As a stay at home mom for the last six years, I’ve had a less than stellar opinion about day care. I toured a facility five years ago when A.J. was just an infant. I was taken aback by the conditions in the infant room. There was one child care provider who was responsible for more than four children. The infants in the cribs gave me the sinking feeling that they were in “baby jail.” Don’t get me wrong. The children were clean, no one was crying, but it looked so confining for them.
I couldn’t imagine sending A.J. there – so we didn’t.
After a recent invitation to take a tour of Kindercare in Alpharetta, I came around to the opinion that all full-time child care options are not created equal. In fact, the Kindercare space I observed was top-notch in terms of its curriculum and care. There was adequate staffing, the facility was clean and the children were genuinely happy. Several staff members had their own children enrolled.
In-home care works best for some children, too. Because of my constantly changing schedule, we’ve relied on part-time preschool and moms morning out programs, as well as a full-time in home child care for A.J.
The Kindercare Learning Center also provided Georgia Pre-K for four-year olds and a daily school curriculum for all ages.
I got the sense that education through play, not just keeping kids busy was the focus. By the beginning of 2016, all Georgia Kindercare learning centers will be accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
If you’re a stay at home or work at home mom who needs occasional help with your children, consider hiring a Mommy’s Helper, for occasional help from an older child while you’re at home.
During our visit, we observed the math and motor skills children were working on with pumpkins. They scooped out the seeds, counted them and planned to bake them for a snack later.
Each classroom had a festive fall decor too. This scarecrow won the learning center’s contest too.
Before You Choose a Day Care
- Ask for a referral from friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.
- Take a tour.
- Write down your questions, bring them with you to the tour and write down the staff’s responses.
- Know security procedures like background checks for teachers.
- Check with your state for the day care’s record. In Georgia, visit the Bright from the Start Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.
I also asked for your feedback on touring a full-time child care option on the Mommy Talk Show Facebook page.
Parenting Question of the Day:What’s the MOST important question to ask when you’re touring potential day care options for your child?
Posted by Mommy Talk Show on Tuesday, November 3, 2015
I wouldn’t say that I had bad feelings towards daycare when my kids were little, but it just didn’t make sense to me to pay ALL that money for me to go to work. I would have spent my whole check on daycare, so it wasn’t worth it for us.
I think these are all great tips. When we were selecting a daycare/preschool for my daughter – we visited many places before we settled on one. We found one with great child/adult ratios, with certified teachers and with an actual laid out curriculum.
You gave some great points and suggestions. I have a friend that is going to start looking into daycare for her baby soon and I bet she could use your suggestions!
Daycare is one of those things you have to warm up to. What parent wants to leave their kids with strangers if they don’t have to?
All day cares are definitely not created equal! It’s important to find one that works for you and your kids.
I was always grateful to be a stay at home mom and not need daycare but I know that is not the case for many families. You have to do what you have to do and I am sure the right facility is out there for everyone.
It is so hard to find the perfect place for your kids. I am so thankful to have had people I trust over the years.
The one you found sounds really nice! It can definitely take some searching but there are some awesome day cares out there with some hardworking people!
Great article! As a parent, it is hard to find quality places you can trust wholeheartedly. The best thing to do is research and ask.
The daycare my niece works at is very focused on education. They have classes set up according to the age of the child.
Thanks for the day care check list. Kindercare sounds like a good program.
A mommy’s helper would be nice for my DIL. I know she loves to spend time w/her little one but she could def. use the break.
I became a stay at home mom because I wasn’t comfortable with leaving my infants in the care of others. Now that they are 5 & 6 I am more open to considering a mommy’s helper.
I shared these same sentiments when I had my daughter. I yearned to be the only one caring for her and only family members were to be trusted. A few months ago we made the decision to send her to daycare and it has been great! Now it may not have been as good as KinderCare (I will check them out whenever we move!), but she really looks forward to going to “school” and has made some great friends. I think people shouldn’t hold daycare with such a stigma anymore. Thanks for sharing. This school looks so awesome!
I had a pretty bad scare when my daughter was in day care. After working in the industry, I saw it was not as common of an occurrence as I had thought.
It’s so important to take tour of a daycare facility. And other parents whose kids have gone to different ones are a great resource, too.
It’s so important to trust your instincts when considering any childcare provider! As a preschool teacher, I know it’s a serious thing to trust your child with someone else for hours at a time! Glad you were impressed with this facility.
These are some great tips. When choosing a daycare, word of mouth from family is definitely something to listen to. Also, be sure to check the place out. Not only will it make you feel safer, but it will also give you some kind of idea about what your child is doing on a day-to-day basis.
These are all great tips! I loved reading this from the perspective of a stay at home mom.
Thanks for sharing this post with us! I love all the information you shared girl!
We had a bad daycare experience with my daughter when she was very young. I was a single mom then and didn’t have any other options. This KinderCare looks really nice! I like the tips you offered – I didn’t know about checking with the state back then, but that is such a good idea. And get referrals from trusted friends and family for sure! Great post!
My thing with Daycare is when you know your child belongs there it will happen. Its a mothers intuition.
I didn’t have a choice (or at least I thought I didn’t at the time), so daycare it was…Fortunately, I had attended daycare as a child (when I was in elementary school) so Kindercare was actually my first stop. My son’s infant care at Kindercare in downtown Kennesaw was amazing. I still remember the director’s name was Greta. Of course, since we called her Miss (or Mrs.) Greta, I don’t recall her last name (though I guess I wouldn’t publish it if I did remember)…
Throughout my son’s years after infancy, Kindercare was not convenient where we lived. He has also attended Discovery Point and Kids R Kids (where he spent the most time). I have never been anything but pleased with the facilities.
Looking back, one of the things I would say to look for is a NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited program. Kindercare has several accredited facilities.
As an adult, I actually kind of miss daycare. I remember my 5th grade daycare teacher at Kindercare. I don’t recall her name, but I do remember her teaching us a song. I have so many memories of daycare!
If I had to do it again, I would probably encourage at-least part time daycare for socialization. Mommy groups were not my thing, but I was very young.
I agree. Accreditation means a lot. I keep thinking of the NYC mom who left her child at day care on her first day of going back to work. The day care was not licensed 🙁