Had a bit of a sad day on Friday when we took Pace to a farewell party for him, a couple classmates and one of the teachers at his daycare
Pace has gone to Bright Beginnings Daycare since he was eighteen months old – virtually his entire life when you think about it. He started at their original location and when they expanded to a second location which was only a short walk from our house, Pace moved there.
In some ways, we’re lucky we ended up with such an amazing daycare.
Around the time Pace turned one and knowing that Shea would be taking an extended maternity leave until he was 18 months, we began calling around looking for a daycare. It was scary to realise that most daycares – both formal centres and home-based ones – had long waiting lines at the time.
Finally, we managed to find a spot at Bright Beginnings. Their original location is attached to a low-income housing area and I hate to admit that Shea and I were a bit nervous about this. It definitely wasn’t the Y with all the middle-class toddlers in their immaculate new clothes and sparkling toys and not where we expected to end up leaving our son.
But the staff were very kind and welcoming and the Director also went out of her way to accommodate our unique schedule (Shea works the equivalent of a half-time position but the 2-3 days she works vary each week so we couldn’t guarantee a consistent schedule to the daycare. They were not only willing to go along with this but structured our fees so it was more advantageous to us than to them! Many daycares would’ve charged us for a full-time spot for not being able to guarantee which days Pace would be in but Bright Beginnings offered to charge us only the daily rate for when Pace was there and not even require a monthly minimum!)
As I mentioned above, when Bright Beginnings expanded to a new location which was much closer to our house about a year ago, Pace jumped to this one and it’s been even better than the original. I could now pick him up easily even though I take the bus each day and he was in a place with brand new toys, furnishings and equipment plus many of his favourite instructors who also moved over from the original location.
Unfortunately, ever-expanding costs for fuel has meant that Bright Beginnings has had to recently do away with another luxury that many daycares don’t offer – a van that could drive school-aged kids from both locations to nearby schools.
We really want Pace to go to the elementary school closest to our house so we had to make the difficult decision to pull him out of this daycare and move him to a home-based daycare, just a couple doors down from where we live (and again, in another streak of luck, it’s one that didn’t have a spot when we were originally looking five years ago but happened to have a spot when we decided to move Pace.)
This new home-based daycare will be an adjustment – for Pace and for us – but again, I think it’s the right move at the right time. The woman who runs it has a number of other kids who are around Pace’s age and will be attending the same school as him so these will be the kids who will likely form his peer group for the next few years, it’s even more convenient for Shea and I then the second Bright Beginnings location (which was more convenient than the first one Pace was at.)
Still, it’s sad to leave Bright Beginnings. When they send something like this home as the “rule” your kid has chosen to impose on himself, you know you’re doing something right!