I am really disappointed, of course, and I was also more emotional than I expected. Zippy has been attending this center for nearly 3 1/2 years and Bee since just before his first birthday. Let me tell you though, other parents were heated. I mean, there were some angry, angry people up in that meeting. Wowza! People were ready to call their senators. No, I’m not joking. That was put on the table. Do not mess with peeps’ childcare, county officials!
To me, though, it is what it is. Long story short, the center is getting kicked out of its current space
because the county needs the space for something else, and the center
doesn’t have anywhere else to go. I understand where the county’s decision is coming from, even if I don’t like it. You know the Serenity Prayer that begins: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference”? Well, it was pretty obvious this decision isn’t going to change. So I am sad and a little anxious about what we’ll be doing for childcare in a few months and mostly I feel awful for the teachers who found out at the meeting that the center they’ve worked at for years is closing its doors. But I’m not going to beat my head against a wall trying to change the inevitable.
Seriously, I felt sort of bad for the county official who had to break the news. He did an amazing job of keeping his cool in a very tense situation – it was him against 60+ angry parents. He seemed willing to make what accommodations he could and agreed to push back the July closure to August, so that those of us with kids going to kindergarten in the fall would not be stuck with 6 weeks without anywhere to send our children.Whoever came up with mid-July as a logical closure? I’m guessing it wasn’t someone with young children.
The thing that had people so heated, and I totally understand this, is that we all want our kids in a safe, loving environment when they can’t be with us. And, sadly, there is a shortage of good childcare in our community and, I would venture a guess, throughout much of the U.S.. When I first looked for childcare a few years ago, I visited places that you could not pay me to send my child. I remember walking out of one place on the verge of tears and vowing I would quit my job before I would send my children there. What is even more heartbreaking is that there are parents who put their children in substandard childcare, either because they aren’t armed with the information they need to evaluate a childcare center or they don’t have any other options. I’m won’t add “they don’t care” to the list because I think most parents do care. I really believe our country needs some sort of program and regulations that would provide for consistent, quality, free childcare throughout the nation. There is a major problem when families have to wait months and months for decent childcare and then pay a small fortune for it. Hubby and I are lucky that childcare is affordable in our area, but affordable is of course relative.
Monday morning we’ll start calling and visiting daycare centers, looking for a spot for Bee. Fifty other families will be doing the same. There will be a mad scramble for spaces in our community that don’t even exist right now. We’ve been through this before, when Zippy was a year old and his sitter – who is still like family to us – moved across the state. We had 2 months to come up with a new plan. And again a year later, we decided to change centers so he would be closer to home, rather than 30 minutes away near Hubby’s job. Each time, I’ve been worried about finding the “right” place and whether I’d be satisfied with the care my precious boys receive. Each time, it has worked out. So I will just have faith that it will work out again.
What is childcare like in your area? Are there plenty of good options for families? Would or do you feel comfortable sending your child to daycare in your community? Chime in!