Yes, I’m nuts. If you’ve been reading this blog for more than a week, you’re probably already aware that I’m a fairly Type A person and appreciate research and organization, especially when the topic is making me anxious. I’d rather spend my time researching information about a topic than obsessing about “what ifs.”
Even though we likely need a child care provider until approximately August 2013, one of the largest expenses we will face as a dual income family is childcare, and this stresses me out beyond belief. Also, every cloth diapering parent I’ve spoken with has said that finding a child care provider who will accept a cloth diped kid is extraordinarily difficult. One of the main reasons why we’ve decided to cloth diaper Falco is to save money, so I refuse to spend money to build my cloth stash, only to turn around and buy disposables for half of our kid’s life.
Using the Great Start Connect website, a resource for parents and guardians in the mitten state to help them locate potential child care providers, and cross referencing their online records through the Department of Human Services, I began my child care provider search. After pre-screening many of these possible providers, I began placing phone calls to ask some questions. I left a ton of voicemails, but of the seven in-home day care providers I spoke with, every single one of them were amenable to cloth diapered kids in their care!
I learned that there was something else I should be worrying about instead. In our state, in-home day care providers can accept up to 6 children at one time, but only two of them can be 18 months of age or younger. This means that there is a large shortage of in-home child care providers for people seeking care for their babies. Many providers I spoke with agreed that it was early for me to call, but thought it was a great idea because these openings fill up so quickly.
We also discovered a local daycare center that focuses on an eco-friendly value system, and they’re located right around the corner from us! They happily accept cloth diapered children, use eco-friendly cleaning products, serve only organic food (including homemade, organic baby food), and teach children about the environment through a series of lessons, including interacting in the organic fruit and vegetable garden that is located behind the center. The ratios of staff to children is the absolute best and the center looks impeccable and uplifting.
Sounds perfect, right? Sadly, in addition to all of these aforementioned shared values, they also pray before meals and spend time each morning reading Bible stories “that teach kindness, compassion, good manners, caring for others, etc.” According to the center’s director, “It is a very simple and age appropriate part of our curriculum and we like to offer it not as a means to convert any child to our faith, but to introduce them to simple concepts about God and His love for them.” WHY?! K and I intend to introduce Falco to a wide array of spiritual paths from the place of appreciation, awareness and celebration of diversity, and we want to instill values, ethics and morals that are not necessary based on faith or organized religion. While we wouldn’t mind having this sort of care for a baby, we’d prefer to not have a toddler or older kid be exposed to lessons that are so far outside of our comfort zone.
All of the information I’ve gathered so far and will continue to gather as time marches on has certainly given us much to consider!