We interviewed three daycare providers today. We met with the first at 9am this morning, and she is located the furthest from our apartment – on the far end of Eureka. It took 20 minutes to get there, but that was without normal commute traffic. I liked the provider but my concerns are 1) distance (I would need to leave the apartment 1 hour before I aim to be at work), 2) her own kids are young (19 months and 4 years), and sleep arrangements might be an issue (Jack would be sleeping in a pack & play there, and I am not sure he'll do that since he is used to a bed). Still, it would not be a BAD option, just not the best.
The second provider, while located closer to my work, is also far away since she's not right off the freeway. We met with her at 10am. She is old and has a bad disk in her back, so cannot use a baby carrier. Not a deal breaker, but still a concern. She has 6 kids in her care, which means that her attention is VERY divided. Initially she rubbed me wrong with how she spoke to one of the older children, but I did warm up to her as the interview went on. Jack would also be napping in a playpen there (see above). While technically everything that she said and we observed was okay, I just didn’t feel comfortable. Hubs liked her better than the first provider, though, because he said that he felt he knew better what to expect from her.
I worked in the middle of the day and then Hubs picked me up to head to our third and final appointment at 4pm. This provider is located around the corner from our apartment – score! She had a great personality, laughed a lot, and I immediately felt comfortable. Her own kids are older (5-12) and she has two other young children in her care that are nearing the 2 year mark. We met one who was a total sweetheart; the provider got bonus points for sharing the story of when the little girl was a baby and she had to hold and rock her the whole time she napped! Jack doesn’t need this, but it’s nice to know that she is willing to go the distance. She is also willing to wear a baby carrier and Jack will be able to sleep in a bed! Hubs had one concern with her being so obviously religious (a few crosses hanging up, tons of Bible-type books, and even The Passion DVD), but most people don’t share our beliefs and Jack is too young to understand any of that stuff right now anyway. It is most important that our son is in capable hands and getting what he needs – I am confident that she can give him (and us) what we need.
We signed the contract for the Arcata provider and Jack starts his new daycare on Monday. I am feeling pretty good!