When I was pregnant, I secured Tutor time. Baby was due in April, I secured a spot with a deposit in January, for him to start in June, as I was planning to return to work. All was good. So, to be proactive, I called the center two weeks before he was to start, just in case. The response: Oh, didn't you hear? We are discontinuing our infant program.
No. I never received the notice or phone call. They agreed to enroll him for a month while the rest of the parents were looking for a new daycare before the teacher was to be released.
So, I put him in a church daycare. Well known church, felt good about it. The staff outside the room seemed nice. Inside the room, however, was a witch in charge, and everyone else in the room cowed to her. It was hot in there, because there were no windows so they left the half door open to the outside. June in Arizona is hot and humid.
She really was a biotch. I saw a little guy who was a newbie in sitting up, fall back and hit his head on the concrete. Right - there was no rug in the peripheral area. He, of course, cried hard. They simply picked him up, no soothing, and put him in the crib. I saw them prop bottles, and when questioned, they said they were too busy to feed each baby individually. I went in early one day and my baby had his blanket wrapped around his head. Not simply laid on it, wrapped. They said he slept best that way, and it was so tight because of his movements in his sleep. There was one lady there who was wonderful, and took extra time to exercise his legs due to his gas and tummy problems.
The final daycare was clean, well lit, and a decent one, but still a daycare. My son, who was about 4 or 5 mos at this time, would sit and stare as they fed the other babies because he was so hungry. No shoes were allowed in the room, which was great! But he was then graduated to a crawlers room, where for some reason, shoes were allowed. The mobile kids mingled with the non-mobile ones, which is a recipe for disaster. Because shoes were allowed, I actually stepped on a crawler's fingers in my heels because I didn't know she was behind me. I decided to stay home after he was 9 mos. Neither of us handled daycare well. He would often throw up during the day, which he did when he cried hard, and so I knew he wasn't happy.
In searching for a daycare, however after Tutor Time played their game, I looked at another of their locations, now closed. They had a baby fall asleep under a gym on the floor. Another crawled and took a diaper out of the diaper pail - a poopy one, and was dragging it around. A third was in his crib the entire three hours I was there, and never taken out. He was awake much of the time. It was heartbreaking.
Another place had 10 swings surrounding one chair, where the person said she'd do it so she could read to them. OK. But then I observed they were in the swings on every visit I made to check, and they were there the entire time. I asked to see this place's health inspection reports and was told they weren't obligated to show them. I told them to check the law in my state, because while they didn't have to post them, they did have to show them on request. The place had been cited numerous times for bugs, which this "new" director said she was working on. They were cited twice again since I decided not to use them before I stopped paying attention.
Another one smelled strongly of urine. The director said she was trying to find the source of the problem. She'd been trying for four months. It was from the bathroom closest to the babies. Then she started complaining about how she got cited for not having enough staff when the inspector came, and the reason she didn't have the right amount of caregivers when he came is because she had to leave the room to meet him...Ummm..as a director, don't you often have to leave the room? I observed that at the end of the day, the kids were consolidated so the staff could leave early. Walkers were with infants, and I noticed a few times an older baby pushing an infant HARD in a swing. I brought it to their attention twice, and all they did was pull him away. He was preverbal, and they didn't control the situation. The place was dirty. The space now houses a Tuesday Morning store, and the bathroom is still icky, but remodeled.
I think daycare can be OK, if you find a great one, for older kids, like over age 2, but I would never advocate it for an infant's care. They just need more individual attention. The ratio here in this state for infants is 5:1, and believe me, that's what they work at. It's just not right for infants. I wasn't lucky enough to have family available to watch my son, and some don't have any choice at all, but choose your daycare wisely if you must use one. Personally, I would use a babysitter in someone that young, if a trustworthy one can be found. At $200 a week, they are out there.