So, since I have difficulty relying on my own judgment alone, I am bringing a bunch of internet strangers into my decision process.

I went to see two daycares yesterday, and will see two more today.

Daycare One:

Distance: A four minute drive from my house

Caretakers: Two – a woman about my age and her mother, both Middle Eastern, possibly Persian.

Details: $900 a month for full time, lunches provided. Posted menu showed meals like chicken and rice, meatballs, macaroni and cheese, etc. The kids were sitting at a table snacking on strawberries and bananas when I arrived.

No contract, and they seem to have several spaces open so they were very “sure, whatever” when I told them that I wouldn’t know my hours or even whether I had work for a while.

Kids are all two-three, no babies currently. One of the kids (one of the only full timers there) has been there since he was a baby.

No outings, but a big yard to play in.

I liked:

No other babies, so Babby would have a stand-alone kind of status.

No rush to make a decision

Two caretakers in the household.

Unexpected drop ins allowed.

Latest inspection showed no violations.

I didn’t like:

Routine half an hour of TV a day before nap time.

Past inspections found the following violations:

202 Physical Facility, Equipment & Furnishings
“Structural or maintenance or state of repair” does not meet requirements.
205 Policies & Procedures
“Hazardous practice” observed.
603 Records & Reporting
“Records regarding person in care” do not meet requirements.

Daycare Two:

Distance: a ten minute drive from my house, but along a main road (not hidden up in the subdivisions).

Caretakers: One, a fifty year old woman with 20 years of experience. I thought she was Russian from her accent, but her name is also Persian. PH, who works with a lot of Farsi folks, says that she’s probably from Northern Iran.

Details: $900 a month for full time. Lunch is not provided. One space opening in September, when a three year old goes to preschool and one of the babies (there are several) graduates to toddler status. The lady said that she isn’t in a huge rush to fill the slot, because I’m coming in ahead of most other moms – she’s getting a lot of calls, but all for immediate care rather than care in the fall.

She does have a contract.

There is a big yard and a play set for the kids to play on, and a lot of toys in the house.

I liked:

The lady herself- she made a big fuss over Babby and spent ten minutes on the floor with him, showing him toys and applauding every little thing he did, before she even got around to discussing the daycare in general. She was warm and very chatty, telling me about how her car had been broken into recently. She has run her daycare for a long time and says she runs into old kids, now grown up, every now and then and that they get excited to see her and hug her.

No TV at all, except maybe as a rare treat. “TV is not good for them,” she said to me, frowning (I phrase the question: “how much TV do they get to watch a day?” so that I don’t give away my opinion on the subject, which is that TV is from the devil). “They have so much to play with, so much imagination. What do they need TV for?”

Parental drop-ins encouraged – she said that parents often worry about how their kid is doing and encourages them to come by, suggesting that they peek in the window so they can see their kid without their kid knowing that they are there.

She had to cut the interview short, because she had to go do something, but she encouraged me to call her with any questions and to come by again if I wanted.

I didn’t like:

This lady has never had a violation-free inspection. The lastest one (in May) showed:

202 Physical Facility, Equipment & Furnishings
“Structural or maintenance or state of repair” does not meet requirements.
302 Records & Reporting
“Staff records” do not meet requirements.
603 Records & Reporting
“Records regarding person in care” do not meet requirements.

Past inspections have come up with:

203 Hygiene & Communicable Disease Control
“Sanitation or housekeeping” does not meet requirements.
204 Physical Facility, Equipment & Furnishings
“Storage practices of hazardous materials” does not meet requirements.
501 Policies & Procedures
Policies & procedures to guide staff action regarding “behavioral or discipline” issues is not appropriate; or not implemented.
502 Policies & Procedures
Policies & procedures to guide staff action regarding “emergency or risk management” issues is not appropriate; or not implemented.
603 Records & Reporting
“Records regarding person in care” do not meet requirements.

and more.

Both daycares had never heard of using cloth diapers before. The second lady said that no one had posed her with this question in her 20 years of care. The first daycare the older woman had clearly used them before, and she waved away her daughter’s confused expression.

Both daycares were cautiously open to trying them, but clearly thought I was nuts.

“Is… he allergic to disposables?” the first lady asked me, baffled.

Maybe I should say that he is.

I have two more interviews today…

Boy, this is stressful.

What do you guys think?

Oh, and it’s our third anniversary today. We’re going to go to a movie after PH gets off of work. Yay!

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