So you've called the long list of daycares and weeded out who is available, affordable and not 100% crazy. Now it's time to drop by and do an interview. This is the most important thing you will do in your search for a daycare.
Ask Questions And Lots of Them
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It’s an interview process and should be treated as such. Northern Nevada Childcare Alliance has one of the best checklist’s available, here. Also, hit up google and search for some questions to ask daycares. A few of our favorites are:
- “How do you treat the children when they misbehave?” – we’re looking for re-direction, which one of 10 daycares we interviewed answered correctly.
- “What’s your experience/education?”
- “Is it typical to not soothe a crying child like the one being left alone over there?” – my husband seriously asked this question at the daycare we wound up hating. The answer was, “oh, that’s just so and so, she always cries.” We should’ve known then.
- “How much tv do they watch?”
- "How do you deal with a child who won’t nap?"
Familiarize Yourself With The Regulations
The Washoe County Licensing Regulations is a good place to familiarize yourself with. You should really rely on licensed childcare facilities only. It costs $60 to license a daycare and while it does take quite a bit of effort, it shows a lot about the people you're investing in.
Washoe County Childcare Licensing Regulations
Now, as I read through the licensing regulations I realized many of the daycares we've interviewed or even sent our daughter to don't follow every single rule. Here's where I tell you that we've decided to ignore a few things because we've felt that the care she's getting is closest to the care we would provide ourself, regardless of the daily log they didn't give us.
The main point I can emphasize about interviewing daycare providers is that you don't need to be shy. It feels odd grilling a person while you're in their home, but it needs to be done. Ask ask and then ask some more.
After you leave, assess what you just saw and don't discount anything that bugged you. For instance, we went on an interview this past week and a few things that concerned us were:
dogs, 1 who had blood on his upper lip from fighting with the other.
baby gate to the stairs was left open the entire time we were there
Now, these are small things that we wouldn't automatically write someone off about. However, after more thought, these small things add up to a bigger picture to reveal more things we were uncomfortable with.
We have interviewed quite a few daycares and only a select few have not left me in tears. I literally had tears in my eyes as we interviewed a woman in Carson City who left a baby, crying on the floor as she talked to us. I was upset after touring a daycare center as the director shouted at me over 10 sleeping children with complete disregard for any of them. I became upset when I saw the row of high chairs my daughter would eat lunch in. I cringed as the exhausted woman at a daycare center complained about her day in an exasperated, frustrated way.
And you know what daycares we did choose? The one's that didn't leave me uneasy after we left. The ones that made me think, "I'm jealous of Gwen, I want to come here." The ones that left me not dreading the very idea of leaving my daughter at daycare. There comes a time when you feel helpless, that you will never find somewhere that will make you feel like this and maybe you'd like to just give up and compromise. Don't.
Don't discount your feelings, no matter what anyone else tells you. You'll know when you've found the right person and places, but until you do, keep that chin up and know you're doing the right thing by listening to yourself.
Next up: What do to do after you've found your daycare and how to check their licenses.
This is Step 2 to Finding a Daycare in Northern Nevada. Read Step 1 to Finding a Daycare in Northern Nevada.