Seeking Input - WWYD?

Updated on April 08, 2008
N.S. asks from Frisco, TX
10 answers

Hi moms - I'm struggling with something and would like to hear from other moms. Here's the scenario. We are expecting #2 in early September. I work full time from home so #1 (DD who is 27 months) goes to a great day care/academy. DD's school is about 10 minutes away from the house (each way). I have #2 on the wait list for their infant room.

When I first returned to work with #1, DD was at an on-site day care at my office. This was wonderful b/c I was able to easily nurse her at lunch (and pump otherwise). Great to be so close if anything came up especially in those first months when they seem so vunerable.

There are 2 separate ladies in my neighborhood who have in home day cares. Lady #1 lives across the street from me. She owned a day care center in California and has since let her mom take over for her now that she lives here. She has 3 kids of her own - 2 are school aged; 1 is pre-school. While she is my neighbor, we've only chatted a handful of times. I've never been inside her house.

Woman #2 live two streets over. She says her mom had an in home day and that's the environment she grew up in. She has two kids of her own that are already in school. Again, I have not been inside her house.

Here's the kicker - neither women are registered with the state. Since I've only used licensed registered facilities, I have no experience otherwise. I did ask Lady #2 how she gets her clients and she said entirely through referrals. I have this fundamental discomfort knowing that neither of these women's activities are reviewed and monitored. At the same time, it would be so wonderful to have #2 really close by that first year. I have not approached either women to tour their homes yet; I guess I kind of feel like my head and heart need to first figure out if I'm being overly concerned before I take that step.

What can I do next?

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answers from Houston on

Hi N.,

The first thought I had though let me first say I have NO experience with registered or unregistered day cares whatsoever, is I have learned the hard way that sometimes, the quote "tall fences make good neighbors" and if for any reason you were not happy with her methods, the last thing you want to deal with is someone across the street that you have negative or vise versa feelings for. As far as the woman a street or so over, that shouldn't be risky unless she's in the same "circle" of people of your neighborhood.

My second question to you is (becuase I have no idea about daycares) how much (and I am not asking I am just hypothetically stating something to think about) are you, or will you be paying for two little ones in daycare at the same time.

I worked from home for the first two and a half years of my daughters life and I chose to hire nannies. Have you weighed the cost difference between two in daycare and a nanny at home? You said you work from home, and as I did the same, I really felt like I had the best of both worlds. Not only could I be there for everything, whether my daughter threw up and needed mommy more than anything, or whether I just had time in between meetings where I could be the one who picked her up from her nap, which is something I love because they are in a daze and so cuddly at those moments. I also got to monitor, though I was very careful of micromanaging my nanny in the home, and I also was very willing to have our nanny take my daughter out and about daily for excercise and fresh air.

I actually just responded to a request about a woman paying too much for her nanny and the other respondents said that the going rate in her area was about 10/hr. We paid our nanny 12 and it came out to be about 450 a week. I am not sure if this is in your price range but the perks that came with it were really incredible.

I put out a request for a "mother's helper" and hired the most darling 23 year old nursing student who had 4 years experience already nannying for two children, one with aspergers disease which is a hyperfunctioning autism. She was amazing with my daughter and we set up guidelines right at the on set of employment. I was writing to the other "mama" that when you hire a Mother's Helper, you really get much more than a person who just "watches" your child. Our nanny would cook, clean, do laundry, take my daughter to the park twice a day, take her to the grocery store to shop for our family and she was just amazing. We outlined that her job role was really to pick up any slack that I couldn't handle having a full time job, and because I Managed a team of people, I was able to set all of my meeting times and organize my schedule where I could be the one who took my daughter to the park while Alyse, our nanny cooked dinner. She loved to take our daughter out and sometimes they'd go to the car wash, the library, the grocery store, the park, the pool, wherever...even just in teh cul de sac to ride her tricycle, but I could always see her or get in touch with her at a moments notice. She became part of the family and fell in love with my daughter. I would allow her to buy food she liked to eat for the house as well as craft materials that she had researched for activities to do with my daughter. It was a win/win situation.

Anyway, I just thought that maybe you may feel most comfortable with that if your budget allowed and if you ask to hire a Mother's Helper, you get a lot more for your money.
Of course no daycare is going to make you dinner or mop your kitchen floor!!

Just a thought, and since it sounds like you will have your hands full, maybe a Mother's Helper could be a great solution to ease some of the tedious daily tasks you have.

Hope this helps- and regarding the gut feeling you have, I would say stick to it, not that like another poster said, there aren't wonderful unregistered daycares out there as well as not so wonderful registered ones, it's what YOU feel comfortable with. Your children are your life and to think of any damage being done to them is excruciatingly painful, I can understand. But I would definitely try and steer clear of the one across the street as sometimes things go ary and then you are stuck looking into their yard!

Hope you find the perfect solution!

Take care and congratulations on #2!!!

Kindest Regards,


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answers from Abilene on

Hi N. - I'm currently a SAHM and am doing childcare for 2 children that were referred to me. I did some day-by-day babysitting for a few of my husband's co-workers, and thought it'd be something to do to get a little bit of extra money. So, I went to the elementary school by my house and put up a "childcare request" letter. (I only wanted to watch teacher's kids - for their holidays, etc...) 2 ladies contacted me, came to my home and met me, then proceeded to tell me that they'd like to use me. I went to the DFPS childcare licensing website (site included below), and registered. In order to not have to be "monitered", I paid the $20 fee that gave me a "In-home Child Care Provider" license. Do these other women keep other kids? And if so, how many? The main thing to look for is if they'll be able to have some one-on-one with your child. I have the extra 2, plus my own daughter, and some days I wanna tear my hair out!! - haha - so you need to make sure they have help or not too many kids, and maybe ask them to register with the state? Also, ask to come meet them, and tour their "facilities". Even though it's their home, they keep kids as a "job", so the same rules apply to the home as it does to a daycare. here is the state's website...

