Last year I had decided to go back to work and leave my 14 month old in daycare while I was gone. This turned out to be a long, hard journey for both of us. I checked out many daycares in the valley, asking key questions, observing the centers, taking mental notes and so on. I started looking two months before returning to work so I thought I would be prepared and be able to make an informed decision and pick a place that would be great for both of us. Well This turned out to be much harder than I ever imagined!
I discovered that many good centers had waiting list and no guarantee or time frame that my child would be accepted before my start date at work. This was the case at Valley Childcare Center in Peoria, AZ. I liked the look of this daycare center. It was newer and nicely kept. It looked clean and organized. The teachers were nice and showed me around and made me feel comfortable. The price was affordable and they even supplied the diapers. It looked safe and fun at the same time. I said ok sign her up! I waited 6 weeks to get a call telling me they finally were going to have an opening for my daughter. I was so excited and rushed right down there to get the paperwork. I filled it out and turned it in. They said there was no deposit and that she was now guaranteed a space. I said I would start her the following Monday and I thought we were good to go. The next Monday came and we got all ready for her big day. He arrived at the center and they couldn’t find her paper work. I thought no big deal I can fill it out again. They said no we will find it. I waited there for 30 minutes will they looked for the paperwork. I asked if I could take her to her classroom to get her settled and then I would fill out the papers again. They said no. They wouldn’t even tell me what classroom she was assigned to since there were three for her age. They began to get frustrated and snotty with me as if I lost the papers. They said they couldn’t accept her that day and I would need to sign the papers again and bring her shot records again and start another day. The director was very rude with me and said she couldn’t accept her that day even if I filled out the paperwork. My gut feeling was they messed up and had to many children. I did not like there attitude and that’s when I decided this was not the best place for my child.
My second choice was Tutor Time at 55th Ave and Bell Rd in Glendale, AZ. This center was brand new with all new toys and play structures. This center was very expensive but I thought it may be worth it. They said they were very involved with the children teaching songs, games, letters, numbers etc. The teachers seemed to be nice and the center appeared clean and safe. My child attended this daycare for two months. This was the worst experience ever! In the two months my child was there she never brought home any crafts or paintings or anything. The children played by themselves all day. The were several times that I would pop in during the day at different times of the day and I never saw the teachers interacting with the children. The teachers would change diapers without gloves, wipe noses without gloves or washing their hands afterwards. They would even serve food without washing their hands. I brought this to the attention of the director and she said it would be resolved immediately. Still two weeks later I saw a teacher change a diaper, clean a bloody nose and then go to serve snack all without gloves and not washing her hands! I was disgusted. No wonder children there were always sick. Needless to say I pulled my daughter out.
Next we tried the Valley Childcare Center at 51st Ave and Union Hills in Phoenix, AZ. This center was affordable and you only paid for the days your child was there. This center turned out to be dirty and smelly quite often. In the room that my child was in they had cribs and nap mats. My child was already use to the nap mats from Tutor Time and she knew how to climb out of a crib so I requested that she use the mat not a crib at nap time. I even explained why and they agreed. Now at this time my schedule was pretty strict so I would never show up before 5pm to pick her up. That is until one day when I got off early around 3pm. I found my child screaming in a crib and she was so hysterical that you could tell she had been crying for some time. Oh and let me also mention this was over an hour after nap time had ended. All the other children were out playing or getting diapers. When they saw me enter the classroom they immediately went over to her and took her out and said that she was only there for a minute because they were busy and she was misbehaving. I was furious! She could have climbed out and fallen or something. And like I said I could tell she had been there awhile. She was covered in tears and snot.
These are daycares in the North Glendale area that I would stay away from!