I truly think this is the biggest shock going from no kids to two foster kids 3 and under. Daycare is pure hell.
Finding a spot for an infant is nearly impossible. A three month old with three days notice, forget about it! If you are lucky enough to live in an area that pays for daycare, then you have to find one that accepts the subsidy. I say subsidy, because little did I know, many will charge you the difference between their rate and the state rate.
And you need a form, which they won’t give you until three days before you take placement.
Then you need to fill out more forms and provide proof of immunizations.
We found a family daycare that could take baby Lucas twenty minutes away. We found another that would take Mason until 3 that was ten minutes in the other direction. It was a new daycare, in one big room with ages 2-5. And we had to get uniforms. And pay the difference between the market rate and state rate. We found all of this out weeks after Mason started.
Then the kids got sick. Over and over. Every sniffle involved a phone call from daycare.
Forget potty training. Our bright wonderful daycare run that was pricey, local and “international” returned Mason with wet shoes, complained about him throwing books and called for me to pick him up early 2 out of every 5 days in attendance. They followed the school calendar and were constantly closed. Joe cut his hours back to pick Mason up at 3.
I had to provide lunch and two snacks. They complained about zip lock bags because they weren’t sustainable.
The boys were constantly sick from two separate day cares. Mason wouldn’t nap, wouldn’t listen and I was at the end of my rope.
Then came the day “international” said they were no longer be participating in the state program because they were ill equipped to follow the standards required. I think it was they couldn’t handle my kid.
So Mason moved to Lucas daycare. Then we went on vacation. The family daycare informed us we’d have to pay full price for the two weeks we gone. I couldn’t prove it but I knew the other families were not paying what we were quoted at. x2 kids!
We returned. There was one drop off and one pick up. We discovered the kids never left the house, despite a whole play yard filled with equipment. Mason cried and hid before going into the house. Every time we picked the kids up, whether 10 am, 1 pm, or 4 pm, the television was on and the kids were laying on nap sacks. They ate spaghetti and macaroni and cheese every day. We put Mason on two waiting lists and were told kids from our community were unofficially never enrolled.
Finally we got the call to move him. Mason would go to a school like facility, with cafeteria lunches, lesson plans, small classrooms, play time outside, and teachers who were both interactive and able to handle behaviors. We are still waiting to move Lucas.
Mason forgot his manners, started emphasizing grandparents out of the blue, and flat out refused dinner. He was a menace from the moment he got in the car till he fell asleep.
Daycare #3 was giving him sugary drinks (capri sun drinks) and meal sized snacks at 3 pm. We got a doctor’s note for no sugar due to dental issues and deal with behaviors as they come. He currently likes to tell us everything is disgusting. He puts his emphasis on Ting.
The kids don’t get sick as often or sent home as often. We don’t get much notice when they do close and it disrupts our already chaotic life. But that’s life.