To Go or Not To Go: How to Choose the Right Day Care

July 22, 2014  |  

With Have you ever had a love/hate relationship? I’m talking about the type of relationship that has you feeling one way on any given day and then the total opposite on another day? The type of relationship that can keep you up at night due to your frustration with it, but also one that has the ability to put a smile on your face? I confess, that is my relationship with day cares! With school out for the summer, more and more parents are on the look-out to see where to sign their child up for summer programs or long term daycare – here’s how I found the best place.

With an almost two-year-old at home, I’ve been grappling with this relationship for quite some time as my husband and I were recently on the hunt for child care options for my son. Part of me is thrilled about the opportunity for him to get a head start on his educational development, outside of all of my efforts at home. (You are reading the words of a mother who reads to her child every night!) The other half of me is totally afraid of all of the potential “opportunities” that can arise by sending him off to be in someone else’s care.

I am sure that we’ve all heard some of the same stories: “He will get sick a whole lot more once he starts going to day care,” “You know he is going to be influenced by so many personalities while at school. He will develop so many bad habits from other kids that you’ll then have to work to break them.”

There are countless horror stories around day cares that would have any parent running as far away as possible. But there are also stories of growth, fun and friendships tied to these very same doors.

After tons of internal conversations and more than six different visits to my top choice centers for childcare, my husband and I have finally landed on a school for our son. (Yes, an actual toddler school!) Upon walking into a classroom at the toddler school, I immediately had a smile on my face. Here were these little kids crowding around their teacher, reciting the letters of their names. There were all of these cool easel boards and tons of books around the classroom, clearly a sign of an opportunity for both creative freedom and intellectual development for my son. I was an excited mommy! The teacher seemed like a total natural with the kids and my son was actually waving at some of the children in the classroom. To me, these were all amazing signs, and of course my love relationship was heightening.

Throughout  this process, I’ve learned and come to accept that there are great benefits that come with sending your child off to grow and interact with other children in his age group. Yeah, as an “involved mommy,” it can be very hard to relinquish the care of your child into the arms of those that you don’t know too well. However I’ve promised myself that I wouldn’t look at it as letting go, but more like an opportunity to share this tiny human being who I completely adore with others, others that will ultimately help aid in his overall growth.

So, with this new promise in mind, hit the flip to find five tips to keep in mind when searching for childcare for your toddler.

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