It’s a jungle out there

8 February , 2010

So I begun my quest for daycare arrangements last week. My mom had Friday off so she looked after Nicola for me while I zipped around looking at places.

For my first trip I managed to see 5, which would not have been possible if I had taken the little pink terrorist with me (note to self: next car I buy MUST have aircon – it’s Africa after all!).

Anyway, let me tell you what I saw: I’ll keep it nice and vague (no names) so that no one an sue the pants off me (as if they could anyway).

Number 1: This is the the school which is owned and run by my friend’s sister. The place is lovely. Very neat, the people working there look friendly and happy (so you don’t already worry that they might take out there moods on your kid). Their baby class has room for 12 babies and at the moment there are 8. Two people are dedicated to that class, so at the moment it works out on a 1/4 ratio for the little darlings. Every baby has a cot which is dedicated exclusively to them and you provide your own bedding which is sent home every Friday for washing. It’s probably about 2 or 3 km away from my house and opens at 07:00. Price: R1760 per month.

Number 2: This is the school which is run by my church. It’s very pretty, very close and very irrelevant. They only take kids in from 16 months – so I didn’t bother looking into it further. They did however give me the numbers of two day mothers in the area from whom they get kids in after they’re the right age.

Number 3: Daymother 1 off the church’s list. I was quite shocked to realise that I already knew this woman. She used to look after my brother when he was a baby, but only for a short time. If memory serves my mom had to quit her job to look after my brother herself after properly after that. I had a look around anyway – to see what I wouldn’t be getting into at least (I’d rather chew off my own leg before I let my kid go anywhere near this place!). She only takes babies from 3 months onward to begin with. Then she has 30 babies at the moment and 3 people looking after them (1/10). All these kids are kept in a room roughly the size of a double garage – which has been converted. The kids are separated between those that can walk and those who can’t. While I was there it looked like it was lunch time for some of the toddlers, one woman was trying to maintain order at the table where they were sitting, not pretty. Anyway, the whole place just felt run down and neglected to me. I was literally itching to get out of there. Price: R1400 per month.

Number 4: Daymother 2 off the church’s list. This one only opened for business last year October/November. It’s run and owned by an ex-nurse. There are currently 3 babies and 2 toddlers there and 4 people looking after them. The first impression I got off the place is that it was barren, too clean and a bit hospital-like. Every room has a hand sanitiser in it at the door. The floors get religiously scrubbed with anti-bacterial stuff. They have a sick bay with an actual hospital bed in it (the thin un-comfy ER kinds not the bed with remote kind). The lady who took me for the tour spent more than 10 minutes explaining to me what procedure they follow if a kid gets hurt and has to go to hospital. They hardly have any toys for the kids and the sand pit is empty (probably too dirty). It also became apparent that the nurse/owner is almost never there. Everything has prison bars on it, even if they are painted in rainbow colours to be cheerful. I will not send my baby to anti-bacterial bootcamp. Price: R2000 per month.

Number 5: This is the school where my cousin Arkwife sends Arkbaby (I did manage to see her sleeping while I was there cuzz, she looked quite happy and content). This is a good school with a lady who runs and owns it who obviously loves children. Their classes are 20 big and they currently have one spot open in the baby class. I got much the same feeling about this school as I did about the first one, the only difference being that this one has webcams all over so you can log in during the day to have a look what your little angel is up to. They maintain a 1/4 ratio of care givers vs. kids. I enjoyed the tour and the school is great. It’s far from my house though and also not on my route to work either. Price: R2760 per month.

So far my favourite is the first one I visited. I’ll go look at a few more places this week before I make up my mind though. There is also the whole nanny option to consider as well.

I have to start hustling on my decision though – there must be daycare in place by the 1st of March one way or another. During March I’ll get a chance to ease into it because I don’t have to go into the office every day, but from April I’ll be a regular worker bee – so I might as well get cracking on a long term solution now?



  1. Good luck with this one!

    I think it is heart wrenching to leave your baby in some one else’s care after being home with her for a while!

  2. I remember looking for nursery schools for the knucklehead.
    I did surprise visits rather than warn the school I was coming, and it was incredible what I found when it hadn’t been nicelt “sorted” for a visit!

  3. It must be a tough decision to make, but I definitely think you’re taking the right approach and weighing up lots of different places 🙂 Wow, and Angel really makes a good point in her comment!

  4. Oh my goodness, they are expensive. The only thing I can say is trust your gut feel.

  5. Its tough out there but definitely go with your instincts. I went to 7 schools before placing my 9 month old (at the time). The same school now I’m not impressed with. Things change. I remember one school with about 30 kids that I placed my older son as they seemed organised. He used to cry when I left him and was crying when I picked him up. I took him out of there without giving notice and put him with a lady working out of her home. I had good daymoms but I really am not sure if the same quality care is available now. Just keep looking until you’re satisfied that you’ve exhausted all your options.

  6. such a difficult decision – good luck, hope you find a place that gives lots of loving care.

    My only tip is to look to see how they interact with the babies – are the babies mostly left to their own devices in the cots or are they held, chatted to etc. I have noticed especially with little babies that because they dont communicate they are observed and cared for well but not interacted with which is a bit sad to me.

  7. Dam, they are expensive. I never new they charged so much…………you may as well put her in private school LOL. Good luck with your choice!

  8. Nursery schools are more expensive than Private schooling and much more difficult to find good ones. Good luck!

  9. Remember when I had to do the nursery school – searching thing! Drove me to insanity!! Good luck vriendin!!! Ek kan my skool aanbeveel, dit is in Randburg, en Nadia luuuuvvvveeee dit daar. En glo my, ek is ekstra pedantic, anal en sommer plainweg onbeskof as dit by my dogtertjie se welvaart kom! Gelukkig is die eienaar deur die dag daar, so daar is darem daardie ekstra versekering. Gelukkig was Nadia ook een van 3 babas, so dit is 1 to 1 ratio! Sterkte!

  10. My advise is to trust your instinct! Plain and simple, it is frustrating to find nursery schools!

  11. These places seem to be quite pricy. Just one thing, Dianay was only at a creche/daymother for 4 months while I was still working and she was sick for almost all of those months as well. My sister-in-law’s baby started going to creche last week Monday and has had to stay at home from Wednesday with Gastro she picked up at school. It was horrible having my baby pick up all the bugs the other kids at school had and having to deal with it. Because we have no medical aid we also ended up paying about double the daycare fee in medical bills each month because she got so sick. She spent the 1st 3 months with me at work, then with a nanny(who was quite good, but had some personal issues, and for some reason they like putting vaseline in your baby’s hair), then the 4 months at the daymother, a month with my mother-in-law and after that every day with me. She was only that sick when she came into contact with all the other kids at the daymothers’. I’m not against a creche or playschool, just want to give you a head’s up on the bugs and funny things they pick up there.

  12. Sjoe that’s allot of monies.

    I would go with the nanny option to start with.

  13. I hired a nanny for Jack when I went back to work. Got her from Help At Home & haven’t looked back. She was great with the kids, trained in emergency first aid, etc. and I would come home to a clean house to boot! 🙂
    Now that we’re having number 4, I’ve hired the same nanny again and this time she’s here to stay, even though I’m working from home & homeschooling. It’s great having someone around to give Jack 1 on 1 care when I’m busy, and who can help with the new baby once he’s here, plus my house is generally kept in a reasonable state – all without any of my kids’ lives being disrupted.

  14. […] The busiest day of the year was February 8th with 382 views. The most popular post that day was It’s a jungle out there. […]

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