So, today, Mike and I went to three different daycares to find a back-up plan for Abigail. Right now, my sister has her during the day, but she's looking for a job right now, and if she finds one, we'll lose our wonderful babysitter.
Most everyone who knows me realizes that I wanted to stay home with Abigail, and that this is a really hard thing for me. It has been really comforting to know that she's with Holly - I haven't cried on my way to work at all. I have successfully completed 3 weeks of work, and I feel okay about leaving Abby with Holly. However, we really need to be prepared for Holly to get a teaching job (and for her sake, I really hope she does).
Our first stop today was KinderCare. This particular center is across the street from Mike's work. It is the most convenient and the most expensive. The staff was young, but very friendly. They spent a lot of time with us, letting us look around the facility. The teachers take the children outside each day and they take pictures of the children frequently. Each child gets their own crib that the parents can decorate to make it feel more like home (mobiles, crib ornaments, etc.).
Our second stop was ChildTime. This place was really nice. The staff seemed a little more experienced and personable. The location of this one is a little less convenient to get to, but it's closer to home. The rules and general operation of the facilities didn't seem to vary much.
Our third stop was La Petit Academy and neither of us really liked that one. La Petit didn't offer any part-time availability, which is what we would be most interested in. In addition, the space was much smaller. I felt cramped while I was in there talking to the teachers, and can imagine what it would be like at drop-off or pick-up time.
All in all, my general feeling on the matter is that wherever she goes, it's still second-rate. She would be better off with me, or with Holly. Although the ladies at the daycares knew the children's names, it feels somehow impersonal, and inferior to the type of loving attention that Abby would get from someone who truly loves her.
I am more than a little hesitant to do this. I am nauseous just writing about it. I know that I am being irrational - there are many people who have children in daycare and they all turn out just fine. I just have to keep telling myself that.