This post is brought to you by Childcare Compare, an advertising partner of ACMB. We love supporting local businesses and bringing helpful information to San Antonio parents.
When my eight-month-old, allergic-to-dairy, asthmatic son grabbed a hold of another kid’s bottle at his daycare and the high school “teacher” watching his class didn’t call us immediately following the incident, it was within the first few seconds of hearing what had happened that I knew I needed to find someplace else to take my child. The decision was easy, but the process was long and hard. And thank goodness, a quick trip to our allergist was all my baby boy needed, and thankfully it saved this mommy from being on the news that evening.
Having recently moved to a new side of town and both of us starting new jobs, my husband and I were unfamiliar with our new surroundings, which made finding new childcare that much more difficult. I was a first-time mom and maybe a bit overly paranoid at this new endeavor of raising a sickly child, but I didn’t want to put him with just anyone. I wanted only the absolute best for my kid.
After taking half a week off, driving hours around our home mapping the distance, and scouring the Internet, we finally chose a new center. Time lost. Money lost. Had there been a website back then to narrow down our choices, we would have saved a lot of everything. Cash, sure, but mostly my sanity.
When I learned about the concept of Childcare Compare I thought, “Where on earth was this thing when I was pulling my hair out a few years ago? Now that is something hundreds of parents could use.” ChildcareCompare.com allows you to research local sitters, nannies, and in-home and center childcare straight from your desktop or mobile device. And for FREE!! Boo-yah! Not only would this have been the perfect solution for my then-tiny human, but now that he was starting Kinder I would need to find after-school care. And with two other little children squishing themselves into our minivan, I now needed care that was close, convenient, and affordable for all my kids.
Thankfully it was summer, and after I put my kids down for their afternoon nap, I eagerly grabbed my laptop and visited Childcare Compare. After spending just a few moments on the site, I was already able to narrow down my options. What was close to home, my son’s elementary school, and work? Which way was traffic going? I would like to get home from my 8:00-to-5:00 job and start cooking dinner right away so my kids could eat without scarfing down their food before bed, so sitting in traffic for an hour was not an option. Thankfully, I was able to type in addresses for home, work, and school and map out my route perfectly. I called the places I was considering and set up tours.
In less than two days I had crossed out four childcare centers and narrowed it down to one. Could this be it? Could these guys take care of my three-month-old and two-and-a-half-year-old, and could I let them go, confident they would be well-taken care of? I soon discovered, it was the perfect fit. The center was less than a mile away from home and my son’s elementary. It was in a quiet neighborhood, and I was familiar with the area. Score! Childcare Compare saved this mommy a lot of headaches.
But wait, what would I do with my son? Sure, the girls’ daycare offered after-school pickup from his school, but I felt like I wanted him to do something a bit more. Childcare Compare saved the day again. I was able to find an after-school martial arts program that not only picked up my son from his elementary, it was less than half a mile from the girls. It was also family-owned, and the classes ended right before I would pick them all up. Oh, yeah! Talk about a productive day!
Another thing that’s awesome about this site is the list of resources for camps, birthday parties, consignment shops, photographers, and so much more. With three kids, the activities never end, so I’m glad there is a local site I can use to find not only dependable childcare but also things to do around town. I look forward to utilizing the site for future family events.
About the Author
Denise is a wife and full-time working mother of three very energetic children (and expecting her fourth this May). Originally from the little island of Guam, she moved to Texas in 2004 and to San Antonio to pursue her career as a journalist with her husband in 2008. They welcomed their first child that same year, followed by their second in 2010 and third in 2012. She has a crazy passion for food (cooking it, sure, but mostly eating it). She looks forward to makeup-free weekends and hanging out at home with the family. Denise finds her “me” time through a long run and a good book.