I have it. The chore of finding another daycare for Sophie is just that...a chore. It has my mind racing. I'm scouring the internet, Craigslist, asking friends...I can't find anything that I LOVE, that is good enough for Sophie. I know no place is perfect, but I want it to be, lol:) I also know that like all things that I research, I'll KNOW when I find what I'm looking for. But, I can't say that I KNEW that Sophie's current sitter was the best fit for us. She seemed "good," we needed someone, she had an opening, so I took a leap of faith. I knew my friends were giving me the side-eye for finding a sitter on Craigslist, but where the hell else are you supposed to find them these days? For the first few weeks that Sophie went there I looked her up and down with a fine tooth comb to make sure there was no evidence of odd scratches or bruising. Now I laugh about that, because Stacey is just THAT fabulous, and such a good fit for Sophie's personality.
I visited a center last week that I really liked. At the advice of many friends, I went unannounced, to see how the place "really" ran. I was pleasantly surprised. It was clean, fun, the kids were playing. The only odd thing to me, not necessarily a red flag, was that the owner/director's mom was one of the "teachers" that day. Apparently mom fills in when one of the staff call in sick. Again, odd but not a deal breaker for me. One thing I don't like is that the Director will be out on maternity leave for 6 weeks, mid-Nov through the end of December, but "her husband will be stopping by." Not so sure about that. She didn't bat an eye that I didn't have an appt, and showed me the entire space. She's owned the place for about 7 months, and currently only has 7-8 kids, so I can't really get a feel for what it would be like at full capacity. But, I liked it enough to take Sophie back this morning to visit. It's in the running. The potential deal-breaker for me is that they only have 1 hour of outside play time a day, 30 minutes in the AM and 30 in the PM. She's used to being outside 3-4 hours a day, weather permitting. She loves it.
Our current sitter recommended a friend of hers, who Sophie and I went to visit last night. I liked this woman alot, liked her home, liked her idea that kids need lots of outdoor play, and then she took me to the basement, where the kids play. I'm not opposed to basements, but I'm opposed to dreary ones with no windows/no natural light. Despite all the fun toys, and the fact that this woman has a waiting list of parents trying to get their kids in her care, I don't want Sophie down there all day!!!
After all my internet scouring today, when I should have been working, I found a place that I really like (at least on paper). It's a center, just a minute or two further drive from our current sitter. They have a website (I like that), and had several great reviews on an independent site (I love that). I talked with the Director and will be stopping by tomorrow. She doesn't accept appointments and wants the parent to feel like they can stop by anytime, "chaos and all." In my mind, I've found a winner...just hope it feels the same in person.