I chose a daycare for my kids that was opened relatively recently and is run by a young woman who seems quite capable and so far has handled the kids very well. She's really sweet and loving with them, but I've also seen her correct them when they are rough with each other or misbehave (which they need). I am not at all concerned about her ability to take care of my children.
One of the main reasons I picked this daycare is because it is very close to my house. It is a 10-minute walk (max - sometimes I do it in less), and I LOVE that I can pop the kids in the stroller and have a nice walk over there, and not struggle with carseats and screaming, plus I get to actually enjoy the walk there and back. The first few times we went by bike, but then I needed to swap out the bike trailer into a stroller and that was a pain. But it only took about 3 minutes to get there. I'm not sure what I will do when it starts raining, or at least on days when it's raining hard.
I am struggling, though, because Turtle especially freaks out when he realizes I'm leaving. It's really heartbreaking. Today, he just wouldn't get far away from me because he knew if he did, I'd leave. I just stayed in the doorway and he kept bringing books and sitting in my lap and looking at me nervously if he strayed farther than a foot or two. When he saw I was leaving, he started screaming. Even the caregiver has talked about "making the transition easier" for him. I feel so bad. I realize that this isn't a problem with this particular daycare (I don't think), I think it's a separation anxiety problem, and I don't know if I'm doing the right thing.
The major downside of this place is that it is TINY. It's a little one-bedroom apartment. On nice days, which we've had so far, she takes them for walks, to the library, to the park, to the playground. But I'm worried about what will happen when it starts raining. I mean, I know people who have kids and live in small apartments, so I know it will be fine. But I still can't help but wonder if it's better to find another place.
Also, because the place is so small, she said she might take on another kid on the days mine go (Tue-Thur), but might not, and if she did, one more would be her max. Which is a bit of a disappointment, because we wanted our kids to get more socialized with other kids besides each other. Today, her Mon-Wed-Fri kid was there (around the same age), and they already seemed like they were having a good time when I left (well, Tadpole anyway).
Another negative is that because she has the other kid Mon-Wed-Fri, she wants my kids Tue-Thur, and Thursday is the day I usually go out with my mom's group, which I am now not doing. So the kids are actually losing that socialization opportunity, I'm missing my chance to see my other mom friends, and we're all missing chances to go to some of the fun places and do the fun activities the group has planned lately. If today goes well with the extra baby at daycare, I might just see if she's willing to switch it up at some point and maybe do Mon-Tue, so I can have the kids on Thursdays.
So I have mixed feelings. I was hoping to have the kids in a more formal setting, although I think they're young enough that it doesn't matter at this point. Perhaps switching to Mon-Tue will be better all around - they'll be with another kid on Mondays, have extra attention on Tuesdays, and we'll get to socialize on Thursdays.
Thanks for hearing me out! I'd be interested in hearing about your thoughts and/or experiences with daycare, too!