Metro Child Care Center in Framingham - Thoughts?

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    Metro Child Care Center in Framingham - Thoughts?

    Good Morning,
    After viewing a number of different centers the MEtro Child Care Center in Framingham on Fountain Street is our favorite so far factoring cost, program and extras.  Anyone have any experience with them?
    Thanks

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from rhm327. Show rhm327's posts

    Re: Metro Child Care Center in Framingham - Thoughts?

    Haven't heard of that one yet, austen. Did you end up seeing the one at Staples? Curious to hear your thoughts. We will be checking out Wee Care in Southboro soon.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from austengirl. Show austengirl's posts

    Re: Metro Child Care Center in Framingham - Thoughts?

    The BH at Staples was very nice and actually less expensive then Mountainside for us with the employee discount.  I liked the outdoor play areas, the rooms were large, clean and full of daylight and their program seemed very involved.  They create a detailed scrapbook of your child, bring in spanish lessons, yoga etc.  They even do a lot of sensory painting and projects with the youngest of infants.  My reserve is just that for about $2300 less a year Metro and DC appear to provide quality care just with less of these frills.  They do both have outdoor play areas and Metro tries to bring the kids, even infants out doors 2x per day (obviously not in the weather we have been experiencing).  Metro also has a gym in the same building that they use the pool for older infants and toddlers for lessons.  They might not appear as polished but appear to provide the same quality of care.  How do you make that decision?  I am finding it very hard.  I want to provide the best for my kid but I also hate hate hate "just getting by" financially. 
    The thing I liked about Metro is that they bring in students from Keefe Tech that are in Early Childhood education as interns.  So you have your teachers and assistants per regulations then you have these extra hands playing with and providing care for your kid.  It was nice to see 3 rather than the standard 2 people in a room.  All criminal/dsa/disiplinary backgrounds are still performed as well. 
    I am definetly finding this to be a very hard process.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from rhm327. Show rhm327's posts

    Re: Metro Child Care Center in Framingham - Thoughts?

    austen - which center is DC? Getting lost in the abbreviations a little - sorry! And it is a hard decision, but $2300 a year is a sizable amount and something to consider.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from austengirl. Show austengirl's posts

    Re: Metro Child Care Center in Framingham - Thoughts?

    Sorry - DreamCenter in Ashland.  It is right at the T Stop and the cheapest we have found so far at $260/wk.
    I use BH for Bright Horizons. 

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Metro Child Care Center in Framingham - Thoughts?

    Austen:  You hit it on the head when you said: "They might not appear as polished but appear to provide the same quality of care."

    If they truly offer the same type of care, then go with them at Metro because it's also more cost effective, and that is alot of money to save.  But if you do feel the care is not as good and you can afford, it, then the better center is always best.  Just don't think that more money is always better - yes, the cheapest center won't be good because they don't charge enough to hire high quality staff, etc., but we're not talking rock bottom pricing here!  It's not the new, spanking beautiful center, but if the teachers are loving and caring, if the toys, rugs, and floors are cleaned each night, if the teachers complete a daily note to keep track of when your baby ate, how much, what s/he ate (breastmilk, formula, baby good, cereal, table foods), when and for how long baby slept, when each diaper change was and the "result" and also a little something about how your baby's day went "oh, Margaret waved to us, that's the first time we've seen it!"  "Isaac enjoyed his fruit today - he kept reaching for it and smiling, then blowing it back at us!  What a mess, but what fun."  "when we went for a walk, all the babies enjoyed seeing the squirrels digging in the leaves to find acorns." 

    are they reading books and singing songs throughout the day?  when?  how do they do it - all stop at 10am and force "circle time" on a mix of infants of all ages, or do they do it throughout the day when they have a few minutes when all babies are fed and happy and a child brings a book to them?  (I believe the latter is better)  Are there board books available in each classroom that the babies can self-select from a box to look through and "read" on their own? are they singing songs with the children?  are they offering them chances to be on the floor and stretch, move, roll around, reach for toys and develop their core muscles and the ability to roll over, sit, reach, crawl, etc. and NOT sitting in bumbo chairs, swings and bouncy seats most of the day?  Do they sleep in their CRIB vs. all over the classroom?  In their own crib (the children don't crib-share, right?  that's horrible!) that is cleaned at least weekly (and of course immediately after a spit-up, vomit or blow-out occurs)?

