Somehow the stars have once again alligned. I got the magic call from not one but two of the places he is on waitlists for that they both have a spot for Roman.

How to choose? 

Both are located very close to home and both are registed and received high rating from the Ministry of Children Services. They both have the same teacher- child ratio and all staff are ECE’s.  Both have about the same outdoor play facilities and programming.  Both have alot of documentation around communicating about the child’s learning.  The cost is about the same and they both have room in the next few weeks.

Day Care A is a YMCA day care program at a local community centre.  There are ten spots in their toddler program.  It is a play based learning philosophy.  What stands out for me is that they have an animal in each room for the kids to care for, in the todder room it’s Alice the Bunny and the food is provided by a catering company.  The food philosphy is outstanding and totally in line with my values around the importance of nutrition.  It’s all organic, healthy, and local when possible.  For example, when I look at the menu today lunch is Carrot and Flax Fish Filet with brown rice, snow peas and carrot wheels and seasonal fruit for snack time with an oatmeal cookie. 

Day Care B is a Ministry run centre located in an old age home.  There are twenty spots for toddlers broken down into two groups.  What stands out to me is that they do more theme based programming and have an opportunity once a week to interact with the seniors.  The food however also stands out but not in a good way.  It’s the same industrial cafeteria food that they serve to the seniors.  When I was there the eggs looked like they were of the powdered variety and the fruit from a can. 

So I am looking to you for advice.  After all the basic research was done how did you choose the best fit for your child?  If you could give one piece of advice on choosing a day care what would it be?  I trust your collective wisdom and would be so grateful for a little advice.

 

  • Heather

    I love the question you posed for the caregivers. I am going back and will ask them.
    I have to say that I didn’t get a clear gut answer on which place felt more natural. Roman seemed happy at both though he did really like the bunny at the Y Day care.

  • Heather

    Thanks Hayley,
    I hadn’t thought to ask about the staff turnover, excellent advice. I am going back to visit and speak to the ECE’s that will be in his toddler room.
    That’s why you urbanmom’s are the best resource!

  • Heather

    That is great advice. I am going to go back and ask about the staff turn around and see if I can meet both ECE’s that are in the toddler room.
    Roman seemed very happy in both settings but he finds just about every place his own personal play ground so that’s not a great gauge for us..lol

  • Mom2Michael

    In your case, I’d choose the Y with the better food options. Nutrition aside, institutional food is yucky and may not encourage your child to eat.
    For us, I toured a number of sites with my infant. I was on 11 waitlists and got in to 8 sites in the end. Cost, menu, programming, staff, all were important criteria. But in the end I chose the spot that gave me the best vibe, and that M responded to most positively. He absolutely beamed in one centre and I felt so comfortable with the staff, the openness and the light. They have a super low staff turnover, which was a plus for sure, but in the end it was the overall good feeling we got there that sealed the deal.
    And we are still there 5 and a half years later.

  • Hayley925

    The one piece of the puzzle people often miss is the staff. Yes they are all ECEs because the must be, but the big question is what is the turnover in staffing? ECEs are ECEs because they love the children…not for the big bucks they get paid :P
    That means if there is a high turnover of staff, the centre is not doing the best for the children or staff. A centre that doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles other centres have, but the staff have been there for 5 or more years, is a centre where staff and children are happy. A centre that has all of the bells and whistles but the staff seem to turnover every few months, has problems behind the scenes. You may not see or feel them, but your child will.
    Asking the centre’s staff turnover should be one of the first questions when researching.
    Good luck!

  • http://www.woodbridgemom2mom.com Woodbridge Mom

    Sounds like you’ve got 2 really good options which beats no good options. What I would do in your case is zone into 2 things that I look at since becoming a mom: mom’s inuition and your gut feeling which could be one in the same.
    Price, location, certification aside, what feels most natural when you walk into these 2 places? Which one do you think your child’s personalty would mesh best with? What is the turnover percentage? Lastly, are the caregivers parents themselves?
    These are some of the things that would help me make the final decision.
    Hope they help you make yours
    Sandra Moniz Prencipe
    Woodbridge Mom 2 Mom Sale Founder & Organizer

  • dania

    Did you try the seventh street ? My advice is to visit the daycare few more times. Talk to the parents. Also if there are so many vacancies ask – Why ? – My friend chose further daycare for her toddler simply because she could access a visual footage of what her toddler was doing at all times from anywhere . Cameras were installed everywhere For parents to see! I know its a bit too much but investigating and asking “Why?” might be worth it on the end.

  • Mommy Outside

    Have you had the opportunity to spend some time at both places? That did it for me. I had a tour of a couple of recommended daycares and the one we went with just gave me a better feeling. It was much homier. They were both large centres but the first one made no attempt to make it feel smaller, which is important for very young kids, all that open space and high ceilings just don’t make a kid feel secure. The second one made a real effort to make the centre feel like a home with lots of personal touches from the staff. I didn’t feel like I was dropping my daughter off at an institution. I also found the executive staff at the first daycare to be very unorganized which turned me completely off. Go with your gut!

  • Tracey

    I’d have to say based on the lesser-than food quality alone? The Y would have my vote.
    Still, I’m sure he’ll get excellent care from either place – go with your gut!!

  • Sara

    wow! That’s great news! Here is my two cents…ummm because I also looked at both of the ones that you’re looking at. Everyone that I know who used the Y LOVED IT. I’ve never heard one bad thing about it. I also wanted Will to go to the one with the seniors – I got a great vibe off of it and loved the seniors visiting BUT I’ve never heard anythign about it – good or bad…
    I think you’ll find the Y one is more ‘community’… I’ve noticed such a huge difference feeling part of the community since Will has been at his new daycare. I love it.

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