I’ve used this space often to talk about the wonders of my daughter’s home day care. The woman who has kept her since she was 4 1/2 months old, has been a godsend. But even godsends have rules.
The sitter, who is an expert at nurturing wee ones and their nervous parents, believes that once a child is 2, she needs a more structured environment. I agree.
My girl, now 17-months-old, is a handful, a bundle of energy who needs to be directed into a more educational environment. We refuse to be undone by waiting lists, so, recently, the hubby and I began our search. We’ve decided to eschew traditional day cares in favor of private facilities that are more like schools. There's so much to consider.
We’ve looked at facilities that have some pretty fantastic offerings, including Spanish classes, swimming and computer lessons. In these schools, televisions are rare, giving plenty of time for practicing socialization skills. They even feature potting training – even though my daughter’s sitter promises to have her trained before she discharges her – and arts and crafts. Most importantly to me, it appears that much of the learning at these schools is taught through play and fun time.
We recently toured several schools in our North Tampa area. Our favorites were Primrose and Bright Horizons. Price tags aside -- I'll be brownbagging it forever -- the hubby and I like both facilities. The problem, of course, is that he has his favorite, and I have mine.
My parents suggested we take our girl for a visit, and let her break the tie. But I think that’s crazy. One cannot make such an important decision based on the whims of a 16-month-old. I’m researching like crazy. But one cannot live by data alone. Mommas and Pappas, what do you think?
-- Sherri Day