Daycare Dilemma

by The Momma on January 5, 2011

Well, the time has come.

We’re going to put the Noodle in daycare/preschool.


The Daddy isn’t getting relieved of his stay at home duties just yet. But as the Noodle gets older, it gets more and more difficult for the working part of the Daddy’s equation to happen. Add in the fact that we feel strongly that the kid needs to be around…well, other kids, and we’re looking at putting him in daycare 1-2 days a week.

Now, when we conceived of this plan, we didn’t actually think it would be that difficult. Expensive maybe, but not difficult. Time consuming maybe, but not difficult. AHAHAHAHA. How naive we were.

Did you guys know that most daycares/preschools don’t do part-time schedules? And a large number of them don’t take kids under 18 months? And if you happen to get one, you rarely get both?

Anyway, we found a place that *on paper* looks great. It’s close enough that the Daddy could walk there should he need to pick the Noodle up in the middle of the day (huge bonus). They do part time schedules. They have ages 6 weeks to pre-kinder. The teachers seem nice. The classroom size isn’t too bad. They have a daily schedule we like. The Noodle seemed to love it the two times we visited.

So what’s the problem? Well, beyond the cost (seriously, daycare costs here? Through the freakin roof)?

The place reeks of diapers. R.E.E.K.S.

Now, a room full of un-potty trained toddlers, it makes sense that there’s going to be some aroma. But this was like a wall of smell. A diaper annihilation. Which…seems not quite right. Right?

But I don’t know. It’s not dirty or messy, other than the smell. There weren’t diapers strewn about–they were off in their proper receptacles. Maybe I’m just underestimating the aroma that 12 toddlers can produce, and it’s totally normal. And it is going to only be a day a week. And I mean, everything else is so perfect. Or I guess as close to perfect as I think a part-time daycare that’s insanely expensive can be.

So that’s our daycare dilemma: stench vs. everything else.

Am I overreacting?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Perpetua January 6, 2011 at 11:14 am

Hrrrm….apologies if I already said something about this over at RambleRamble, but here’s what I think:

1. Dang, it sucks you guys are having a hard time finding a facility that offers part-time for under-twos. We have an abundance of places around here that do both (part-time, 1 or 2 days a week, starting at 6 weeks), and we aren’t exactly a major city. Maybe you could ask another place you really like if they make exceptions? If they have a slot open, they’d rather some money than no money, I think.

2. E was only in daycare for about three months, and at that time he was in the under-ones room. So, everyone in diapers, no one potty training, diapers changed every two hours, and dirties in a closet in the back. Maybe ask what their policies are? I’m thinking maybe you caught them on a bad day, but at our daycare, we toured the whole place and there was no smell anywhere (the 2s and 3s and 4s each had their own room–the place was big!).

Anyway, long story short: Smell = bad. You aren’t overreacting. I don’t think it would hurt to try it out for a month, though. You’d know really fast if something is up, and if J comes home stinky or rashy, you could quit.


shasta January 6, 2011 at 11:16 am

Does the rest of the facility smell like diapers? If so, sounds like there might be a problem with their sewer system. The infant and toddler rooms at our daycare smell a little musty, but it’s mostly that spitty baby/heated baby food smell versus the diaper-can-full-of-diarrhea-diapers stench. The diaper area can smell a little ripe at the end of day before they’ve taken the diaper trash can out (which, FYI, is a covered trash can located inside a cabinet) but it never permeates the entire room. The only time I noticed a sulphur-y smell was when the adjacent toddler room’s sewer drain backed up.

Good luck!


Ginger January 6, 2011 at 11:18 am

Yikes, that’s a tough one. I don’t think it should smell though. Maybe test it out for a month and see? Is there a center near your work you can bring him to just for that one day instead?


Cherie Beyond January 6, 2011 at 11:41 am

Our daycare is a center containing 40 + children, at least 25 of whom are not potty-trained.

And it never, ever, ever smells. Never.

That would raise a red flag for me, because when you’ve got that many kids around, proper disposal of dirty diapers is a health safety issue. There are a lot of diseases transmittable via human waste. And I, for the record, am not a germaphobe.

This doesn’t mean you should take it off your list, but you may want to ask how they handle diaper changes and how they contain the diapers.


Alexis January 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I agree with other commenters, this may not be a reason to totally nix the place, but I would ask about it. If the staff is aware, or is fixing a problem or something then it may be a non-issue, but if they don’t seem to care, then you do have an issue. FWIW I worked in/health managed a daycare for a while before I became a SAHM (working in a daycare did not make me choose to stay home, let me be clear, I love daycare and think there are tons of great options for childcare/early education in such facilities) and we did not routinely have an odor problem.

Just because I am nosy, do they handle cloth diapers? I know you do both and I am always curious as to how daycares choose to do that, or not. (We did not where I worked, but I kind of thought it was silly not to.)


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