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Advice for changing daycare?

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  • I am new to WorkItMom, but have already found so many kindred spirits in the past 20 minutes! I'd really like to get others' advice and input.

    My kids like their family daycare and have been there since they were 4 months old. However, recently, a number of the older children have left, because of moves out of the area, going to pre-school, or going to kindergarten. I hadn't planned on placing my son in pre-school for another year. But, now there are very few kids his age or older. And, his best buddy moved out of the country and he really misses him.

    My younger son will have plenty of friends there. Once families start there, they usually stay.

    I'm afraid that my older son will be bored soon. They are working with him and really make an effort to spend time on his interests. I am thinking of starting him in a larger pre-school environment in the winter.

    Oh, and my two are the only boys...the rest of the children are girls.

    Would like to hear if others think it make sense to switch earlier than planned and some advice in how to do it well.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by samell on 3rd September 2008
  • My neighbor went through something similar recently, deciding to switch to more of a preschool situation from a home daycare when her son turned 3. I know they loved their family daycare but she felt, like you, that her son needed more activities and interactions with kids his age and perhaps a bit older. What she did was work out an arrangement where her son went to the new preschool 3 days a week and the old daycare 2 days a week for a bit, to get used to the transition. From what she has told me, that seemed to work really well.

    I hope this is helpful -- and welcome to WIM!:)
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 3rd September 2008
  • I haven't gone through this yet (although there are several at my son's daycare who are moving to a new facility that just opened, so the topic has been on my mind).

    In lieu of personal experience, I just read this great article in WonderTime about changing preschools. Hope it helps.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by BrendaG on 4th September 2008
  • I have a day care, I understand the dilemma and find that when a child reaches 4 years they are ready for a more formal setting a couple days a week. I don't recommend full time pre-school because I think the days get too long for them but it is good to try that transition before kindergarten and they can learn to make new friends. In a small day care setting their friends are kind of decided for them, but in a larger pre school setting they have to learn to reach out to others. My son is an August birthday so we tried pre school when he turned 4 to see if he would be ready for school, it did not go well and we pulled him out half way through the year. We held him back from kindergarten and tried preschool again when he was five - he then loved it and is now in 1st grade but holding him back was the best choice in his case.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Tracie on 3rd December 2008
  • 8-3 seems to be the right amount of time for our 4 yr old, but I continually wonder if she is not stimulated enough, always a tough call - how do your kids do with change?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Avi Spivack on 9th December 2008
  • I have written a blog about it in my profile, feel free to check it out. It offers helps for parents and providers alike. =)
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Snugglesmama on 15th January 2009
  • I am actually thinking of doing the opposite... My daughter will be 4 in May and from age 3 mo-2 she went to a family day care and then at 2 we put her in a preschool... She likes it there, but I have noticed that she is already starting to be clique with other children and is so wound up at the end of the day from playing so hard all day with so many children running around... I think it has made her more high strung than she needs at this time... I am thinking of putting her back in a family like setting with only 7-10 children of all ages... She will still get to play and do her art, but she will actually do her letters and colors etc... more than where she is at now... I am hoping that with a smaller group the teacher will be able to monitor more of what is going on between children... I don't like the behaviors I have monitored over the past few days of dropping my daughter off at school, and no one says a word to them... Her teacher told me today that it was totally normal for 4 year olds to get "snotty" and rude... not mine if I can help it.... any imput on this for me? My child is not acting herself... her new behavior is miserable and I watch it at her school, they all feed off each other and they are all behaving this way... I don't know how to correct this....I don't like how she is acting with other little children... She used to be so kind and now she is awful!!! Help
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by ChloeMommy on 24th March 2009
  • March 24, 2009 ChloeMommy wrote
    "I am hoping that with a smaller group the teacher will be able to monitor more of what is going on between children... I don't like the behaviors I have monitored over the past few days of dropping my daughter off at school, and no one says a word to them... "

    This reply is a bit late, so i don't know if you have already moved your daughter. I just came across this post. In any case I wanted to add that I am not sure that your only choice is the preschool she is in or the family daycare she was going to before. Perhaps the answer is a different, better preschool in your area. My daughter attended a daycare/preschool center from 4 mos until almost her 4th birthday. When I noticed that her class this year had a really negative atmosphere where the kids were supposed to be silent until circle time, and it seemed so discouraging to be there, I had to look for somewhere else. Also, I too noticed that the teachers seemed to walk around with angry all the time. Who wants to be in an environment like that all day?

    So, about 3 weeks ago, just prior to her 4th birthday I searched for a different, better preschool setting and found one. it is more expensive, and actually grandmom is chipping in, but the results are so worth it. This school is bright and cheery. The kids and the teachers are all happy every time we come in. The kids are taught an actual curriculum based on our State's board of education's guidelines for early education which point to what kids should know by kindergarten. with lots of fun activities to reinforce the lessons. At her old daycare/preschool, the kids had very minimal variety in activities -- sometimes only blank paper and a couple of crayons. I am certain the kids were bored out of their minds! Oh, and they watched a movie almost daily.

    Sorry for the long post, I am just happy to have found a really good daycare/preschool.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Siennasmom on 4th August 2009
  • Hello! I have a 8 month old, who has been at a daycare for 6 months. I've been approached by 3 parents and 2 staff members who shared how my daugther scream and holler for a good portion of the day. My daughter is very sweet and friendly, but appears she acts like this around certain staff members. I really enjoyed this daycare as the location and price is convenient. I've debated removing her from this facility, but wonder if I am over reacting, and maybe her behavior is common with children her age. Today, we visited another daycare, and we really like it.
    I like having stability and was hoping my daugther could remain at this daycare for a while. I am a 1st time mom, could I be over reacting? Any advice?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mz T on 19th November 2009
  • One thing I would like to suggest is that you should consider that wherever you are planning to transition your child, you discuss with the staff members ahead of time. I work for a national child care learning center, and we have policies in place to help children (and parents!) make a smooth transition. Children are very resilient, and they tend to get settled into new situations quite rapidly, if there are plans in place to help them move through. Your family provider should also be accustomed to children transitioning out of the smaller, family program into a more "school-like" program. She may even have some recommendations for you!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KAtwinmom on 20th June 2010

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