Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Great Daycare Debate

Recently I was talking with someone about daycare.
To me it's a bit of a ridiculous issue. The bottom line is that if you work your child needs to be taken care of. This is true until roughly the age of maybe 11 or 12. (maybe older). And, so the bottom line is that you have to have someone watch your child.
From what I understand there are a few options:
1) Your child goes to a daycare centre (public or private)
2) Your child goes to a home daycare
3) You have a nanny
4) Your child is with a family member
In some cases the decision is clear cut. Most of the people I know have a very strong opinion one way or another, or they are forced into a decision based on finances.
For Mike and I the choice was a daycare centre. We researched all of the options, went to see the various options and then made a choice. For us the choice was not so much of a financial one as it was a gut instinct.
I guess for me it boiled down to the fact that I felt, and still feel, that Matthew is a really high maintenance child. He needs constant entertainment and activity. After a day alone with him I am honestly tired. To me it was clear that he needed to be in a social setting and I truthfully wondered if one person could handle his energy day in and day out.
So I chose daycare. First he went to a privately run one (LOVED it - I still regularly e-mail them) and then when our situation changed he went to a municipal run daycare - love it too.
But, the other day I was speaking to someone who asked me about my choice.
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't offended, but I was annoyed. The gist of the conversation was that the daycare centres are for those of us who don't make enough of an income to hire a good nanny. Really.
I have to say I was taken aback by that.
I know lots of kids who had nannies. I grew up in private school and trust me, I had friends whose nannies picked them up every day, took us places, and all sorts of stuff. Some were nice, some were mean. Some were just okay. But, I never thought of it as a priviledge of the rich. It was just a lifestyle.
But, to even insinuate that I made a choice for my child based on finances? Not cool.
I mean, really.
I would pretty much do whatever I need to in order for Matty to be a happy well adjusted child. If it meant going into debt (well, further who am I kidding), or anything I'd do it. But, I'm happy with my choice. And, I think it is right. Financial issues or not.
Seriously, make decisions, choose what is best for your family. But, don't judge it's stupid. If you're happy with your nanny be glad that my kid goes to daycare because it means I won't steal your nanny!!!!


Searaygal said...

Oh my God are you serious? The nerve!!! I saw how much you struggled with putting Matty in daycare & know the research you did too. I'm not all that into the nanny option, I think kids need to learn social skills and daycare is best for that. Its pricey, I won't argue that, but he's learned a lot and I don't see how that's been a detriment.
I'm not against Nanny's, don't get me wrong, but daycare shouldn't be considered a 'lesser' option.

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