The Day Care Market

Can I get a WTF? Or (if you’re more mature and less into swear words than I am) a “What the Heck?”

I’ve been nosing around for day care options for Boopsie. I won’t get into all the details (at least not yet), but there have been enough little niggling issues and concerns that I want to investigate other options. I’m not committing to a new day care, but I want a better sense of our options. Here’s what has been striking to me about the market for day care:

Instead of day care providers competing for my long-term business, I feel like I have to compete for THEM. I think that’s a little whacked and a lot annoying. Basically, no one I talk to seems all that concerned with whether or not they “woo” me. The onus is always on me… here’s an example:

I called Provider A (home) and asked if she had any openings for an infant. She said she would know at the end of the week and call me back. She didn’t call back. I reached out again. She said that yes, she would have an infant opening and e-mailed me her policies and procedures. I called to ask for a time for meet. She said she would call me to set up a time… and never called. So this is my hang-up: The “customer” in me doesn’t want to deal with this woman any more. Seriously — can’t return a phone call? But I’ve checked her license and talked to her licenser (licensor?) about parental satisfaction and both reports are good. So apparently I have to call her back. Again.

Seriously? I’m inferring a bit here, but my experience in both my first round of day care search and this current one is that if a day care provider is decent, they don’t have to do anything except wait for people to pound down their door. I end up feeling like I’m in an unspoken competition with other parents seeking high quality care. Why is it so hard to find excellent, affordable care?

Okay, now I’m just ranting.

Bonus info: Here’s a little ditty on the ROI of early-childhood education… glad the Minnesota Legislature can’t get their sh*t together to pass a budget neutral measure to help lower-income families find excellent care for their kids. Can we fire them all? Please?

And one more special “relationship” moment: Hearing Daddy-o tell his mom that I had issues with the day care. Not we. Not us. Me. Niiiiiiiiiice. Glad we’re in this together.*

Shoot. I’m ranting again.

I’m cutting myself off now.

*Daddy-o and I have talked about this already. I’m not randomly calling him out. Really.

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2 Comments

Filed under day care, relationships

2 responses to “The Day Care Market

  1. ursula

    and when you think about the sheer number of people also struggling through this – right now! – i feel it actually is a crime that childcare is such a pain in the butt to organize, find, pay for, and feel good about in this country of such wealth and innovation. it really is astounding we all put up with this kind of stress! but then, who has time to get organized and demand better when we are in the midst of it all?? ah, there’s the rub…

  2. Pingback: One Year…. One Year! | mmmotherhood

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