Since starting at Chaotic Bilingual Day Care, Inc., Ingrid has learned:
- to hit
- to throw things
- to sing two songs in Spanish
- to correctly use the phrase Oh. My. God., complete with dramatic pauses between words
- to hoard a pile of toys and say No! You can’t play with these. They are mine!
- to herd a pile of stuffed animals on and off the potty chair one by one, commanding, Vamanos! Vamanos!
Scenes I have witnessed in the course of a dozen drop-offs and pick-ups at Chaotic Bilingual Day Care, Inc.
- Two kids taking turns hitting a boy who was cowering against the wall while the teacher was out of the room and the two teachers in the adjoining room who were supposed to be keeping an eye on things were not looking
- A little girl crying and clutching her teddy bear for several minutes before anyone noticed or tried to comfort her
- (Upon arriving to pick up Ingrid one day), Ingrid standing in the middle of the room looking bereft and fighting off tears while all adults were busy wiping fingers and cleaning up lunch messes
Reasons I think this isn’t the best place for Ingrid
- See above.
- Very faint, if any, sense of rapport with the teacher.
- 24 kids, three teachers.
- Disturbed sleep and intense separation anxiety in all situations has lasted the whole six weeks she’s been going there.
Reasons I question my gut feeling that we should find another place:
- Maybe this is just what day care centers are like.
- Maybe the separation anxiety and stressed-out demeanor are just what day care is going to be like for Ingrid anywhere.
- Maybe my lack of rapport with the teacher is mostly a cultural/language thing that would get better as I got to know her.
- Yesterday when I told Ingrid we were going to visit a new school, she asked, Will there be C (teacher at CBDC) there?.
- Many other characteristics of this place that, in paper and on my head, make staying seem like a no-brainer: healthy food, fun programs, neat environment, and most of all the bilingual, super-multicultural nature of the place.
Alternative option 1: Crunchier-Than-Thou Home Day Care
- Waldorf-y, with lots of open-ended craft stuff, cooking, gardening, and outdoor play.
- Six to ten kids; two to three teachers.
- 20% more expensive than (already stretching our budget) CBDC.
- We are visiting there tomorrow morning.
- They probably have a spot available on the days I need.
Alternative option 2: Expensive Start-Up Home Day Care
- Being started in January by two women who each have a son Ingrid’s age.
- Caregivers have lots of child development education and experience with kids.
- Six to ten kids; two caregivers.
- Great rapport with caregiver on phone.
- Not started yet, so impossible to see beforehand what the environment will be like.
- 30% more expensive than CBDC.
- Space is probably available.
- We are meeting with the two caregivers on Friday.
Alternative option 3: Nanny
- Would cost about the same as having both kids at CBDC, even if we use a referral service and pay the nanny on the books.
- Super convenient.
- Ingrid would miss out on the time with other kids, the time away from Iris, and the benefits of a (however minimal) curriculum.
Iris’s care is a whole other issue. Neither of the home day care options take infants. Part time infant care is nearly impossible to find around here. Our current plan is to have her at CBDC in the infant room. She is on the waiting list at Bland Hospital-Attached Day Care with Awesome Ratios and at Fancy No Vacancy, Ever University Day Care.