After doing some research & harassing friends for suggestions in that area, we were able to find one that I absolutely loved. If you've ever toured daycare centers, you know how you just getting that feeling of knowing right away. You either want to run away in tears & never look back, or you want to give the director a big hug and thank her for providing such a great place to care for children.
Jake has been to visit his new school twice and has done pretty well both times. The first time, we got there around 9:30am and I stayed and talked to the teacher for probably 30 minutes or so. The kids were getting ready to head outside to play, so she said that would be a good time for me to leave and assured me he would be just fine. He didn't cry when I left (that could be because he was totally distracted & busy dancing to "the hot dog song") and I came back a few hours later to find that he had a great morning, aside from just a few tears when he asked where I was.
That was a few weeks ago; unfortunately, since then, daycare drop off at our regular center has been challenging on occasion. Jake has never been a drop off crier, ever. Normally, he runs into his classroom, immediately starts playing & can barely be bothered to say goodbye. Since coming back from vacation; however, drop off has been a mess some days. There are tears, pouty lips & pleads to not leave. We are assuming that it is because we left for a week for vacation and there were some changes within the school over that time as well (a new classroom, some staff changes and some of his close friends moved to a different room). I'm sure that's a lot for him to take in.
We went to the new school again last week, and I feel pretty good about it. It was a little bit harder this time, probably because he knew I was going to leave, and he cried when we got there. But the teacher swooped right in & gave him a big hug & started talking about all of the fun stuff they were going to do. Knowing that the longer I hung around, the harder it would be, I made a pretty speedy exit.
Side note-I had hours to kill and there are a LOT of stores in our new area. I really tried to resist the urge to buy things, per Brian's instructions....more on that at a later point, I got some good stuff that day, including some Goodwill finds. Score!
When I came back to pick him up, he had just finished lunch & the teacher said he did well again. He seemed more hesitant this time to play with the other kids, so one of the teachers stuck by him all morning & made him feel more at ease. When we were leaving, 2 of the kids came up & gave him a big hug goodbye.
He'll stay at his old daycare for 3 days after our big move next week, then start at the new center the following week, so we're really hoping that everything goes smoothly, though I'm bracing myself for tears to fall & lips to hit the ground with pouts. I'm sure that once he gets used to it, he'll love it and look forward to playing with his friends everyday. I mean, look at this handsome kid! Who wouldn't want to be friends with him?? :)