Picking right daycare for my second child

Tanya - posted on 06/05/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My son will be 2 this month, and I dont feel his daycare is teaching him academics and fine motor skills etc. He has been attending this daycare since he was 6 months old. When i drop him off the kids are playing lego, building blocks more free play. When I pick him up around 6pm the kids in the room are running wild. Most time there is incident report where my son hurt himself or ate something he was not suppose to. (he has food allergies). I narrowed down my new search to two daycares. One is a little more than what i pay now, but the place looks amazing. The kids are learning letters and numbers, they have a music class and when the kids go out to play they are doing stretches and playing more organized structured games. The other daycare is better than mine, but im not sure how much academics they teach, there is not a playground on site. They do have music class and even teach them another language. This one is open till 6:30pm and a little closer to my home. The first daycare is on the way to work but little ways from my home. I would rather send him to the first one, but I am trying to see if i can save money since bills/daycare are hard to manage with one income. Oh the first daycare i like the most is only open till 6pm.. HELP!! :)

Im extra concerned because my 9 year old has autism so Im not sure at 2 if I should be stressing the academics or daycares should be more social and play skills. I feel at 2 he should be learning colors, shapes, letters and numbers, when I get his progress report folder i just see basic drawings but nothing related to the above. I want to make sure he is getting proper teaching while i am at work since my oldest is delayed.

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Kristina - posted on 06/10/2012

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I would be more concerned with the frequent incident reports then the academics. Toddlers learn through play Legos are great for fine motor skills as well as social interaction. If you are seeing art work that is drawn then they have a chance to use crayons and pencils. Look around the room are things labeled ie tables, chairs, doors if they are then they are exposing the kids to reading. Is there storytime and music time all of these things help at this early age. It is hard not to worry about a younger child when you have an older one that is special needs. Just remember that your son is barely 2 and had many years of learning ahead, encouragement is the best thing.

Iridescent - posted on 06/09/2012

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I'd also prefer one with a lot of free-play, little structure but definite routine. But I'm totally with you on allergies! Someone that can't watch a child with allergies close enough to keep them away from being ingested is not safe. I'd go with the one with longer hours close to home as a result.

Anaquita - posted on 06/09/2012

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I didn't stress academics when my son was 2. I was more of a let them naturally learn at that age. Social skills, especially if autism runs in the family, are a bit more important so that when they are school age, they're better prepared to cope. That being said my son started counting well before Pre-K, and picked up reading fairly quickly while in Pre-K. (And I didn't send him to daycare at all so I really didn't get him into academics until then. Though he turned out to have Aspergers, so daycare might have been helpful for that, but I hadn't had the money.)

A natural way of learning is through play. Often free-play too. Or playing with you when you have things of different colors, shapes, etc. While playing describe it, briefly. He'll soak it up like a sponge. (Kids are nifty that way)

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