I was informed by one of my patients last week that if I needed daycare by next March, I better get my ass in gear. So I have set up 4 interviews with various area daycare centers for next Tuesday. I will start with centers before I look to any in-home daycares. I'm mostly doing this because I haven't received any recommendations for in-home daycare in the area with anyone who actually has openings. I have, however, heard good things about several centers.
I would appreciate advice from anyone with small children who has been using daycare in recent years. What kinds of questions do you think I should ask them? What did you look for? What do/did you like/dislike about your daycare? Any red flags I should look for? If you live in the Holland area, any facilities you like?
I will likely be using them three days/week. If I have to get on a waiting list for the place I like best, I'll consider doing that and interviewing local Hope college students to fill in as a short-term nanny. I probably wouldn't stick with a student long-term just because I need the reliability that they won't "call-in" sick.