    may I make a suggestion?  Go back and spend about 40 minutes on the floor in the infant room at Metro and evaluate it.  See if they are doing all these things.  also, see how they handle it when babies cry,  and how they react when several are crying at the same time.  Do they calmly work with each child, perhaps saying "Isaac, I know you're tired, I'll come help you go to bed when I'm doing changing Mary"  or do they just silently go about their business, shushing children and trying to get them all quiet at once?  Do they seem really present to the child or children they are holding, not to ignore that others are crying, of course, but when you are trying to be all things to all children you are nothing to all.  That is, feed the one who needs feeding, bring the one crying nearby so you can soothe with pacifier, eye contact and words, but know that you must finish feeding this one, including eye contact and talking to the one you're feeding before you can move on to the next.  Clock how long it takes to get them all calm and organized - it shouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes (clock it because it might seem longer when 3 babies are crying at once!)

    during this visit, you can see how the interns are guided to work with the babies.  because, yes, it's fab that there are interns and extra people there, but make sure they are doing things properly or you won't be happy when an intern uses nasty language, picks a baby up incorrectly, acts angry when 3 babies are crying, etc.  What type of ongoing training do they offer the interns and require of the teachers? 

    So spend some time in the classroom really observing.

    And do the same at the others that you are considering - dream whatever and BH - and see what's what.

    Finally, everyone: do NOT think that those daily notes aren't important re: feeding, diapering and sleeping.  Many centers simply don't give you any info re: what your child did and you end up 9 hours later with a few empty bottles and wondering if baby ate much, some or all the bottles, (perhaps she finished each only 1/2 way and they had to throw the rest out?), wondering if and when he slept, when was the last time s/he ate so I can plan whne to feed next, etc.  These notes are simply, as far as I'm concerned, A MUST FOR ANY INFANT PROGRAM and so often it's not done.  I know 2 people who are struggling with this now - they just don't know what's what with their baby and it's a horrible feeling.

    Of course, don't assume that BH is ONLY prettier and sparklier, perhaps there is also a reason why the classrooms seemed more itneresting, educational, etc. - were there more toys available?  were there interesting things on the walls for the babies to look at?  is there any climbing or other gross motor type of equipment in the infant classroom?  mirror down low with a grab bar to look into as a newborn and pull to a stand with and make funny faces as an older baby?

    the portfolio (not scrapbook), when done well, will show you how your child is learning in all domains of learning (gross motor, fine motor, social and emotional, language, creative development, etc.) as your child grows - you should see evidence of how your child develops in the book.  But you're right, that's not evidence enough of higher quality to choose that center only.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from austengirl. Show austengirl's posts

    Re: Metro Child Care Center in Framingham - Thoughts?

    Thanks CT - I would love to go back and spend more time.  Will try to fit it in over the next couple weeks.  We did ask for a few referrals and have a couple names so I am going to ask some of these questions to them such as the daily sheets.  We did see examples while there but would be good to know they are consistent like you mentioned. 
    The rooms look similar in toys, artwork on the walls, pullup bars with mirrors etc difference is the type of building - though safe and warm - just not obviously built to be a daycare from the getgo where as bright horizons is...
      All the basics are the same at all the places we looked at (except one which we have removed from the list because I did not like how the rooms were unlocked and open to the rest of the health club)
    Everyone has individual cribs for each child, accomidate breast milk, allow storage for supply of diapers, extra clothes, sheets if not provided, evacuation cribs with easy access to doors, secure entrances and exits, All Teachers and Aids have CPR/first aid training rather than a few; how bottles are warmed (not by crockpots but in warm water baths); toys rotated after child plays with them then rooms cleaned everynight, kids go outside on most days (weather permitting)etc.
    Bright Horizons had a better pitch if you will - using more Early Childhood developmental language, the scrapbooks, variety of outside classes offered for older kids.  But it is a brand or chain of daycares so I am sure there is a corporate-ness to it that I did not feel with Metro, which felt more family like. 
    I will definately try to get back for a second visit - the director says he frequently does third and fourth tours with prospective parents so I am not afraid to ask! 
    Thanks again for your info - it will provide a deeper look for the second go-round.
     
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