The Many Adventures of Keira!

This is our page to document our family's adoption journey- starting from when we first started planning for our little one, to when we brought her home. We're also going to keep this updated with all of the things that Keira has been up to since she's been home with us here in the U.S!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Search for Childcare

Mom has been such an enormous help to Dan, Keira and I over the past few months. I don't know what we would have done without her. She offered to stay a couple of months longer for her trip out here to help with my transition back to work. She has been helping around the house, taking wonderful care of Keira and when we get home from work, there is always a fantastic dinner ready for us! We've been so spoiled lately, that it's going to be a huge change now that she's leaving in a couple of weeks!

The time has come to transition Keira to childcare during the day. Boy has that been a task--finding a daycare. I'll tell you, I am HUGE on research which I think any parent that is going to have to trust their child with a stranger HAS to be. I searched through various means and to be honest--it was looking kind of bleak. There are SAHM moms that will watch our child that aren't licensed (which is apparently ok as long as it's just one child), daycare centers and home daycares. Since I have not been working for a while, the daycare centers were out since they were out of our price range for now. I understand that many people go with daycare providers that are not licensed so that they can more one-on-one time, but we opted to go with someone licensed. It was our personal decision to go with someone that is subject to monitoring and regulations. Besides, we preferred that she be around other children her age for better socialization.

Whenever I made contact with any potential daycare provider, I checked the usual- references and for licensing violations. I also made sure that I watched their interaction with Keira and the other children under their care. I am very good with reading people, so I can usually tell when someone is trying to snow me. I also do some unconventional research as well. I google their cell phone numbers and email addresses. I check their address on the Megan's Law website (http://www.meganslaw.org/) to make sure that there are no child predators in the area AND I also check their email addresses out on MySpace. Granted, I don't expect people to be complete angels, but it definitely gives you a different perspective of that person with how they carry themselves when they think that their daycare families aren't looking.

I came in contact with several people and wow. I have to be honest, some interactions were just plain scary.
1. One lady always left the front door wide open through the day with nothing but a baby gate blocking the doorway. I asked her about this and she didn't seem to think that there were any safety concerns with this. While we were talking about this, one of the fathers stepped over the babygate to drop his daughter off without either of us even hearing him. He was pretty much in the living room before either of us realized that he was there. This still was not a safety concern for her.

2. One lady seems to have the worst short term memory. I called her twice in a day to discuss a few things (about an hour apart). She talked to me totally like she didn't remember ANYTHING that we discussed. We were having some trouble with coordinating an interview time so I had to call her several times throughout the week. Each time, I had to completely repeat everything we discussed and she still wouldn't remember me. I became increasingly scared that she would lose Keira somewhere and not remember where she left her.

3. One lady pretty much refused to let me come over to see her during the day. She insisted that we could only meet in the evening. I explained to her that there was no way I would let someone watch Keira if I hadn't seen her interaction with them in her normal setting first. She still refused. That was a big red flag...

4. Several people that I spoke to over the phone, would openingly in the middle of our conversation start SCREAMING at the kids they were watching at the top of their lungs.

5. Looking through ads, I found an ad for a girl looking for a live-in nanny position. Although we weren't looking for a nanny. Her ad caught my eye. She sounded very good. GREAT credentials. After googling her cell phone number, turns out she is also an escort.

6. Looking at a MySpace, one daycare provider had all sorts of obscene pictures as well as a statement about her "horniness". Yikes...

After all that, believe it or not. We found a GREAT lady named Amanda. She passed all of my tests with flying colors and has a sense of humor and personality very similar to my own. So many of the things that she does with the children as well as discipline are very similar to my own methods. I started taking Keira there on a trial run for a couple of hours a day to help with the transition. So far she's doing GREAT! I'm hoping that everything will go fine and I'm sure that it will. Although, being the paranoid parent that most of us are, it is nice to find someone that you have a good vibe about. I'm hoping that my intuition is correct. Keira seems to really enjoy being there!


Here are just some pictures of Keira being silly...

She's become such a little monkey lately. She copies EVERYTHING that Dan, Lola and I do. Here she is wearing Daddy's shoes around the house. She will even sometimes wear my shoes that have heels and walks in them better than I do! :)

I've been lucky enough to have some on-call weeks where I've been working back-up shifts from home. If I get called, I'm pretty much on conference calls with a headset on. This fascinates Keira, so here she is trying to be like mommy.


4 comments:

marie said...

Wow Sharon! I had no idea the ordeals that you had to go through to find a childcare provider. This post was very informative and shocking at the same time. Trust is a big factor in childcare. I'm glad you found someone to trust your daughter with. That just makes life more easier. She's sooo adorable!!!

Glenn said...

Hi Sharon, Could I have the phone number of the live in Nanny? In all seriousness, I had the opportunity to visit day care providers and your ordeal is right on. I also got a list from the local YMCA who has providers they recommend. Good luck on the search...

Paula said...

I was surprised how much daycare had gone up since Jason was a baby. The local center wanted $300/week which I thought was high. I was very lucky - a friend from church is staying at home until her youngest is in school full time; he's the same age as Jess so that works great. She's a teacher and awesome with Jess.

Dawn said...

I totally remember going through this before we knew Denise & Rods parents were going to be able to watch her. I think after about 30 phone calls, we ended up finding only 1 person we actually felt comfortable with! Scary!! Glad you found someone :)