Family life

Our daycare is closing

The girls' childcare centre is closing its doors due to low enrollment, leaving Tracy with some big decisions to make.

By Tracy Chappell
Our daycare is closing

With kids, it seems the only thing that stays the same is change.

So, there it is. The end of an era. After much hand wringing and worrying (on my part) over the future of my kids’ daycare, it has been determined: The centre we brought Anna to when she’d just turned two, and now provides part-time care for both my girls, is going to close its doors at the end of June. Damn.
I guess I shouldn’t say that. I used to love the centre and I think it provided Anna with a tremendous start, but in the past year, the number of staff changes has left me less than thrilled with the experience that Avery is getting in her three days a week (Anna is only there three half-days now). I was hoping the centre would hang on for one more year — because we only needed it for one more year! — but I’m starting to think it’s all for the best.
Anna was already going to be leaving the centre to embark on her first season of summer camp. But Avery often tells me how much she loves it there and loves her friends there and loves the teachers there and it breaks my heart to be moving her again, making her start over, when in a year, she’ll have to do it again for kindergarten.
If I were writing this a few weeks ago, I would have sounded a lot more desperate about what exactly we were going to do with Little A. You might have heard cursing and growling and whining about how I didn't have time to search out a new daycare. But I made time (what else could I do?) and I’m happy to report I’ve found a new centre. I feel very good about it for a number of reasons, so that is a huge relief. It even has an after-school program that Anna can go to next fall. Double win!
Only two decisions remain: Whether to split the days of Avery’s JK year between her school (which is only half-days) and the centre, or leave her at the centre for the full days that I work. Anna did her JK year full-time at daycare and it was a great experience. She learned so much, and didn’t have the back-and-forth bussing, and all day coat-on-coat-off, coat-on-coat-off hassle. Avery is slower to adapt than Anna already (and six month younger starting JK), and I think the change in daycare centres, quickly followed by a new school and bussing experience, might not be the best idea for her. On the other hand, she’s really looking forward to finally joining Anna at school. Ugh. What to do?
Secondly, I have to break it to her that her school is closing its doors and that she’ll be going somewhere new. I know it will be confusing and sad for her (not so much for Anna, who is eager to move on). With the recent death of our fish, along with another situation we’ve had here at home, it feels like lots of sad change all at once, so I’m trying to figure out the right time and the right words to make this transition as painless as possible. Hopefully a visit to the new place later in June will ground Avery and help her see that a new, fun experience awaits.
It will, won’t it? We moved Avery from home care to this centre at about this time last year and she did pretty well, but a big part of her success was that she was going to a place that was already very familiar to her, and joining her sister.

If it were you, how would you help this transition along?

This article was originally published on May 02, 2012

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