Sadly we had to say goodbye to Judah's nanny now that we've moved away to a new city. And besides, I feel like it's time Judah had more social interaction with other kids instead of just him and the nanny hanging out all day.
And so begins the daunting search for a good daycare.
The first place I visited was a Montessori daycare/preschool in a really nice neighborhood close to our house. I don't really know anything about Montessori schools (besides that they're pricey), but I figured it sounds reputable and high-quality. They probably know what they're doing there, right?
To say it was disappointing is a bit of an understatement. Really, it was...sad. It made me feel...like crying, on the inside.
Maybe it was the fact that 20 little 2-3 year olds were supervised by only 3 teachers.
Maybe it was the fact that none of them were having any real interaction with the adult supervisors--the adults were just there to make sure no one made a huge mess or did anything physically injurious to themselves or others.
Or maybe it was the fact that none of the teachers smiled. Ever. Not ONE the entire 2 hours I was there to observe the class. Their expressions changed from boredom to exasperation and back to boredom. I can only imagine how "lively" and "loving" they are when they don't have a prospective client visiting!
For two hours the kids are just left to their own devices. I saw a chubby boy basically cry and meltdown over and over again for two hours. I saw one little girl on her own, just holding a doll, sitting on the floor. I saw one kid, by himself, munching on rice cakes.
But perhaps most disturbing was the 3 kids that came to hang out with me and Judah when they saw that an adult (me) was actually interacting and playing with a kid (Judah). It's like they were hungering for that kind of positive relationship and kept coming to give us toys and talk to us.
One little girl stared at us with big shy eyes and didn't say a word for 20 minutes. But she tried to play along with Judah and me and eventually I got her to say her name (Olivia) age (2?) and got some excited giggles and exclamations out of her. She looked so sad when we left.
Later on, in the second hour, a new teacher came to relieve one of the morning shift teachers. This lady was awesome. She smiled, she talked to the kids, she led them in circle songs and actually had energy. But this is one person in a sea of 20 toddlers. Not nearly enough to go around.
I'm pretty sure we're not going back here. I feel a little disheartened. I mean, for a place that charges about $12 an hour for each kid, you'd think you'd be getting some really top-notch care! But this place was just so...depressing.