the daycare search is on!

Searching for a daycare/preschool is no easy task for a mom and definitely worse for a mom who is neurotic about where her child spends his time while she's at work {aka: ME!}.  I have been trying to find a daycare for Lil J for the past few weeks while my mother-in-law takes a month off in Jamaica.  I think it would be a good experience for Lil J to be around kids his own age so that he can learn how to interact and develop his social skills further {not like he really needs help in that department!}.

I checked out a daycare last week in our area.  Here is what happened:
  • The owner forgot about our appointment and wasn't even at the daycare.
  • The daycare workers made me wait outside for about 5 minutes in the hot sun with Lil J.  I'm guessing this was because the place was a mess.
  • I met two of the daycare workers while waiting for the owner.  One was vacuuming a stained carpet and another looked like she lived on the street {no offense, but first impressions are everything when it comes to who will be looking after my son}.  Both had no class and were loud and obnoxious.  I'm sure this makes me sound like a complete snob but, again, I only want positive influences around Lil J - to the extent that I am able to control.
  • The daycare has been in operation for 15 years.  The furniture was newer Ikea furniture that looked like they were well over 15 years old {soiled, dirty and never-been-cleaned}.  Hence the inspection report.
  • The owner seemed fake and not child-friendly at all.  She tried talking to Lil J but it seemed completely forced.
  • My gut feeling screamed "NO WAY!!".
This morning I called a daycare which is located down the street from where we live.  I was told that the staff didn't have time to check diapers all the time because there were a grand total of 8 kids that they had to look after.  *DING DING*  RED FLAGS!!  I'm curious to see how this daycare is run so I will be checking them out this Wednesday.

Even though this daycare/preschool search can be tedious, it's also been a great learning experience for me and I've accumulated a lot of valuable resources along the way.  Here are a few of them:
  • The Shorty List - This website provides parents with an anonymous way of expressing their personal opinions about daycares, preschools and elementary schools.  You can also get up-to-date information on any openings and the latest "chat" regarding childcare.
  • The Vancouver Sun's Metro Vancouver Daycare Ratings - A search engine containing information from local health authorities' own databases.  It rates daycares on a low, moderate and high scale.
  • Fraser Health Authority Inspection Reports - A very valuable resource with results of inspections of licensed childcare facilities.  It does not include detailed inspections.
Obviously I'm doing extensive {obsessive} research for the best possible daycare for my Lil J.  I found a few more options today and hopefully one of them will be successful!

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