OK, I'll admit it...I'm scared of daycares.
Maybe it's because I'm a paranoid first time mom. Maybe it's because I watch too much news, or simply that I've heard too many horror stories.
I was still active duty military when I had Baby Girl. I was extremely lucky, too. Not only did I get 6 weeks of leave to heal and take care of my baby, but they let me take an additional 2 weeks on top of that because my PPD (postpartum depression) was so bad. I know a lot of people aren't afforded that luxury and to this day I am so very grateful for the help I received.
Still, being active duty meant I couldn't just stay home. I couldn't call up and quit, or hand them my two weeks notice. I had to go back to work eventually. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Even with both incomes, finding daycare we could afford wasn't easy. Finding daycare we could afford and I felt comfortable with was next to impossible. The truth was, I wasn't comfortable with anywhere. I didn't feel as though I could trust anyone to take care of my child.
Huzzy went back out to sea shortly after Baby Girl was born, so finding a daycare was left to me. I was so scared.
Children were dying in day care. Day cares have lost children. Some of the day care workers are even abusive towards these poor kids.
Yes, I know that there are wonderful, safe day cares. I know there are fantastic people that will care for your child and do everything by the books. I understand this logically. In my heart though, I've never been so panicked about leaving her somewhere.
After a lot of looking, research and calling around I found a daycare that I felt alright with. I was still nervous, but I felt like I could trust them. Thank God my Bestie came to visit that week. She was the one that made me drop Baby Girl off at the daycare and walk away. She was wonderful and supportive, and didn't bat an eye at my sudden panic attack 2 hours later. Bestie just saw the look in my eye, got in the car and went with me to go make sure my daughter was safe.
I never did have any problems with the daycare we chose. In the beginning I would use my lunch break to run back and check up on her. She was always fine. In fact, as time went on and I got to know the women even better, I began to feel completely comfortable leaving her there while I went to work. I finished my time in the military when Baby Girl was 8 1/2 months old, and I've been home with her ever since. She drives me crazy, but I feel incredibly blessed that I can be here with her.
There are a lot of steps that go into finding a good daycare, and it's pretty easy to find a basic list. I used the one on BabyCenter, as well as a long list I was given from Fleet and Family's visiting nurses.
The only I can say is trust your gut. And check references. It's a scary thing trusting someone else with your child, but sometimes that's what you have to do.
Is your child in daycare? How did you choose which daycare to put them in?