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I'm just curious what kind of childcare you use.  I'm not looking for a specific reference just yet.  I just was wondering what kinds you have tried for your family and what you thought of them.  Do you prefer daycare or a home provider?  I'm asking here rather than on TB because I think preferences and options can be regional.

I am definitely returning to work post-baby and we would need something full time from September until April or May.

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Re: Childcare

  • I'm trying to draw out my lunch break as long as possible (busy day).  Anyway, I use a daycare center that was recommended by some of DH's coworkers (added bonus...if other cops trust their kids with a certain place, it can't be all bad).  We decided from the beginning that in-home would not be a consideration for us.  There's just too many nightmare stories we've heard from too many people (including, quite often, the provider seeming to think nothing about running various errands throughout the day when the parent does not want their child driven all over the place or the provider having too many other children to care for).  We don't have family available to watch her during the day (my mom's still a few years from retirement and his mom is going to be 80 this year...and currently in a hospital in Atlanta) nor do we have any friends available to watch her during the day.

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  • We did an at home provider due to A being a preemie (she was 4-5lbs when we started homecare).  The first lady thought she would drive my teeny tiny baby all over the place and we weren't having that so we left her.  We found another and she was great until she decided to get a 20 some yr old parrot (I had a co-worker die from her birds, so I was NOT ok with that at all) so we left her and we went to a daycare facility.  We love it and so does A!  She started there around 22 months or so and just took off.  She does so much more at daycare then she did in homecare.  I'm so happy with the place she is at.
  • We used in home when I was working and things were going good until she dropped her state certification (and lied to me about it) so she could take in more kids, I just didn't feel comfortable with her having 8-10 kids with half of them being less than a year old. I'm not working now so we don't have childcare. If I do go back to working and need childcare I will most likely choose a center.
  • I used an in-home provider from when my kids were 6 weeks old.  She had 4 school-age kids, four other kids my daughter's age, and my son was her youngest.  She drove the school-age kids to school every morning (her mom lived there also and watched the little ones while she was gone) and took the preschool kids to the Lutheran preschool down the street two mornings a week.

    Pros:  My kids had a lot of cuddle time when they were babies.  I mainly used her because she was less expensive than a center, and really all I could afford as a single mom.  She also allowed the kids to come if they were sick but feeling okay if I couldn't take off work.

    Cons:  Lack of accountability - there are only one set of eyes on all the kids.  Food choice - I could have packed my kids lunches but we just made sure to eat healthy breakfast and dinner... they ate chicken nuggets and pizza a lot there.  TV time - I know she used the TV to entertain the kids a lot more than she should have.  Driving - if the provider has school-age or preschool kids, she may need to do some driving during the day with your kiddo.  Closings - I had to pay even if my kids didn't go due to illness or if I took a day to stay home with them, and she had a few emergencies come up that left me without child care.  She always took a week vacation too but gave plenty of notice so I could come up with a plan.

    You can probably tell I was anxious a lot of the time my kids were with her, but not because of who she was or any real red flags. My kids loved her and she came to all of their school and sports things... she was great.  I just constantly thought about all those cons at work all day long :(   and her pool made me uncomfortable.  It was gated, locked and alarmed, but one little daredevil managed to get out the back door and had to be pulled out and resuscitated. 

    I guess those are some things you can discuss if you interview any in-home providers.  I pulled them when DS started preschool because I wanted him to go 5 days a week and I had advanced in my career to where I could afford care at a center.  GL!

    SS10 - SD9 - DD7 - DS5 - DS born 10/3/12
  • We have used an in home daycare since TJ was 7 weeks. I am one that will not put an infant/toddler into a daycare center. Its just my own feeling about it. We left the first provider because she ended up being horrible(she was actually a friend of ours). I left after getting a call from her on my lunch telling me that TJ was being horrible, screaming all of the time, not listening(I think he was 14 months old) and that she couldn't handle him and I needed to come and pick him up now. It was a horrible situation and ended our friendship with them pretty much. The lady he goes to now is absolutley amazing! Yes there are cons, but your going to have that anywhere. She gave me a great rate, doesn't take the kids anywhere unless she lets me know ahead of time(which is still very rare), taught TJ sign language, has regular routines, makes sure to a lot of outdoor activities when the weather is good along with keeping them busy in the winter and when its ugly out. I can honestly say that we were blessed to find her(on craigslist of all places!). She has done nothing but helped TJ grow immensely and I can't thank her enough for that! Connor will be going there too(as long as I don't get fired or decide to not go back to work) and I have no problems with leaving him there also. SHe is state certified and all of the kids are right around the same age so it makes for a really nice place for him to go. I don't think I will ever go to a daycare center!

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  • Oh I forgot to add my in-home provider potty-trained both of my kids, so that's a PLUS :)
    SS10 - SD9 - DD7 - DS5 - DS born 10/3/12
  • I only take my kids to family or friends. I have trust issues so I couldn;t imagine just taking them to someone I dont know. Family has let me down a few times but my friends have been amazing with watching the kids :)
  • I use family and friends. I had a lot of personal issues and was a single Mom and couldn't afford anything. I am blessed with a very generous support system though. Last semester when I was in school my kids went to an in-home daycare primarily, but it was still a family member. They love it there.
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