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On Losing Our Perfect Daycare: the Loss and the Scramble

finding new childcare arrangementsRecently, we said goodbye to our beloved daycare. Due to reasons beyond their control, our daycare had to close permanently. I am still in shock, still saddened that my daughter, Ilse, will no longer spend time with the friends and teachers she has come to know and love.  It feels like our extended family has now been fractured.

After sobbing in the car and making alternate child care arrangements for the next few weeks, I went into crisis mode and immediately began the stressful, painful search for a new daycare. Fortunately, unlike my early search when Ilse was an infant, I did not have to start from scratch. I uncovered a handful of opportunities and have scheduled a few tours, relying heavily on a list I had cultivated two years ago and a new website www.wonderschool.org. It’s a start, but certainly won’t be the same experience for our family.

To that end, I am eternally grateful to our beloved daycare “angels.”  They impacted our lives in so many ways. They gave me peace of mind through all her different growing stages: teething, eating solid foods, walking, and talking, assuring me every step of the way and offering sage advice like “watch what you eat, while you’re breastfeeding” and “she will walk in her own time.” I never had to worry whether Ilse was growing and learning.

Second, they really loved the children. They doted on all the children at the daycare. All the children were given lots of attention and spent time with each of the caregivers. At the end of the day, all the children were groomed, clean, and ready for pickup. Every parent I called for reference told me so. When I was asked to give a reference, I said the same. I witnessed it firsthand, every day. Since they were caring for my daughter every day, they were like additional parents to her. They have helped us raise Ilse. Ilse is who she is after having been under their care.

The most delicious aromas were always wafting around the daycare’s kitchen! The children, particularly the toddlers, were spoiled by some serious home cooking. I always wondered what was stewing. And, speaking of home, it was the first daycare that felt like home. Unlike other places I had visited, this daycare did not feel sterile and cold or appear to be dirty. It was quite the opposite: warm, inviting, clean. It was the perfect place for Ilse.

Now, I will need to find another perfect place for her, for us. Change can be good, even when it’s abrupt. It will take time, but Ilse will adapt and thrive again. If she is anything like me or my husband, she will pick up right where she left off, only with new friends and teachers.

So, as sad as goodbye is right now, we are still blessed to have had you, our daycare angels, in our lives the last two years. Thank you for loving our daughter as much as we do. Thank you for comforting us when we dealt with her teething and her immunizations and my work trips away. Thank you for the sage advice on everything else in life. I’ll never look at beets the same way. Thank you for sharing our laughter, my cries, and all our parenting firsts. Thank for being strong, female role models for my daughter and me. Thank you for being part of our extended family. Thank you “Angels in the Sunset.”  We hope to see you again soon.

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