Today, I went to visit the Bright Horizons daycare center location that is closest to our apartment. It’s about two blocks away, so very convenient. I was not very keen at all on our baby going to daycare this early. I really didn’t think that she would benefit much from being there. The number one benefit to being at a daycare center as opposed to having a nanny, at least in my opinion, is that the child would have more socializing opportunities with other kids of a similar age. And that would give them the opportunity to learn to be around others and share and communicate. Well, my baby is just over four months old, and she doesn’t really care who is around as long as her mom and dad are there. She’s pretty oblivious to other kids now, as we learned from the time when my friend visited with her 18-month-old daughter, as well as when we took our baby to a friend’s twin girls’ third birthday party. So this visit was really to scope out what a day in the life could look like when our baby is at least one year old. I am still not certain I want her to attend daycare at one year old, as I think it may be better for her to go to daycare when she can actually talk, but I am still open to the idea, sort of.
Bright Horizons doesn’t really consider itself a daycare center. It’s really more like school. And when the director showed me around and showed me the schedule of activities per age on the walls, I completely understood why. There is actually a set curriculum that varies every single day. There are different learning targets for each stage of growth. They have scheduled nap times and scheduled play times and scheduled learning times. They also have things that the kids are evaluated on. And those evaluations are shared with parents via parent-teacher conferences. Yes, that is what I meant to say: parent-teacher conferences. Your one year-old will have a parent teacher conference if your child attends Bright Horizons!
The center looked the way I kind of imagined it in my head. It’s laid out the way that I imagined. They have areas where there are cots for naptime. They have play areas and tables for activities. All of the instructors have bachelors degrees or higher in early childhood education or related areas of study. These are people who are not only passionate about children, but they are passionate about learning. I watched some of the teachers interact with the children through the glass, and it was really clear that these people are very engaged and are not just there to collect a paycheck.
Then again, given that this daycare center is essentially going to cost about $4,000 per month, these people better give a damn about the children and learning and be doing 120%. Honestly, at that rate, you would think that they would also be serving the children high end sushi, like toro and uni, for lunch.
I remember looking at the rate card and thinking to myself, how the hell do everyday working class families afford this type of daycare?? This is not affordable for the average family. We are clearly not the average family to even consider this daycare center for our child. This country is so screwed when it comes to child care in general. It is embarrassing just to think about it.