The daycare search. An absolute stress topic for many parents, especially in big cities. In this article, our founder Eva Malawska reports on the daycare search for her daughter Lotta and shares her best tips: Finding the right daycare is a real mammoth task for many parents. Apparently we were extremely lucky with Lotta's daycare center, but maybe we just did a few things right - and I would like to tell you about them today.
Daycare search: apply early
I hear it again and again: In big cities, the search for a daycare or crèche place can be a real horror. 20 interviews, put on the waiting list 20 times - this is how the horror stories of exasperated big city parents sound like. Getting a place straight away, and that in the daycare of your choice, feels like winning the lottery. We were just very lucky that we only had to look at three daycare centers for Lotta and one of them was our dream daycare center, which then took us away. It is therefore worthwhile to find a day care center really early on. Maybe not when the child is still in the tummy, but certainly when it is a few months old.
Listen to your gut feeling
As so often in life, my gut feeling has proven to be a reliable guideline when looking for a daycare center. Be sure to pay attention to what you feel when you enter your child's potential daycare center. Because you can actually feel immediately whether it is the right place or not. As I said, we looked at three daycare centers for Lotta, and when I entered the third (which it later became), I immediately had a really good feeling and knew that this would be a really good place for our daughter. Daycare centers number one and two were clearly out for me at that moment. Of course, you are not always lucky enough to get a place in exactly the day care center you wanted. But if you have the opportunity to decide for yourself, in my opinion you should definitely listen to your gut feeling. This is rarely deceptive and often leads to better decisions than your head!
Don't worry: diversity is good for children
Lotta's daycare center is quite large with around 50 children in care and the areas are not separated into large and small children. That means in plain language: The 1 year olds are together with all other age groups - up to the 6 year olds! In the beginning I was very concerned about whether Lotta would somehow get under the wheels of the older children. But the decision for this daycare center also turned out to be great in this respect. The big children are very considerate of the little ones and the little ones learn a lot from the big ones. Overall, there is a very loving atmosphere among the children and I find the being together of the many children of different age groups as a total enrichment for Lotta.
Daycare search: The love key to care ...
It is of course great when a daycare center has a good care code - that is, as few children as possible have one educator. In large cities such as Hamburg, however, the childcare key is usually awful - this is also the case in Lotta's daycare center! We hardly had a choice. So far, this has almost never been a problem for us, except when the daycare center was on strike, which can happen again and again at state daycare centers. We saw it in 2015. Because of the already rather poor supervision key, there were hardly any alternatives in terms of personnel. The consequence: Lotta was at home for three weeks. As a self-employed person, you can cope with this even more flexibly than employed mothers can, but I can't just stop working for three weeks either. So if you have the choice: A low childcare key is certainly helpful in many ways, but in my experience it shouldn't be the most important criterion when looking for a daycare center. Personally, I consider a great atmosphere and loving interaction with and among the children to be much more important - and these criteria have definitely helped us to find a really great daycare center for Lotta!
The favorite companion for daycare
By the way, our photo book has proven to be a much-loved daycare companion. Here you can discover it.
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