Choosing a Daycare as a First Time Mom

Childcare can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. This is something that I definitely stressed about, so I set out to find stories from real moms about their experience and advice for how they tackled childcare. You can read my story about home care here. Today, I am excited to introduce Emily from the twin blogging duo Forever Young Moms. She is sharing her experience with daycare and some things you should look for when choosing a daycare for your child.

Emily from Forever Young Moms is sharing her positive experience with daycare and some things you should look for when choosing a daycare for your child.

By Emily

One of the things that I put off until late in my pregnancy was choosing a daycare.  While I knew it was important, I just couldn’t bring myself to get excited about it.  It’s not that I didn’t trust that Madeline would be well cared for, or even that I wanted to stay home all the time, something was just missing.

When I finally got around to choosing a daycare I realized there are so many things to consider, and honestly, I didn’t know where to start.  By the time that I got serious about it, it was almost Christmas (Madeline was born in late January) and I knew I just had to make a decision.   Two things shocked me in my search for a daycare.

Price:  When you break the price down by the hour, it’s really not even that expensive, but I just wasn’t prepared for some of the prices I heard.   Also, the variance in price worried me, is it warning sign if a daycare is less expensive?

Availability:  I had called several daycares in December looking for a start date in May and came across that very little had open spots! Who knew there was such a thing as wait lists for daycare!? Feeling very naive, I felt pressure to make a choice fairly quickly.

Just as any other mom would do, I knew I had to make a decision in the best interest of my child, but I needed help! I always count on my “tribe” or “village” to make these decisions.  I will say that the majority of the reason why we selected our daycare is because I have a friend that uses the same one and only had positive things to tell me.  The fact that it was the most reasonable didn’t hurt, but I wrote the deposit check before I had even toured the facility off of her recommendation.

Emily from Forever Young Moms is sharing her positive experience with daycare and some things you should look for when choosing a daycare for your child.

We are almost a year into our daycare journey with this facility and I couldn’t have made a better choice.  I leave my daughter every day never questioning if she’s well cared for or looked after.  The teachers she has are phenomenal too; I know them all by name and have nothing but trust for them.  My daughter lights up when you say it’s time for school.  She brings me her shoes and her coat and can’t wait to get out of her car seat.  To me, this daycare feels like an extension of our family, and I’m so thankful for them.

Emily from Forever Young Moms is sharing her positive experience with daycare and some things you should look for when choosing a daycare for your child.

Now that we’re settled in our daycare, there are things that they do that I never would have thought to ask about.  Here’s a few helpful hints when choosing a daycare!

Teacher/Child Ratio: You want to be sure to find out what the teacher to child ratio is. Personally, I can’t even imagine watching two kids myself, let alone three or four!

Drop in Unexpectedly: If you really want to know how a daycare runs, drop in unexpectedly.  Ours, because we were nursing, offered to let me drop in anytime, no need to call ahead.  That went a long way with establishing trust with me.  Knowing that I can walk in anytime and see how they are treating my child made me comfortable.

Activities: Ask them what types of activities they do with the children.  It’s wonderful that they are socializing and learning to play well with others, but our day care also does arts and crafts, sensory projects, walks when it’s nice out or spends time on the playground.  To me, in a place where Madeline spends so much time, I want her to have different activities so she can learn different skills.

Love: Our daycare feels like a family.  You want that too.  I have gotten to know each one of Madeline’s teachers.  When she changes rooms, the previous teachers still ask about her and are excited to see her, and she is thrilled to see them – that’s something really important to me. If she’s happy and healthy and well cared for- that’s really all I can ask!

There are many moms who stay at home with their children, I don’t have that luxury.  But what I’ve come to realize is that even if I could, I wouldn’t want to.  Not that I wouldn’t want to spend all of that extra time with my child, but because I see how much she loves her daycare, how well she’s cared for, the friends she has made and skills she has learned.  I don’t know if I could teach her as well as they do, and for that I am so grateful.  I love our daycare- I don’t know how we would live without it!

What tips do you have for choosing a daycare?

If you liked this post check out Why I switched From a Nanny To Daycare.


About Emily from Forever Young Mom:

Twin Wives, Twin Lives! Two ladies married to identical twins making our own ways through all that life throws at us.  First newlyweds, now moms, tackling similar issues in different ways.  You’ll get to see the ways we’re similar and the ways we’re different: but in the end, we’re one big family! You can check them out on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Hello blog world! Emily here- wife of Mike and Mom to Madeline Grace!  I love all things DIY or Pinterest related! I’m a little social media obsessed and could binge watch Netflix forever!  I love all things pink- the more pink the better-and am always up for learning something new.  Just don’t ask me to clean: that’s what my husband is for!  I’m an extreme couponer to the max (some may call it hoarding) and am always looking for ways to save money.  In addition, I’m now a brand new military spouse and very proud of it!  Mike and I are so lucky to have our Bruce Wayne who we frequently say isn’t a dog but a baby in dog clothes. We’re excited to grow our family with our little girl!

Check out Forever Young Moms for more about Emily and Sherrie.

Emily from Forever Young Moms is sharing her positive experience with daycare and some things you should look for when choosing a daycare for your child.
Emily from Forever Young Moms is sharing her positive experience with daycare and some things you should look for when choosing a daycare for your child.

About Melissa

Hi, I’m Melissa! I am a mama to my baby Aiden Milo (born November 2015), and a police wife to my husband Dan. I started this blog because, after having Aiden, I quickly learned that exhaustion and baby brain causes you to forget some of the er-lovely (sometimes horrible and sometimes wonderful) details related to the first several months of raising a baby. Considering we may have more kids in the future, I want to document everything we do, so we remember what worked the first time around, and hopefully help other first time mamas along the way!
  • Sumer

    All really great things to consider. My kids are in preschool now, and I went through a similar process for choosing a preschool. It’s a big decision that needs to be taken seriously!

  • Jacki Quinones

    Great tips for finding a preschool! We toured several and are really excited to start my daughter in a great one in the fall.

  • Rachel Loza

    Great tips. I will say that the first time around was definitely the most stressful in regards to choosing a daycare! My least favorite task.