In-home daycare visit #1: we liked it!

Javi and I visited our first potential in-home day care today before I dropped him off at daycare for the first time in five days. (Hallelujah! We’re all happier when he goes to daycare for a few hours.)

(Not hallelujah-worthy: as I was dropping him off, two daycare teachers were assessing a kid who looked like someone’d punched her in the eye. Conclusion: pink eye. My reaction: back away slowwwwwly. I dropped him off anyway after watching them wash hands and disinfect because whadarewegonnado? Sigh.)

So, first thing’s first: I have The. Most. Adorable. Child. (Clearly I’m not biased.) Really, though, he was SO excited when I got him out of the car. Clearly he didn’t know why we were there, but dude was enthused! While B and I chatted, he insisted on getting out of my lap and was off! He seemed comfortable (and nosy) the whole time we were there, checking out each room and moving along the furniture without a worry. He didn’t fuss when I was out of sight, was enthralled by the older son, and even broke out his super awesome baby war cry (show off)!

As for me, I was pretty comfortable too. When I left and was giving Joey the low-down, I remarked that I felt like like I’d be dropping my kid off at a friend’s. This is good, no?

I’m still concerned about favoritism (how can you help but pay more attention to your own kid?), possessiveness (it is her kid’s house and stuff, after all) and the lack of formality. I like clear boundaries and this is a little more casual than I might prefer, but I liked her and Javi seemed to like it all. I got the strange feeling she was what I’d be like if I was a SAHM and, well, you know, liked it.

It’ll be a bit more of a pain than our current situation because we’ll need to take his lunches and snacks… and we’ll lose our tax deduction because she isn’t a formal daycare. That said, she is 7 minutes from our home.

Tomorrow: two formal in-home daycare visits, one 15 minutes and the other 25 minutes away. Anything I should ask or look out for, other than, “Would I like it here? Would we be friends?”


3 thoughts on “In-home daycare visit #1: we liked it!

  1. My son goes to an in-home daycare and for the most part we love it. He was 5 months old when we started daycare, but I had reserved the spot before he was born. It was our first experience with daycare and I interviewed 4 in-home daycares and 1 center. Some of this might not apply, since Javi is older and you know the day care routine. First, I’d check with the state to see if they have any violations. (This won’t apply to the informal one, which is the reason we only interviewed licensed day care providers.) Also find out how often the licensing agency visits the day care.

    I’d ask what the daily routine is and how much it changes from day to day. I’d also ask how you would be updated about his day. Is there a basic form with some comments, or does she just fill you in when you get there? Our provider just fills me in, but generally I have to ask specific questions, especially now that he is older (15 months). I’d also be asking about the menu. The formal daycare providers should provide food (in NY they are reimbursed by the state like a school is). There have been a couple times that I was surprised by what my son was fed (birthday cake without asking first if sweets were okay). Naps have also been an issue for us. My son is the youngest child there, and around 8 or 9 months he stopped taking a morning nap because he could hear the other kids. She stopped trying to get him to nap in the morning because it was a battle. How/when/where will Javi nap? How will she keep it quiet enough for him to stay asleep if the other kids are awake/playing? Is using a monitor okay with you?

    Also, I’d ask what areas of the house/property Javi will have access to and see every bit of it. Formal/licensed in-home daycares sometimes have areas of the home or property where the children can’t go. (For our provider, the second floor of the house is off limits).

    In NY formal/licensed providers need to have a back up person who has passed a background check and is licensed to watch the same number of kids. You’ll want to know who that person(s) is/are and meet them. I’d want to know what the informal providers plan is as well. Who would she call and how far away are they? What happens if Javi or another child gets hurt and has to go to the hospital? Who goes with him and who stays with the other kids? Will there ever be a reason for her to put Javi in a carseat? If so who provides the seat and how will you know it is installed correctly?

    It’s a lot to think about, but in-home providers can be a lot more relaxed than what you are used to and a lot of these things you wouldn’t have to worry about in a center where there are multiple staff, every one is background checked, and there are lots of policies outlining everything.

    Good luck. Daycare is such a tricky thing and it can be so hard to find a provider that gives you everything you want in daycare.

  2. My sister and I both went to in home daycare and it was awesome. The “babysitter” was a retired lady. That eliminates your worry about favoritism and the like. She wasn’t that old though, just a farmers wife who didn’t have to work anymore. She was licensed and registered which I would recommend. That meant she had to plan out menues and turn them in to the state and she could only have so many children of certain ages per adult.

    She had a regular routine for the kids to follow too. The younger kids had nap time twice a day on cots and beds in two bedrooms an the older kids just once. Tv for the school aged kids for a half hour during down time and a playroom/outside for most of the day. Snack time after naps. No soda or junk. Those things were too expensive. It was moce that she made and served lunch every day. During the school year, she had the ones too young for school “do school” where she did crafts, story time, and flash cards.

    I know if you look hard enough you will find an in-home daycare you like. It’s just a matter of finding out which aspects are most important to you.

  3. We went through a few months ago as well, and I actually recently wrote a blog post about some of the things that we had to think about when looking into the somewhat very informal in-home day care option.

    For us, making sure that he had a quiet place to sleep was key, but we also agreed in advance on things like what we had to provide, what we were allowed to provide (i.e. could we bring some of our toys? Some people said no, others said sure. We liked the idea of being able to bring some of his own comfort toys.) We also created a contract that put everything in writing since the people we were meeting with didn’t have any sort of contract that they used. If you’re interested in seeing it, let me know and I can send it to you.

    And here’s the link to that post if you’re interested:

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