Friday, July 4, 2008

it's only freaking DAYCARE, but we are snobs nonetheless

The time has come to choose a daycare for Erin. Shawn will be going back to school in September, bringing an end to the full-time stay at home dad era. (Of course, the full-time stay at home mom era ended LAST September when I went back to work, but that's neither here nor there, just a little jealousy on my part ... seriously, I do love my job, but sometimes I am envious of the fact that if a playdate (unlike work) is no longer fun, you can just leave... but I digress).

Even though September is a few months off, the title fight is happening now, as two daycare centers where we've had Erin on the list are offering her a spot and want our answer Monday. Here are the contenders:

In this corner, weighing in at a total of 160 kids, from ages 6 weeks to 4.5 years, is the Children's Preschool Center (CPSC). A veteran player at 24 years old (NAEYC accredited for 17), CPSC has a lot going for it: good curriculum for the pre-school set (3 and up), a large outdoor facility, and the opportunity for on-site extra curricular activities such as piano and dance (also starting at 3 and up). There's also a catered lunch option for you fans (read: parents) who just can't seem to get your act together. CPSC has had some struggles, including a less than sparkling cleanliness, and seemingly little parental involvement.

And, in the other corner, weighing in at a total of 144 kids (but seeming to have a lot less), is the Children's Center of the Stanford Community ("Stanford"). A parent-involved co-op, Stanford has been around since 1969, with the last 19 years accredited by NAEYC. A clean, bright, and cozy facility (even if somewhat small-ish), Stanford's main drawback is that it only has a 4 day a week spot (okay, only a drawback if you are seeking a 3 day a week spot). And there's the fact that the parents have to bring snacks for the whole class, only a drawback if you're one of those parents that can't seem to get your act together (as noted above).

Both contenders have been weighed (read: inspected carefully by an annoying million-question-asking trademarkmama), and after several bouts of discussion, one has emerged triumphant: Stanford.

Why? Because we're snobs.

okay, okay, not just because we're snobs. We like the co-op aspect better (parents there all the time, a huge plus). And we got a better vibe from the place (less institutional and more likely to be customized or flexible to our needs - I likened it to a microbrew versus MGD). And it is on the way from home to work or school, and the other is like a good 3 miles the wrong way.

And even though I liked the pre-school curriculum better at CPSC, and the potential for other activities, we are going to settle on Stanford despite the fact that they only have a 4 day spot.

Because it's Stanford.

For Shawn, he wants to be able to say that his daughter is only 14 months old and goes to Stanford.

For me, I have this irrational idea that since we've had her on the waiting list at Stanford for over a YEAR AND A HALF (as compared to 3 months with CPSC), it MUST be better because it's more exclusive, right??? (yeah, I know, I fall prey to the "if you put a velvet rope outside a club it must be exclusive" line of thinking).

Hey, it's not as if our snobbery is to her detriment - Stanford is a great facility, and I think she'll really love it there. (As an aside, as I see her morph into this very social, very active little busybee, I am much much more comfortable with the decision to put her in daycare in the first place - when we visited both places, she practically wormed her way into the classrooms and playgrounds and could give a smurf whether we were there at all).

But, I'm willing to call it what it is - we're snobs, and so our daughter is going to Stanford come fall.

Can I get one of those t-shirts or bumper stickers that says "My husband AND my daughter and my money go to Stanford?"


KT said...

This is funny. At least you are honest! I think I'd be following the same thought pattern as you, though. Sounds like whichever daycare u picked would have been good, though. So, congrats on picking. Still...funny post. I enjoyed it.

Backpacking Dad said...

The first one smelled bad.

justlori2day said...

Snobbiness aside, it sounds like you made a better choice. Entitlement aside, Stanford sounds less institutional and more "hands on caring" than CPSC. But thats just me. We have always done home daycare because the options in the Midwest, let alone a town of 5K are limited.

And heck yeah - get the shirt. Your money goes there, why not flaunt it a little! :)

attiton said...

You gotta go where you're comfortable. I'm a veteran now of three family daycare centers (Rabbit is 13 mos old) and each time I didn't feel real comfy, it made my life hell.

Of course, this doesn't account for the fact that the last one was actually batshit crazy and I didn't notice. Hmmm.

Carmen said...

I'm guess I'm a veteran of the preschool thing...youngest child in pre-K this year and my oldest went for several years too before K'garten. I know it's not exactly the same as daycare, but some similar issues to consider. Anyway, it sounds like you made the right choice. From what you said, I would have picked Stanford too. And hey, if you or Erin isn't happy there, you could switch. Might have to wait till the next year, but there's always the opportunity to go somewhere else.
On the side note, I absolutely think you need to get the t-shirt! It would be too funny!
p.s. I've been checking BPD's blog off & on...found you through him...

Stacy said...

I would have made the same decision, you know, based on the info you provided. I like the whole "parent involvement co-op" thing ... and also, your intuition is HUGE. Trust it! :)

trademarkmama said...

Thanks, all, for supporting my snobbery, eh, intuition.

TLC said...

For what it's worth, I was going to say pick Stanford. Cleanliness is important. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Your man (that sounds weird, but hey) linked you and cool that you have a blog. Next year, you have to come to Blogher, too!


FearandParentinginLasVegas said...

I think you made the right choice, Trust your instincts. No one knows your daughter better than you. As for only needing the three out of four days, Shawn may find that extra day useful for studying, cleaning, and/or running errands without Erin, freeing you both up for more focused time with her when you're home together. Best of luck. Keep us posted.