Shop for daycares in advance
BY ALTHEA PETERSON World Staff Writer
Monday, October 22, 2012
10/22/12 at 6:25 AM
Because I Said So is a blog written by six parents and one grandparent. They explore the ins and outs of parenting every day.
Grandparenting: Parenting with well-earned breaks
As income declines, so does school achievement
Parents should avoid trap of comparing their children to others
I received a daycare note with a little graduation cap the other day: "Congratulations, your child is moving up to the next class."
My now-seven-month-old daughter is no longer an "infant." She is a "tiny tot."
She has now been attending daycare since she was about 2 months old. What an adjustment!
You would think with a nine-month warning like pregnancy I would have started searching for a child care center long before the baby's arrival. No. Foolish me. I could not just walk into any center in town and exclaim "Take my money!"
Also, I was in for some sticker shock: Care for children, especially infants, costs hundreds per month, even if it's not for a full day's care, even if it's not every weekday.
In a nutshell: Daycares are booked. Seek care at least three to six months in advance, regardless of your child's age. And daycares are expensive. Full-time weekday care will cost about $800 per month for infants, at least $500 for older children.
The guilt monster
Then, there's the guilt.
Yes, my primary job is mom. Yes, I am paying someone else to supervise my daughter, but I'm not going to be guilted about it for a wide variety of reasons.
1. The center's care providers have more experience than me. So you're saying that she won't howl during belly time if you distract her with a mirror?
2. Daycare provides a more structured day. Regular feedings and naps. Everything is written down, including diaper changes. No wonder she sleeps better on weekday nights than weekends.
3. It's a social experience. My daughter kicked another baby accidentally while playing? Aww.
But the most important thing to know about daycares? Check them out.
Before you finalize any daycare selection, read Ginnie Graham's blog on the Department of Human Services database of child care providers at tulsaworld.com/dhsreports
Althea Peterson 918-581-8361
Teaching assistant Nicholas Dubriwny (lower left) works with 4- and 5-year olds on a puzzle at a Tulsa day care. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World file