When I was four months pregnant with C I realized I’d have to do a little research to find a daycare. I started right away, combing the online listings for local home day cares, checking their credentials and licenses. Then I met someone who mentioned that their next door neighbor ran an in home day care that I should check out.
It was the first day care I visited. It was also the last.
As soon as I walked in I felt, well, at home. I watched the children play, listened to the caregivers tell me about their day, and I wanted to stay. I wanted to spend my days there. And I knew that this was the place my baby would go when I went back to work.
When I was researching preschools I looked for a place that gave me that same feeling. The school we started at was convenient and good, but I just didn’t have that “we’re home” feel to it. When I toured the school C is at now I instantly felt it. I followed the director through the classrooms, listened to her rave about her teachers and students, and I wanted to spend the whole day there. Again, I knew that this would be the place C would go.
When I started out looking for a Kindergarten, that’s what I looked for. I’d been spoiled and I wanted a place that C could call her second home. I wanted her to feel nurtured and loved as well as get a good education.
I didn’t realize that that might be too much to ask for, so after weeks and weeks of searching for that perfect Kindergarten and finding nothing that came even close I had almost given up. I was starting to think that you just don’t get to feel at home in elementary school. It’s school. I assumed I’d just have to focus on good academics, good class size, decent arts programs and hope that she’d be happy enough.
But today I found it.
The perfect school. The “I feel at home here” school.
It’s a tiny school. Doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside it’s just perfect. I adored the director, loved the teachers I met, and wanted to come spend my days in the classrooms. It’s exactly the place I’d want to go to school.
And if all goes well it’s where C will go starting in the fall.
There are no words to express the relief of not having to settle for “good enough,” of being able to stop looking. We’ve found C’s next home away from home.