School Shopping

First things first. Here’s a picture of Camille, because it’s been far too long since this website had a new picture.
This is what we get now when we ask Camille to smile. Cute thing – she’s trying to smile so big that she ends up with her eyes closed! She makes me laugh. Cutiepie.
Now onto business. We’ve been doing some school shopping these days – not shopping for clothes or supplies, but literally shopping for schools.
Overall, we’re still pretty happy with the daycare Camille currently attends, and it’s the only one we’ve ever personally known. But there are a few things about it we’ve never loved (too much TV in the classroom in my opinion, and we don’t always agree with the school’s religious doctrine). But they really seem to care about Camille and she usually appears to enjoy herself, so we’re ok on that front.
But they only offer a five day program, so we’re paying for 5 days of daycare even though we only use 3. That’s annoying, not to mention expensive. Cost isn’t the overriding factor for us in choosing childcare, but it is a factor. And the religious doctrine thing bothers me more as she gets older and may be more aware if certain ideologies are taught in the classroom. So we started hunting back in March.
On the recommendation of a friend, we discovered what seems to be a great daycare that offers a 3-day program. No TVs in the building at all (except for the security camera), religious but not overbearing, a seemingly loving staff, and it’s right between home and work so it’s very convenient.
But we’re not the only ones who think so, because they’ve got a serious waiting list. We’ve been on it since April. At first they thought we might get in in August when their new building opens. Now completion of the building won’t happen until at least January, and even then, we’re not guaranteed a space.
So yesterday we checked out a local Montessori academy that offers a 3-day program. We liked a lot of things about it, and I think Camille could be happy and well cared for there. But there were a few issues too, like the fact that they don’t serve a hot lunch. I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but it does. I mean, Camille’s not really into cold cuts and doesn’t particularly like PB&J yet, so what do I pack for a 2 year old’s lunch? Cheese and fruit, but what else? Doritos? I don’t think so. And it’s across town, so that’s a negative.
But the atmosphere was nice and the director was wonderful, so it might be worth the cold lunch and extra commute. I’m so picky, but it’s such a big decision, trying to determine who can best care for your child while you’re working. Determinig who will help shape her during these formative years.
So do we wait on the one daycare we really like? Do we enroll in the Montessori school and see what happens? Do we keep looking? I don’t know.