My husband pointed out that when we were first married, we looked at over 10 apartments before settling on the first one we saw. Same with buying our house last year. So touring 10 daycare/ learning centers shouldn't be a problem, right? Ugh. Right. I guess. Maybe if I wasn't so OCD about it. I made a flowchart.
Yeah. 2 pages of stuff to fill in. The last tour I went on, the poor girl looked like she was getting grilled on Law & Order. It makes it easier for me to compare the facilities and what they offer, though. It also helps to see a blank flowchart after sifting through a facility's website with millions of pages of information and know they still aren't telling me very much. (You are more than welcome to use my flowchart as is, or edit it for yourself. I did add another column listing the DFPS violations, just FYI.)
I think the initial problem was that some of the criteria I was looking for specifically is actually required by state law. Hah. Oops. So my first tour went like this:
Me: "And is there a television in the 12-24 months room?"
Director: "Oh no! We don't believe in that!"
Me to myself: "Ooooh what great values!"
Come to find out that in Texas child care agencies aren't allowed to show TV to children under a certain age and even then for limited usage and amounts of time.
The great thing is that here in Texas, there is a website specifically for looking into child care facilities (including home care) where you can see if they have any compliance violations discovered at inspection, when they occurred how serious they are considered and if they were resolved. Awesome, considering the most expensive one I toured has a lot of violations ranked "high." Now I don't have to take it off my list just for pricing reasons. However, I wish I would have looked all of this up before touring 3 different locations. At least now I have the info before I go look at the other 6. I kid you not. Somehow I am supposed to tour 6 more by the end of May, before people take their kids out for summer and regular routines change (while still trying to figure out what the eff we are going to do for N's first bday) AND drag N along; who only wants to get down and play with the kiddos, which I am afraid to oblige in case they try to charge me daycare fees already. Hah!
I just reminded myself of the first time I used this website. Someone posted to a discussion board that she had a home daycare and places newborns on their tummys. I was all over that sh**. (Granted, we placed N tummy down when he was younger because we didn't educate ourselves on why SIDS was such a risk. After that, we were done.) I had a problem with someone doing it to other people's kids. So of course, I Googled her. Oddly enough, even though the discussion board included moms from all over, this woman was from 5 miles away. It freaked me out that I could have chosen her to watch my son. So I took some screenshots of her post, as well as the webpages that showed her child care license #, etc. and sent it in to CPS. Yep, I'm that crazy mom. The same crazy lady that would stand in driveway yelling at the lady that let her dog sh** in our lawn. True story.
Anyway, I will update when we've chosen one. So many crazy things going on that I need to post about. Just bought N a new carseat (the "big boy" convertible kind), when that comes in from Amazon I will review it here. Also, the big, exciting, dreaded first bday party where kids 10x his size will be running around in our unfinished backyard and people will probably be complaining about our choice of an outdoor party in May in Texas. Whatever. I got a good deal on some party tents, so hopefully that will be enough.