The End of [the Daycare] Era

Well, never say never, but I’m pretty sure that Friday was Stella & Harvey’s final day at daycare!

About 6 months ago I wrote a bit about my frustrations with the way our licensed home daycare provider had drastically changed the environment in her home by deciding to home school her 8 and 11 year old boys without notifying the daycare parents in advance. My frustrations with her as a business owner and daycare provider went far beyond that particular example, but the bottom line was that I knew she loved my kids and I knew she had the best of intentions with them & her business in general, and since there were no other viable options in this tiny town, I tried to make my peace with my frustrations and be okay with things.

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A picture of the kids with Miss Jen from last Friday – poor Stella woke up with a horribly swollen eye on Friday, we think from an allergic reaction to something.

The problem is that settling for the status quo is eventually not good enough for anyone. Jaime dying has sort of flung me into a carpe diem mentality, and our daycare situation was no exception. A couple of weeks ago a woman in town who used to run her own daycare talked to me about watching the kids in our house in more of a nanny situation. She is going to charge us the same rate we were paying for daycare, but I won’t have to have the kids up and washed and dressed and fed and out the door to daycare before I go to work in the morning. Also, it will be a 2-on-1 situation instead a 6 or 8-on-1. As great as that sounds, I was honestly hesitant about making the change because Stella totally loves her friends at daycare (as well as the provider), but the nanny situation would be SO much better for Harvey (IMO) and so much less stressful for me in the mornings that I finally pulled the trigger on making the change.

Once we decided to do this, the next big step was telling Miss Jen. I was honestly pretty terrified to tell her, both because I knew she’d miss having my kids (and the income that came with them) and because she tends to react pretty emotionally about things. Thankfully the conversation actually went really well, and when it was all said and done, she told me that me pulling the kids was actually going to push her to make a change she had been wanting to do for a long time but had been afraid to do. Long story short, she has been feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, and like she has been putting her own kids 2nd for a long time, so she gave all of the other daycare parents a 30 day notice, and on May 1st she is closing her daycare, moving to a town 30 minutes away, putting her kids into the Christian school there (instead of homeschooling), getting the surgery for her severe endo that she’s been putting off, and restarting life there with her husband and kids. PHEW. Big changes.

So ya, last Monday I told Miss Jen that it was the kids’ last week with her and this Monday I will have a Nanny in my house watching my kids. That sounds so sudden – and so fancy! Ha.

Now I’m just praying that this was the right move for us and that Miss Margie is in this for the long haul. Everyone I know who has used her RAVES about her — but she’s also known for changing her mind about wanting to do childcare every year or two, and we’d be S.O.L. if that happened (because there are no other options in this town of 1,000 people). So we shall see. For now this will hopefully be a great change for us and for our kids, and I am incredibly happy about that.

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15 comments

  1. Terrific! Happiness all around. WIN!

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  2. This is our childcare situation twice a week and it has worked out great! I think there are more pros than cons (some you’ve mentioned) and it’s especially nice when the person runs the dishwasher, throws in a load of clothes, etc:] The only downside we’ve had is that so far they’ve all been college students and have not been able to commit longer than 6 month to a year… but luckily we’ve had three great part time “nannies” since he’s been born. I leave his lunch on one shelf in the fridge and we use a dry erase board for notes back and forth about naps, mood, medicine or anything out of the norm. Definitely less stress those two days… good luck! Hope Stella’s eye is better!

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  3. I cannot fathom life without our nanny nowadays! It does sound rather fancy, and sometimes it ends up being a bit fancy when the counters are clean, the dishes are done, and the kids laundry is folded too! Love it. When we were doing daycare, it was a nightmare trying to get a clear picture of what was going on with the kids each day, especially Caleb, because of the hustle trying to get them packed up and home so I could spend time with them. I love having time to chat with the nanny about the kids, my concerns, what to work on…and knowing her priority during the day is my kids alone.

    We make sure to take them to the park a lot for more social time, story time at the library for structured time, etc. It’s working great for us!

    So glad that you have this option right now. I’m thinking about you, Josie!!

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    1. Margie does light housecleaning as well, which I am pretty stoked about, not gonna lie. 🙂

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  4. mcmissis · · Reply

    I’m so happy you’re happy with where they will be now. I’ve actually thought about the old situation quite a few times here and there since your original post and am glad to hear it’s gotten resolved on both sides.

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  5. I think you’re making the rignt decision – nanny, esp for your baby – is a much better option for attention. I just hope she sticks around. But I think this is the best resolution.

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  6. Scary but amazing! !!!!! Figuring out child care is one of the most stressful part of being a mom!!!!
    we are about to make a change and I am so sad to tell my friend who’s watched Avery since she was 8 weeks old. Even though she only goes there once a week so its not that big of a deal but still it is to me.

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  7. Oh Josey! I can so relate! When we found out Alex was deaf we felt that a daycare situation isn’t probably ideal for him, but at the same time, Taylor thrives in a daycare environment (and Alex will too someday), so now the kids are in our house three days a week and at daycare only two days a week. It’s been great and boy is it easier on YOU. Daycare days now seem like so much work getting the kids up and out of the house. Ha.

    I’m happy you found a situation that is good for everyone, even your former daycare provider!!! 🙂

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    1. Yeah, 2 days of the week another little girl (one of Stella’s BFFs) will also be at our house, so she’ll get some play time that way, plus Miss Margie will be doing lots of walks to the library, park, Kindermusik, etc. I’m excited about it all!

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  8. So excited for you!!! Big changes! Wow, that is crazy that your decision pushed your daycare lady to make such a huge change herself. I hope all of that works out really well for her. I think Stella and Harvey will love all of the extra attention from the Nanny and being in their own house with their own things. And not having to get ready in the mornings? So handy!! That is great that she is charging the same amount. Sounds like a great plan. Hope day 1 goes really well! 🙂

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  9. lparsons15 · · Reply

    Hope its a smooth transition and things go great with the nanny!

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  10. Sounds exciting!! Praying it all works out 🙂

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  11. It sounds really really good, especially with another little girl being at your house as well. Hoping for the best for this transition!

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  12. mandski · · Reply

    I’m so glad you took the plunge and it worked out. I hope you love the new arrangement. There are great things about in-home care, especially for babies. 🙂 (Not knocking daycare–we’re headed back that way in the fall.)

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  13. […] We pulled the kids from a daycare I had grown increasingly unhappy with and hired a Nanny – the best decision ever for our kids. 2014.04.06 […]

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