Thursday, February 16, 2012

Finding Childcare

Makala's new addition, Shelby Faith Pollard
With our baby girl on the way in March, I began to search out childcare options in late October/early November.  To say this was an interesting exercise is a gross understatement. I joined a website that specialized in finding providers and posted the “job” to see what type of applicants I would get.  Oh. My. Word.

There were many, many 17 and 18-year-olds who applied.  I’m sure some of them would have been fine, but I had clearly stated on the job posting what my age range was and that was a little too young for my comfort level.  I even had one email/apply and tell me she was looking to “get” two babies and was pregnant with her own.  Delete!

The next factor that took many of them out of the race was cost.  One provider wanted $700 per week.  Another, $500 a week.  The next one wanted $450 a week.  And all these people wanted me to bring our daughter to them and had a number of other kids they were keeping. I mean, can you at least come to my house and maybe load the dishwasher, maybe throw in a load of laundry for that price?

I conducted some phone interviews and had a moderate comfort level with a couple of them, but not enough to want to venture any further.  Some of them had their own licensed in-home day care and assured me they could take an infant in May, but my gut was telling me sure, they would take her and sit her in the corner with little attention.

Finally, I found a provider I wanted to actually go meet in person.  Let me tell you, I had high hopes after everything I had seen so far.  I just KNEW she would be the one.  I arrived at her home and we began to chat-rather she talked and talked.  You can tell a lot about a person by their home.  So as she talked I observed some of her d├ęcor and surroundings.  I realized she had many, many professionally taken photos of cats on her walls.  A few too many for my taste. 

Then as her toddler came over to her and tried to grab the remote for the TV, she looked up at me and said “we don’t use N-O here.  We just redirect.”  I’m pretty sure the look of confusion on my face said it all.  Good for you, I thought.  We use the word “no” in our house-and we will probably continue to use it when this child arrives!

At this point I needed to get out of here.  This was not what I wanted.  I had thought I wanted a private sitter but none of this had worked out how I had imagined.

When I finally managed to escape cat lady’s house, I drove home completely disappointed.  The very next day I called the day care located directly across from our neighborhood.  I made a surprise visit there after work and requested a tour.  They actually greeted me by name even though I didn’t have a formal appointment and had simply inquired about rates/info when I called.  We walked into the infant room and it was like someone said “cue the babies-action!”  There were a few sitting on the floor with a teacher-they all looked up and smiled as big as they could.  The other infants did the same.  I was immediately comfortable.  This is it!  I found the right place.  And as the fates would have it, their waiting list went until May so I was glad I stopped by.  I went ahead and signed her up and marked that task off her list.

Did any of you have trouble finding the right child care for your baby?

Editor's note: It's a good thing Makala was able to find a great childcare provider, because Shelby came early, born at 12:14 this morning!

Makala Pollard is a Sr. Marketing Specialist for Texas Health Resources, Stepmom, and -- as of this morning -- New Mom to Shelby Faith.

1 comment:

  1. This was the shocker for me - I did all of these things before my son was born - and I thought I was done. Little did I know, this is a decision that has to be revisited time and time again. It's a never-ending battle for the working parent, I think. Part of the definition, I guess.