that's where I went as a child),but so far I haven't seen any like the one I went to growing up.

     Just wanted to say hang in there - you'll find something eventually! :)

  • BTW - the place we have reserved will be $192/week for 1 infant - 6am-6pm.
  • check with nannies of greenhills and brentwood nannies. They'll charge a fee but should at least be able to give you an idea of what a nanny will cost. I am paying $560/wk for a nanny but it makes my life so much easier. I don't have to worry about the kids getting sick at daycare and being kicked out until they've been healthy for 24 hours and mornings are much easier since I don't have to get them dressed, fed and out the door at some ungodly hour.

    For the little extra expense I get a house that is tidy when I come home and more time with my kids since I'm not driving all over the place.

  • I worry about this often too.  We are trying (long road too...) and live in Sylvan Park and will both likely go back to work when we are blessed with children.  I have read about this site where you can type in your email and it will give you the centers licensced by the state within a certain distance from you.  They have "star ratings" as well and from what I hear you want a 3 star facility.  It also tells you the minimum age they accept and the times they are open.  Hope this helps you.


  • tnmaybride's recommended Web site is the best place to start. i can tell you though i have called or visited every 3 star faciltity in the west end/downtown area - all had a waiting list, only one had a list less than 1 1/2 years and that was st. marys, that i would actually take my child to. i am hoping we get in there while i wait out the list at vanderbilt - we have a staff daycare but it will be til june before i can get in. I started looking in Februrary and we are due on the 23rd. It is frustrating because you have to pay varying amounts to get on the lists with no guarantee when you can get in.

    We were going to look at Nannies of Green Hills but it was going to be like $3000/month and we can't afford that.

  • It's further out than you want, I realize, but the Gardner School (in Cool Springs/Brentwood) is voted the #1 childcare facility. If I ever had to use daycare, that's the only place I'd go to regardless of drive.  My mom works there, feel free email me if you want help getting on the list if you decided to go see it/feel it's not too far.

    jennifercruger at aol dot com

  • Thanks ladies - I'm going to follow up with all your suggestions (and any others anyone wants to add!) - this is so overwhelming!  (In a good way, of course!) 

  • I would ditto checking out the state star-rating website.  It is a wonderful starting point. 

    Re: St. Mary's--I have had a couple of friends with their children there & they absolutely loved their infant program.  They both said that it was the only place they checked out where they felt comfortable leaving their infants.

    Re: Gardner School--I have heard some good things about this school as well.  Their website says they are opening one in Green Hills soon.

    2 others I would check out--Montessori Centre (on Granny White--bot sure if that is too far out of the way) has a great infant program & goes through kindergarten.  Also, Susan Gray is a fabulous program.  They don't start until 12 months, but it is a wonderful one to check out & get on the waiting list now.  This way if you don't find someplace you LOVE for the first year, you at least have the knowledge you might get in to someplace you do really love once they turn a year old (this is something to consider with some other programs too that don't start until 12 months of age--you could get on the waiting list now just in case!).

    Good Luck!

  • We had DS at the Gardner school from 5-17 months. I loved it. We were in the one out by the airport because I was working from our office in Hermitage at the time. I'm now able to work from home full-time, so we left the Gardner School and got a nanny through Familycareconnection.net. With 2, a nanny may end up being cheaper, if not the same (at least that's what I've found now that we have #2). FWIW, We have been on the waiting list since last September at the Gardner School in Cool Springs and haven't heard a thing yet about getting in and I couldn't even get on a list for the Brentwood one as they said it was 2 years long and "closed" for a while! Craziness!!

    When we had DS we lived in Sylvan Park and there were a number of churches on West End that I looked at. I know I really liked West End United Methodist and heard great things about it, but I think they don't start until 1 year old, which doesn't help you (and didn't help me).

    I know driving out of your way isn't ideal, but I found it to be worth it for the peace of mind of knowing my kid was in a great place. (I continued to have him at the gardner school for several months once we moved to brentwood and I was working from home)

  • With 2, I would guess that a nanny is really going to be a reasonable option.  I found that most places for 200+ per week for under a year old and there is not typically a sibling discount.  They will all have waiting lists because that age group only allows a 4:1 ratio.  A note about the Gardner School (I work for the owners wife)--they did not get the zoning approval for Green Hills so its likely that a location there will never work out.  The one in Brentwood is now Cambridge Academy and not affiliatted at all with the ones in Nashville or Cool Springs.

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