I have a situation that I am not sure what to do about.
My children have been at a home daycare since they were newborns. They love Ms. T and she seems to genuinely care for my kids as well. However, we fall victim to the usual home day care dilemma...She is closed on ALL holidays plus a few more days. In addition, she also closes a week in the summer and a week at Christmas. We don't have to pay when she is closed for a full week, but all the days here and there are paid and are becoming all the more frequent. She posted just this morning that she will be closed February 22nd for a medical procedure. In addition, because she is a home daycare she doesn't teach. So other than socialization (which I know is important) my children receive no educational benefit.
I was debating sending my oldest, Drama Queen who just turned 4, to preschool. However, I was told this morning that the rates are the same even if she only comes part time. I was told that the new comers are paying more than we are, and most day cares now charge almost $200 a week. While this is certainly true, the other daycares also claim it on their taxes which means that I can as well. No such luck when you pay in cash, but that has its advantages too. At this time there isn't an all day 4K in our District. There might be one in the Fall, but they don't know yet (which it a topis for a WHOLE other post-how can you NOT know what you are going to be doing in a few short months when registration is in March?) Ms. T asked me today to make a decision as far as preschool goes because there are other people waiting on a spot. :sigh:
I have been on the phone calling upteen day care centers and I am now emotionally distraught. I really can't afford it. There is no way I can afford $100+ more a week than what I am paying now. There are a few that are within our price range, but they don't have the best reputations. I have a call into DSS to find out exactly what complaints they have recieved over the last several years and I think I am going to visit one this afternoon. But herein lies my dilemma. My kids aren't babies anymore, so I don't worry as much about them as I did when they couldn't speak up for themselves, but I still worry. As much as I know that Ms. T takes good care of my kids, I am sure that there are things that go on when no parents are around that might make my head spin. No child care facility is perfect and I am realistic in that expectation. There is one that has immediate openings that is mere minutes from my work. But it doesn't get rave reviews from most of the people I have spoken to about it. It is run by a local church. More than one has claimed that it is dirty. That one I guess I will have to see for myself. The other option is another church run facility. The only problem is that they only have openings for DQ right now. That and I have to pack their lunches everyday. Which I guess isn't that big of a deal really. Do I go ahead and get DQ in the program and then wait for an opening for WM or get on the waiting list and hope that something opens up soon?
Ugh! What to do? It is a heart-wrenching decision for me. I am terrified that I am going to make the wrong decision. What if I pull them out of Ms. T's and later find out that the place I chose was deplorable? Can I trudge through and deal with the current situation for the next 2.5 years? I just want whats best for my babies and I don't want to put them in any situation that could be potentially harmful.
Why can't this be easy?