Our Child Care Decision

Child care is strangely a hot button topic for a lot of moms which baffles me beyond belief. I will always be of the mindset that unless a child’s life or wellbeing is in danger, there’s no need to judge other parents, but it happens on a daily basis. I remember a lot of my friends telling me to be careful when writing about Amalia’s child care because they knew I’d get shade thrown at me no matter which direction we chose. Now I totally get it, they weren’t kidding.

While our decision is the best choice for my family, I understand that it might not be the best for yours and that’s great! So note that when I tout the benefits of day care below, I’m sharing why they’re great for us and not, by any means, bashing other forms of child care.

When it came to this monumentous decision, Anel and I figured there were three routes that could work for us:

  1. Part time daycare
  2. A part time nanny
  3. No help at all

As a kid, both of my parents worked full time, and my sister and I went to day care and were picked up by a babysitter until my mom got home from work at 6:00pm. We both ended up being socialized at an early age and loved being at school. It helped us developmentally and emotionally, so I always knew that was what I wanted for my kids. Anel grew up being taken care of by his mom and other family members, but ended up agreeing with me which was great.

But when push came to shove and I ended up with a job where I can work from home most days, that decision was made a little harder. Daycare is insanely expensive, so we had to weigh the cost with the benefit. After both crunching numbers and talking about my sanity at length, Anel and I agreed to start Amalia in daycare at five months for only two days a week. If we think we need more, we’ll add a day, but for now it works for us. I’m able to get a ton of work and errands done during those two days, and I still get a lot of time with my baby which I appreciate even more now that I’m not with her every day.

This was our list of pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Learns how to socialize with other kids from an early age
  • Learns how to nap in a loud environment with other kids
  • Mix of activities throughout the day
  • Amalia is out of the house so I can really focus
  • Introduced to germs from other kids which builds her immunity
  • Dependable care: With a nanny or babysitter, if they can’t make it you’re stuck. With daycare, they have back up plans

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • She’ll be sick a lot at the beginning
  • Not one-on-one care (there are multiple kids per teacher)… But in the end we decided this was actually a pro because it will help her become more independent.

How we picked a school:

The vetting process for a daycare was easy. A few of our good friends used one and highly recommended it. We toured the facility, met the teachers, and immediately fell in love. They are all about the kids’ development from day one and have an art room, a great outside space for playing (when she gets older), and all kinds of fun activities. There is an app where they share her daily details and photos, so I feel like I can check in whenever I want. The teachers are warm and loving, and we felt at home right away.

Getting started:

Amalia’s first day was earlier this week. Dropping her off was very tough, and my tip for any moms doing this is to schedule a packed day so that you don’t think about it too much. Also ask one of the teachers to give you a call with an update if they can. One of ours called us halfway through and put my mind at ease. She’s in her second day today and I’m hoping she actually naps this time. She came home exhausted because she couldn’t nap on day one, but the teachers assured me that’s normal and that she’ll be sleeping in her crib there in no time.

Ok so now it’s your turn! What child care did you decide to go with and why? Remember this is a safe place and there are no wrong answers.