How I chose day care in New York

     When you have a baby, you have a lot of different feelings!!! You want to give him/ her the best you can and still you want to save some money to... give her or him the best!!! So it was a hard question for me how to choose a day care!


      I was born in 1986 in USSR so day cares  here and there differs a lot!!! In Ukraine you usually put your baby when he/she is 3 y.o. and kids have a lot of different rooms for different activities- they eat in 1 room, sleep in beds in other, play in very big backgrounds and have celebrations in big ballroom. When I came to daycare in NYC I see that they have like 2 rooms for everything, sleep on the special mats on floor and sometimes they have no place to walk at open air. Sure, we can find very different day cares here with different conditions but still it shocked me! And the biggest confuse was about menu! Here they give kids chicken nuggets and fish fries and french fries and we used to keep kids safe and healthy giving them smashed potato, boiled vegetables, a lot of soups and no fried and sweet food as long as possible.

        The price of day care varies a bit and it starts around $800-900 per month (I know there're day cares for $2500 in New York)  Since we moved here recently (you can read about it here) so it seems like tons of money for me.

         I know that day cares accept babies from 1 month old in New York so moms can work and work and work!!! I was sitting with my baby all of the time  but Danya turns 18, 20, 22 months and sure I want to have some free time and I love my work so much, so I need time for all of it! so I decided to start daycare. (I work as a photographer and you can see my gallery at innafay.com)
First I asked a lot of people where they go and I know they love that day-cares so much! but all of them pay more than $800 and it's not for me. So I called and ask if we can do part time! and yes! some of day cares told me that only for few months we can do it but some told me - as much as you wish!!! so I had 2 day cares close enough! in one of them there're 14 kids in group  and  will take more kids to have 18!!! in other they have just 7 kids and it'll be no more than 10! so we went there! Danya's teacher is very kind and I see that kids love her! what else I need to know? Once I was told that they are watching TV and cartoons and I was really upset. We've never showed him any cartoons cause we read a lot of articles about harm of it for kids under 2! But I asked around and now I know that almost everywhere here it's the same. I just hope they don't watch all the time, I see that Danya becomes crazy when he's home after day care!
        We go there 3 times a week, they work from 7-30 in the morning and I pick him up at 5-30 pm. When I ask Danya if he wants to go there he always nods his head meaning Yes, and I love it!!!
They give soups and smashed potatoes, cottage cheese and borsh,  have music classes twice a week  The owner told me that it's like Soviet day care and I found it funny))
For kids after 2 y.o. they have 2 times a week music classes, once a week English, they dance, read, make some handcrafting and have parties for all of holidays and open one for New Year so parents come and see how kids are singing, dancing, playing.. I can't wait for  it!!!

I don't have a lot of pics from our day care and I think it looks simple but hope to have them in future.

baby in day care
Danya's first day in day care 

day care
room for celebrations and for pre-K group

When did your kids start day care and what  should we know about day cares in USA?? Share your experience, it's really important for all of moms in USA and all over the world!!! Show pics of your day care in comments!