First, I want to say to the OP that it sounds like you're in a perfect place for the children's (and your) transition. It's not very often that parents get the chance of a "trial run" (one day a week for several weeks) in order to see if it was a good fit. So you do have that going for you.
To ease your mind and trying to help you overcome the scariness of it all, keep reading over and over, what you wrote. (make it your mantra
) Everything here is very positive:
Weíve been extremely impressed with the new centre so far, itís only been a couple of weeks but the vibe we get is very good, the kids are both super happy at drop-off and pick-up, exactly as they are with their old centre in fact! So no drama. In addition to being a stoneís throw from home, the new centre is also significantly cheaper (itís council owned, not for profit) and smaller (the kids donít have to change rooms each year, our son will stay in the same room until they go to school) and has great outdoor facilities.
Yes, transitions are scary and you'll quite often wonder if you're doing the right thing. Because, after all, you've never been a parent of a 3 and 1.5 year old before so this is all new to you! Trust me, you'll still be wondering about doing the right thing for them when they are 13 and 11.5 years old.
Ease up on yourself. It's a great parent who still wonders/questions if it's the right thing to do even though deep down you know that it's the best decision . . . What does their father think about this transition? Is he able to help ease your mind?
Now is the time to coach your kids about moving on. Yes, it's sad to leave the old place (Let's make thank-you and good-bye cards!) but it's also exciting about going to the new place full time!
That being said, and not to shake you up because I don't think this applies to you, but just another good point about you having a trial run and are pleased with the new daycare before making a final commitment. I really wish that I had that opportunity!
And you did ask about our experiences
I hope this doesn't come across as harsh, as it's meant to be positive, but in all honesty, with children as young as 3 and 1.5, they're not going to remember the old daycare once they're settled into the new daycare and it becomes the new normal.
Agreed with the 1.5yr old but the 3 year old might still remember bad things
After a couple of trials, when DD#1 was first going to day care (in-my-home shared nanny and an at-home (her house) child provider . . . I can tell you stories about those mistakes
) I finally found the Perfect Day Care (PDC). The DDs were happy, I was happy, the providers were absolutely wonderful!
The unfortunate thing about PDC was that they only took children until they went to Kindergarten. So, the summer when DD#1 was 5 and DD#2 was 3 I searched high and low for a different day care. One important thing that I needed was transport to Kindergarten and back, so my choices were limited. I narrowed it down to two places, went back for second interviews, and even popped in unexpectedly.
I seriously thought about leaving DD#2 at PDC until she went to kindergarten and placing DD#1 with the different day care, but a part of me felt strongly about keeping the two together. Which, in the end, turned out to be a good thing because they had each other to cling to.
I finally decided on my first choice, but by that time they were already full. I signed the DDs up to my second choice.
Sigh. It was not a happy year for them. After a few months of them coming home in not so happy moods (with a few stories about the situation which I talked to the day care providers about) and more than a few tearful morning good byes (which broke my heart) I started looking for different places, to no avail. Granted, they were used to the wonderfulness of PDC but their complaints were valid. I was stuck! I wanted to take time off to be a SAHM but that wasn't in the cards. So my DDs suffered. (Nothing abusive, just not a happy/good environment.)
I was finally able to move them to my first choice place and things just got better from there.
To this day (they are 23 & 21 and "grew up to be lovely, well-mannered people with no visible emotional scars and who definitely never feature as the villain in an eHell tale"
, they still shudder when they talk about that
place, and I've learned some things after the fact (like when Randy was mowing the lawn and mowed over a baby rabbit's nest . . .
) Okay. Bad mom me!
I ask them "Why did you not tell me about these things?" Their response is "We were trying to be good."
So, Op . . . remind yourself that you are in a much better place than I was.
Wishing you the confidence that you need and sending you virtual chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate to be shared with your family for the great choice that you made.
You're an awesome mom.