I never thought it would happen. I never thought I’d become “that mom.” You know, the one who plans her child’s conception around waiting lists for only the most exclusive educational facilities. I’m sheepishly admitting that I am, indeed, “that mom.”
After touring the child care facility we were considering, K wanted to look at least one other daycare before shelling out a non-refundable deposit to be placed on a waiting list. Yesterday, I was perusing another center’s website in preparation for a tour there later this week, when I discovered how wide a range in quality exists between child care centers.
I was quite literally shocked by the type and lack of range of items on the second center’s menu. Several times each week, this center provides cheese puffs as snacks. They regularly serve highly processed “meals” like hot dogs. The overall menu was completely unbalanced and skewed towards carbohydrates. Being a chubby person who likes to eat, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with any sort of food, but I do believe that all types of food should exist in balance with others.
The first center we toured serves an entirely vegetarian, organic menu, and all food groups are served in a balanced manner. They do not allow parents and guardians to bring in sweet treats like ice cream or cake for birthdays or holidays. Teachers maintain a garden on the premises, which they use as a food source for the kids, and teach the children about where their food comes from and about our responsibility to the earth. The difference between the two centers can be summarized thusly: quinoa muffins vs. Beef-a-Roni, and the two centers charge the same tuition.
Food isn’t everything, but a stark difference of this sort could be indicative of vast differences between care philosophies. I started questioning why I was bothering trying to source other child care options when I already felt so confident that the original option would provide the type of care I could only conjure up in dreams. I spoke with K about it and we agreed to put in a deposit immediately in order to join the waiting list for quality infant care.
The center’s director has assured us that they’ll have availability for our little one when we’re ready to go back to work. Falco will spend his/her day in an environment that brings K and I such a sense of peace!
Part of me is excited that we have crossed off such an important task on our list. The rest of me, though, felt incredibly silly to fill out a daycare form for a child that isn’t yet born.