A few months ago, my husband and I faced a big challenge when we learned our 17 month old’s day care was going to be shutting its doors in 3 weeks. The “huh” face that I’m sure you have right now, is the same look I had, coupled with some four letter words and crying. I was devastated that my little one who was as shy as the day is long, was going to have to get acclimated to a new daycare! Not to mention the minuscule notice I received. Switching childcare facilities may seem like an easy task but one and a half year olds are in the prime stage of “stranger danger”, and don’t easily take to new folks. And a new day care spells a new building, new toys, new food and worst of all NEW. SCARY. PEOPLE!Then I had to start the process of finding a new facility, faced with waiting lists, etc. But something pretty awesome happened during my search…I started to look on the bright side of searching for a new facility. So many positives came out of the situation that 4 months later, I realized how it was definelty a blessing in disguise. Here are 4 positives to finding a new day care:
1)You know what you’re looking for
Like many other families in America, my husband and I put Raegan in daycare right at 4 months; as we both have careers. When putting a four month old in the care of others, you don’t know what you’re looking for other than referrals and smiling faces. After being in the child care world for a year and a half you know what you like and don’t like and what works best for your child. Make a list of all your must haves, nice to haves, and complete deal breakers. Going into your search armed with expectations gives you power over a sucky situation.
2)Realizing you might be Upgrading!
The main reason for my uproar when Raegan had to switch schools was because I LOVED HER TEACHERS! Not like tolerated them or thought they were pleasant; I LOVED THESE WOMEN. I felt like it was a little extension of our family. But other than that, my daycare search showed me that our original daycare was like eating a burger when all along there had been steaks out there to choose from. There are all kinds of facilities out there: franchises, small businesses, Montessori academies, all with their own amenities. The upgraded facilities, security systems, and play areas you may find can be a huge glimmer of hope in your search. Finding a day care with a state of the art daily activities app or check in system may make you question how you ever lived without one.
3)Adapting to changes in your lifestyle
Your family situation can change very quickly. Whether it be neighborhood, income, or number of family members. Being forced to find new child care for your little one may allow you to make necessary changes for your life that you avoided as to not uproot your child from a familiar environment. For us, that meant finding a place closer to the new home we just bought and saving those extra travel minutes for time in the morning or evening as a family.
4)Bringing the old to the new
If I haven’t stressed it enough, I LOVED RAEGAN’S TEACHERS. So much so that once I decided on a daycare, I tried everything I could to get her old teachers in her new school. While so far, we only have one(for now) in the school. It makes a world of difference when Raegan can see a familiar face frbom time to time.
I know for some, switching day cares is no big deal but for me and the other parents who had to find a new facility, we felt like the rug had been pulled out from underneath us. But I will proudly say that our little one has adapted so well and is actually thriving more under the care of her new academy. She’s making friends, speaking more, and much happier when she gets home. What were some of your experiences when finding your first or switching day cares?