This last week has been full of daycare drama, hurried decisions and changes... here's why:
Kian's been at this daycare for just under 5 months and he's only had good, consistent teachers for the 3 weeks he's been in his new room, and maybe 3 weeks with the other room. I don't like that. He doesn't like that. Kian finally had 2 consistent teachers in the Infant I room. After 3 months of random staff, fill-ins, it was relief for all of us. I had talked to the director about some of the staff changes and how this affected Kian and his schedule, and the random people not knowing his routine, etc. I could tell things were going well and he was glad of the routine when he began sleeping for a 2.5-3 hour nap with Miss Rayeanne and Miss Jaquetta. They are sweet, meshed well and he did great in their room.
Then, because Kian was over a year, they moved him into the Infant II room (12-18 months). I was okay with this because he was the oldest in the other room full of newborns. But, I did not like that there were 2 year olds in this room still. We knew there would be some adjusting to the new routine, the busy-ness and noise of the older room. Miss Kim and Miss Jane were consistent in that room, which was great, and helped him adjust quickly. He seemed to connect with Miss Kim quickly and had no problems going with Miss Jane in the morning. Kian did not, and still does not, sleep more than 60-75 minutes there. Which is NOT enough for him and makes for miserable evenings. I guess Miss Kim has to rock him to sleep to, which we do not do at home, but he's so nosy at daycare he won't just lay down and sleep.
So, of course 2 weeks ago Miss Jane tells us she's leaving for a job closer to home and her child. I get that, it makes sense, but stinks for us. Now for the last 2 weeks there has been a different 'sub' in Kian's room in the morning until Miss Kim arrives. He is not happy about this, and has been crying when I leave him. It is extremely hard to leave him when he gets upset. And the subs don't come over and try to comfort him, I have to engage him in something or get him some juice and cereal so I can leave. Isn't that their job? *insert big sigh here*
Another issue I've had, due to all the staff changes, is that Kian gets food I don't want him to, or doesn't get the food I want him to. I bring him organic milk, Yobaby yogurt (with Iron), juice, and I also leave some snacks there so they can substitute for their snacks if need be. When he was still on bottles in the other room, we ran into instances of him not getting bottles, or getting formula when I had pumped, etc. He was also getting foods I didn't want him to have (syrup, cookies, etc.)
Now, I know you're thinking I'm going overboard with the food part. But, Kian had low iron at his 12 month check up and needed iron fortified foods or drops. Second, the doctor told me he needed to eat more and gain weight because he was dropping in the weight percentile (stupid percentiles!). So, this was my way of ensuring he had more to eat, better foods with healthy calories, and iron fortified foods. Besides meals at daycare are less than healthy: syrup-laden french toast sticks, cookies, chicken nuggets, pizza, white toast for breakfast every day...etc.
Another issue that was coming up, that I could sense, and the teachers would tell me, is the director/staff relationships. Directors were nice and sweet to the parents' faces, but sometimes it felt fake. But I saw times when they were not as nice to their staff as they could have/should have been. Staff confirmed this to me (maybe they shouldn't have, but I'm glad) that directors did treat them crappy at times and had favorite children and parents. Which was another thing that was irritating. My child doesn't need to be any one's favorite (even though Miss Kim said he was hers) he just needs some attention and care and routine. But, certain staff and directors had very favorite children that they would carry around the center for long periods of time; or accommodate that child's parents no matter what. We were not one of them.
So, even though I hate change, I realized when each day my child was miserable, staff was becoming miserable, subs were more frequent than regular teachers; and I felt absolutely horrible leaving my child, almost in tears when I pulled out of the parking lot, that we needed to change something. And when Miss Kim told us she probably wasn't going to stay much longer, that was the last straw. She couldn't believe I worked at this daycare and still chose to bring Kian there. She said he'd do fine with changing to a new place since there are always different people in his room, he's used to new people. She's right.
I knew I had to make a change- now! I first called Pearce 4 Kids child care. This is the one I had originally wanted, but they were full at that time. They had an opening! I went the next day. I brought in the registration the following day, and- we're in! Pearce is the church on Roberts campus, a large Free Methodist church. I worked in Pearce nursery when I was a Roberts student, I attended some services, I was familiar with Pearce and it's programs. I loved that it was a Christian daycare. When Kian and I toured it Tuesday there was such a calm, happy feeling. It just had such a good vibe. What really made me feel good about this decision was seeing happy kids, smaller class sizes, no merging of classes, plenty of loving staff playing on the floor with kids (!) and most of all? Kian ran right into play and had a tantrum when I made him leave. Did you hear that? It was angels singing- music to my ears.
I am a bit worried about the new change, the transition. For me or him? I'm not sure. Both really. It does mean a change in my morning routine, as it's 5 minutes the opposite way, not close to the expressway like the other daycare. It's new teachers and kids for him. Everyone told me that if I was going to change, this is the time now, before he really made friends and attachments. It's true. We are going to bring him in a few times to get used to the room, teachers, etc. There's more security in this center, more for parents to do when they pick-up/drop-off. It is a bit more, price-wise, than the other. But, I know you get what you pay for.
We also talked with Kevin's mom, as she's been offering to watch him a day 1 week or a few days a month. So, she will be coming here on Mondays to watch him, and then he will go to Pearce 4 days a week. This also cuts down on the cost of daycare. So we will be paying less than we are now, he gets to stay home one day a week, and we get a better, Christian daycare. Good deal!
The kicker? The current daycare increased it's price (with no improvement in care or meals). They are rearranging rooms (to get more money) to fill as many slots as possible. Kian would end up being with 5 month-14 month olds. What? And the best? I went in to pick up Kian yesterday and Miss Kim tells us she put her two weeks in and would be leaving. Confirmation we made the right decision.
Of course I had just put a book order in with current daycare a week and a half ago! I'd better get it! So, on Monday the 8th Kian gets a home/grandma day, then we start Pearce. I have a good feeling about this!