~ The Daycare Issue
Since January I have been trying to locate a decent daycare. That is if I can find a job for the fall. I know I have been procrastinating a bit because I had hoped to find a teaching position and then find a daycare close by. Not knowing where I'll be working has left me with little intentions of looking for daycare. (I know, I still don't have a job. . . ACK!) Of course, every place I have called that is halfway decent is already booked through January of 07' anyway!
Chris tells me that no place will be good enough for me, and I know he is right. During college I interned at the Child Study and Development Center for a year in the infant room and a few of the preschool classrooms. They focused their studies on emergent curriculum, based loosely on the Reggio Emilia approach used in Italy where centers are child and family focused. The infant room was so great and each child was so well taken care of that I can't even compare the daycare centers around here to them.
Even some of the NAEYC accredited centers do not live up to their accreditation compared to the child study center. When I tour these places I am left with a bad taste in my mouth with each one. First off, what are these places thinking having no separate nap rooms?! Infants should have a separate nap room with monitoring by window/video/audio and a space for the caregiver to rock/comfort the baby without disturbance from other infants and noise. Also, children should have child-size spaces and furniture to play/eat/etc. This means that if there are places for caregivers to just place a child to eat or play and then take off, then I'm looking elsewhere! And what happened to assessment and documentation? From what I've seen these daycare centers do little in the form of regular assessment and documentation of the children, whether by journaling or photos. Parents have a right to know what is going on in their child's lives while they are at the center rather than just take home a sheet at the end of the day of the logged feedings and changings.
I know even if I do find the perfect place it is going to be next to impossible for me to leave the little one. I hope to at least find a job where I can go to the center during my lunch hour to try and breastfeed. The job search has also been another stressful task at hand. The teaching positions do not pay nearly what I had hoped for, and other companies that have called me back for an interview tell me that I'll need to try and contact them in the fall when I am ready to return to work. This makes sense as most places that are looking for help do not want to wait three months to hire. However, I am left with this big question mark as to what I'll do with my career once my maternity leave is up. I would love to stay at home but we simply cannot afford it. Had we known we'd be expecting this year we would have most likely not jumped into buying a house and doing all of the renovations we've done.
I am looking forward to the time off from "work" and beginning the work of being a mom, even though I'll be dreading the time when I need to go back to work and deal with placing my child into the arms of another for care.