OK so I'm pretty close with our daycare provider. I really love her and so do the kids. Yesterday she told me that she had applied for a teaching job and that she has an interview today. We've had a couple LONG talks about yesterday and last night and she said she's 80% sure that if it's offered she won't take it.
However, I got on top of things and started calling daycares. I found a center in the small town next to ours that can take my kids and I REALLY REALLY want to take my kids there even if Amy doesn't take the teaching job. The owner is a licenced SLP that worked in the school system for 12 years and then went back to school and got her early childhood degree. They have structured pre-school for 18 months to 3 years, a 3 year old preschool, and a 4-5 year old pre-school. PLUS, her entire curriculum is no child left behind approved and structured to be sure kids are ready for kindergarten (honestly OVERLY ready IMHO from what she told me). The 3 year olds learn calendar skills, numbers, letters, colors, early problem solving, and math skills(as well as fine motor skills). The 4 year olds continue working on advancing the previous skills and also do science and social studies, learn their address and phone number, and how to tie their shoes!!! I LOVE the idea of Lexi learning with kids her own age and learning SOOO MUCH!
The ONLY 2 things that are "bad" about it is it would cost me a little over $100 more each month and I would have to drive the 20 miles round trip to drop off the kids and pick them up. Then ofcourse the problem of taking them out of Amy's house where they have both been since they were 6 weeks old.
I'm sorry this is so long, I really don't know what to do! I JUST talked to this gal and she invited me to come see the center and I'm seriously considering it. I'm honestly crying right now as I type because I don't know what to do. PLEASE help! I don't want to ruin a friendship but I want to do what is best for my kids. (and who says moving them is really what's best!)
I think if I were in your situation, and I was truly happy with the relationship with Amy, I probably would not move the kids. My reasons for that are pretty much all the ones you stated: the kids are familiar and comfortable in the environment, and it saves you time and money. I don't personally think that the extra educational environment would make that much of a difference in the long run. Heck, Braden is beyond grade level in math and reading, and he still can't tie his shoes. :lol: I can totally understand the appeal to the other center though, and I would hope that if that is the route you decide to go, Amy would be understanding. Good luck with your decision.
I think it's good to have options or a back up plan but I probably wouldn't change them either. Also, what exactly does she mean by NCLB approved??? I've been a consultant on NCLB issues almost since it's been enacted and I've never heard of such a thing so I get worried sometimes when early childhood providers kind of "puff up" their program. If your state has early childhood standards, you want to ensure that they are aligned but too much structure really isn't a good thing for little ones.
We switched daycare center with Stephen when he was about 15 months. He transitioned well. Not so sure how well it would go now that he is 3 (tomorrow!!!) if we were to transition him. We switched for educational reasons, the place we go to now is a school and he learns so much. He has learned how to socialize with other kids well, manners, spanish, and all the things you mentioned!! He is always stimulated.
Daycare is a such a personal choice. You have to go with you gut and do what is right for your family. We choose a daycare center b/c we did not find home care that we liked in our area. Maybe you could take the kids there for a tour or a trial half day (we did that when we switched)??