This is My Life: Day Care

For the past 2 weeks, I have been researching, calling, Googling, emailing, interviewing, and schlepping to, day care/preschools. Just from the names that sounded nifty, I have 3 pages of listings. Where there were web sites, I visited them. I’ve now been to 6, and have 3 more scheduled to visit, plus a few more that I want to call. These are all home day care/preschools. I’m not into an institutional location for Jack quite yet. He’s only 21 months, and, although I would love to send him to the local La Petite Academie, I think he and his therapist might have problems with that in his later years.
First Day Care – nice lady, she and all the kids in the day care appeared to be white. She had a great back yard. She’s close. But the inside space was a little small.
Second Day Care – super-structured woman, she was a lawyer in Peru before coming here. She had no backyard activities, though her indoor play space was quite nice. Oh, and it’s .5 miles from my house, so we could walk.
Third Day Care – farther away than I thought. The woman is black, and the kids in her care seem to be black as well. Jack enjoyed playing with the 2 girls who were there. The space – indoor and out – is smaller than I would like. I really liked her as a person; I could see being friends with her. I’m just not sure I got a teacher vibe. Also, she has to be strict about nap time, and wakes them up because she has to pick up kids from school. She lives within walking distance, though it’s a LONG walk.
Fourth Day Care – really nice lady, who’s also black (possibly mixed). She’s the furthest away you can get and still be in East CC County. She has no backyard, but has a great indoor play space and is within walking distance of 2 parks, which she visits daily with the kids (weather permitting, but this is California). I really like this one.
Fifth Day Care – on the phone, the woman tells me that she has ADHD and is writing several books. Because she has an amazing web site, including the ability to log on and see the kids on CCTV, I go anyway. Her set up is great – big backyard with LOTS of toys, and the entire front portion of her house is a school. But she just … she kept telling me about the real estate deals she’s working on (she’s an agent) and how she raises these exotic birds for the pet store. I also wasn’t comfortable with how much she thinks she knows more than the parents know. She said, about this 3 month old baby in her care, that baby’s mom was sad leaving her. Day Care Woman said, “Just think, in a couple of weeks, she’s not going to know who’s mom, me or you. That’s how much she’ll be loved.” I know my face went into some sort of reaction contortion, though I tried really hard to cover up by reading the contract.
Sixth Day Care – a woman who just had her hip displaced. This would be like sending Jack to Grandma’s – well, Great-Grandma’s. She was the sweetest woman ever. Her granddaughter helps her. She was very down to earth, and just nice as nice could be. Jack really liked the granddaughter. The set up is OK.
Basically, if the sixth woman was black and had the house of the fifth woman, then we’d probably have our day care provider.
It’s important to me that Jack have black people in his life. Would I choose a black caregiver over a white one if the white one were more qualified? No. But all things being equal, yes.
On Monday, I’m seeing a preschool here in Antioch, and one in Brentwood. Then I’m visiting a Montessori school on Tuesday. Jack can’t go until he’s 2, but I’ve heard good things about Montessori programs in general, and would like to learn more.
Tomorrow, we are finally taking family pictures. At JC Penney. We’re all wearing red shirts and jeans. And Jack will also get pics in his cow costume.
I should add that I think Jack will be fine wherever he goes, as he’s been very happy to play with the kids and caregivers wherever we’ve gone.
More later.

Jack in Cow Costume
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