Just Us Girls

Just Us Girls

...one SMC's adventures in single motherhood.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

But is the grass always greener?

I think not.

I went to check out a home-based daycare that one of my colleagues uses just because I was curious, and I was...underwhelmed. The woman who runs it seemed perfectly nice, capable (I guess), but I find myself thinking that I just prefer a daycare center instead. It just feels so much more secure and, well, predictable. For both of us. She watches up to five kids by herself, and the kids are a wide range of ages. Three big dogs. Two cats. One bird. Sure, she's accredited and insured. She's been running her daycare for five years now. But as I looked around her house, a little voice in the back of my head just kept whispering, "But anything could happen here--this is someone's home, not an established center with lots of staff members around all the time." Perhaps choosing a home-based daycare is a matter of one's gut instinct...not sure. And my gut instinct is telling me "No." (Oh, by the way, the reason I decided to check it out is because our daycare center is definitely one of the more expensive daycare places in town. And I feel that if I can find someplace comparable, I really should be socking more money away in savings, if possible.) For now, I think we'll stay put. But maybe still keep feelers out anyway. Oh, and something else: our daycare center does not require me to pay over the summer, just a $95 application fee to hold K's spot. This place, like many other home-based centers I'm sure, asks for $300 per month over the summer to hold her spot, half of the regular monthly fee. I'd be paying $750 this summer for...nothing. And right now I'm paying roughly $120 more per month than this home-based daycare, which will go down by $40 per month each year K is enrolled. But it's like they always say, you get what you pay for. And in addition to a whole lot of other advantages, I think I'm getting a whole lot more peace of mind, to say the very least.


  1. I'm jealous that you can find daycare for under $1000 a month! I pay just over $1200. Insane.

  2. It's absolutely true that you get what you pay for. Trust your instincts. When I interviewed my current provider, she said she'd treat my children as if they were her own. I thought, oh, she's just saying that...but now I see that it couldn't be more true. However, my previous in-home daycare was a lot like the one you described here--only more chaotic. I should have moved Henry out of it months earlier. Trust your instincts.
    (Oh, and for us, finding a place that doesn't make us pay over the summer is a huge deal as well!)

  3. The Mook was in a home daycare from 5 months until 14 months and we switched to a daycare centre when she was 18 months old.

    I far prefer the daycare centre. Yes, it's more expensive ($65/day instead of $40/day), but at the home daycare, I just felt like she was treated like a piece of furniture. There were no activities that were kid-centred; the provider simply went about her daily grind and just happened to have kids in tow.

  4. I pay alot for my center and love it with all my heart. I'm paying almost $700 for three days a week - for a toddler - and it's pricey on a single mama salary. I also feel like I'd be saving more, and I looked into even other daycare centers.

    But my kid can count to 10 and she's not even two, so there's what my money pays for right there. Serious face time with people who care about taking care of her. That's priceless.

    We also just have to pay a deposit for the fall, and don't have to pay over the summer. Altho, if I get this division chair position, I'll be working over the summer, so ....