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answers from Dallas on

Well I am a childcare provider that is not registered with the state. I provide in-home care for only 1 or 2 kids at a time as not to go over the requirements of the state for the number of kids that I can keep. While I can and do appreciate caregivers who are licensed I do not have one because of time issues. I do not have the time in my schedule to attend the mandatory workshops to receive your certification each year. My DH travels EVERY week Tues.- Sat. I only take children by referrals. I have a registration form, childcare guidelines and health policies that have to be followed. I run everything like it would be done at a corporate center - I worked in corporate childcare for 8 years. I work very hard to make sure that everything runs as if I was being watched by the state. I hope that you find a good fit for the care of your children I know that it is important to you. But do not rule out someone just because they are not licensed, just be very through. I would never mind it if a parent wanted to tour my home and I recommend drop in visits to see how things are going. I provide an information sheet that lets the parents know how the child's day went and what we "covered" as far as their development. I work very hard to provide quality childcare so that I can be at home when my school age kids are home. Good luck!

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answers from Houston on

Hi N.,

Both Of my children stay with a women that is not registered by the state. Number one, you should trust your instincts. If something feels funny or not right then it probably is! Number two, before enrolling your kids with these ladies, you should try to make several un-anounced visits to their house. Go inside look around, and if you see something outta place, then move on. Go when you know these ladies are going to be off guard, right before nap time, lunch or when the parents pick the kids up. Also it doesn't hurt to do an online back ground check. I did this with our sitter. She has been watching my son since he was 6 weeks old, (he will be 3 in July) and I trust this woman with my children life =)



answers from Dallas on


I am a registered daycare provider and the reason the state requires you to be liceinced through them is b/c it helps keep the kids safe. Rules are there to help us not hurt us. I know it would be easy to have someone close but I would try to find someone that is registered with the state. It is those that aren't that you see on the news all the time. Just my two cents. Good luck! and Congrats on the new baby!




answers from Dallas on

First and foremost, go with your gut. Instincts are very powerful and if you don't feel even the slightest bit good about it, I wouldn't do it.

Now, I also don't think it would be a bad thing to at least visit the at home child care people if you like the idea of having your baby that close. Maybe during the interview, you could even ask if they would be willing to register with the state. If they say "no, it's too much trouble" or whatever, then you have your answer. But maybe it's something they've been thinking about anyway and if it would mean they could take care of another child and maybe get a little more income, they might consider it. You just never know until you ask.

Not to make your decision harder, but if it were me, I would probably stay with a licensed day care, especially one I'm already familiar with and am very happy with. I just think it's better to have more than one caregiver available for times when things get stressful and the caregiver needs a break. If you put your baby in the infants room at your daughter's school, you did say it's only 10 minutes away. That's really not that bad. You could still easily go at lunch to breast feed like you did your daughter.

Either way, I don't think you are being overly concerned. You are being reasonably concerned and not only that, smart to look at your options before the arrival of #2.

Good luck and congratulations on your bundle of joy to be! :-)



answers from College Station on

We had our son stay with an unregistered sitter for about two years. It was the wife of my co-worker. She kept her own daughter at home and one other boy part time. This was her was of affording to stay home with her child. It was a wonderful experience. We had similar parenting styles, her home was clean, she did activities with the kids, she loved our son.... I think it can work if you monitor the situation closely. We did visit other in home providers that we didn't like. We also visited registered daycare centers that were terrible. I think a lot of it is your gut once you visit each home or daycare center. Also, each situation has good and bad points. We liked that there were only one or two other kids with our son. Plus some of the daycares had lots of turnover with staff. However, if our sitter got sick or went on vacation we had to work with her. Luckily she was only sick once and we coordinated our vacations. My advice is to at least take the time to check them out. You can do a reference check too. Not that it is the most important point, but having the baby so close would be great for checking on her and breastfeeding.

BTW... later my son (and daughter) went to a registered daycare center, so I'm for those as well. They were both about two at the time.



answers from Dallas on

I agree 100% with the response from N.. If you don't feel comfortable now, you won't later. I know I'll probably get hundreds of bad comments for saying this, but I believe that if someone really wants to make childcare their passion, not just a babysitting job, then they will get registered with the state. I agree that I prefer a licensed facility, monitored and inspected, with set guidelines in place in case of a teacher sickness, lack of integrity, etc. Although there are of course licensed centers that I wouldn't put my dog in, there are many others that are very well maintained. Most of them allow you to pump and take it in, or breast feed there. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

I did daycare from my home for 7 yrs before going back to work. The lady I used to watch my kids was not registered. She didn't keep many kids; was a very sweet lady and took great care of my kids. When you are registered it's not like they come inspect your home on a monthly basis etc, they can go years without doing it. You can report issues to them if you see things going on; but you can do that with an unregistered person as well. I let my good friends babysit for me, there not registered. I'm not registered to be a mother and do a good job; so I say meet them, ask questions and go with your gut. you can have someone registered who doesnt do a great job... JMO..



answers from Dallas on

N. -
I am licensed by the state for child care and know there are several in my neighborhood who are also.... you may want to check the website and do a search in your zip code to see if there are any licensed facilities in your neighborhood. You can also see what/if they've been written up for. As for someone who is not registered.... they can get "listed" for 5 or less children in their care. But I would definitely want to check out the inside of the house... unexpectedly.... cuz that's what you can expect daily.

Good luck!

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