Re: June Infants & Toddlers
posted at 6/12/2013 10:01 PM EDT
I do think that it's probably a mixed bag whether a parent feels really comfortable with the center they choose immediately or that it takes a while to grow on them. You have been feeling really comfortable with her current family childcare situation, so it's hard to make a change. And a chidlcare center is very different from a childcare center, too. The unlocked thing makes me nervous, esp. in this day and age, although if I think about it, the first center I ever worked at (and which provided me with very good experience) might not have been locked at the front door? hmmm.... Lexington Children's Center, with Joyce Hollman as the director - good center back 80s and 90s. But I honestly don't remember if we had a code to get in, or a key to the door or.... something? That was many moons ago. But all the other centers I've ever worked at did have a keypad - but that's because mostly I've worked at centers in downtown Boston and DC - and one was in a strip mall where the door opened directly onto the parking lot (after a very short sidewalk). Hmmm....
You'll probably need to line them up and choose between the ones with locked doors. What is it that doesn't give you that "this is it!" sense? The director's interactions? What you might have seen in the classroom? Wondering what they are learning, and what you're paying all that money for? Wondering if the facilities are what you want? Perhaps if you answer those questions you'll have a clearer understanding of the one you like better. Are these 2 the only choices or is there another center you could visit? (although there is such a thing as seeing too many of anything, whether wedding dresses or centers!)
I don't want parents to choose the center because they "like" me, because I won't be working with their child or them as intimately as the teachers will, but you should feel like the director is good, has a good sense of children, the business, and that she can make a human connection.
Also, remember that no matter how much you try to make it about business, finances, being the customer, etc. you will still be emotional about childcare, school, after school sports, etc. because this is your child - so expect (perhaps) to cry at drop off (just hide it from your daughter) and to call every day for a week or so until you are really sure she's doing well.
This transition is hard for you, remember that - your baby girl is growing up, she's leaving the small family childcare provider who has been with her since babyhood, whom you know and know how to communicate with (although I remember you had issues with some of her practices with your daughter as a baby), to jump into something new! We focus so much on the child's transition, and her wishes and desires, that we forget that we have to adjust to the change, too.
Our parents of infants so LOVE LOVE LOVE their infant teachers and their infant rooms that nearly 100% of them have a hard time when they transition to toddlers, because suddenly they have 3 new teachers who don't know that they want communication in a certain way, like to hear about x issue every day or never, and they often express feelings that the new teachers aren't friendly, etc. And yet 1 month later they LOVE their toddler teachers, feel completely at home with the classroom, teachers, etc. At the beginning I'd worry about the "I don't feel welcome, nobody greets me when I come in to the room" until I heard it from so many parents (and had observed during drop off time and SAW/HEARD the greetings, but they are different so don't register) that I expect these feelings of transition from the parents. Not that I discount, I just don't assume it's all the teachers when it's also the parents feeling a bit discombobulated.