Finding great daycare in Denver is tough-the secret is knowing where to look.
Christina Schmieder was almost too late. It was January and her daughter Eva was already a month old when she and her husband, Neil, started looking for full-time childcare. Christina planned to resume her career as a marketing director at Janus Captial Group in March. "People laughed at us," she says. "They'd say, 'We'll have a spot open in August.'" The parents soldiered on, admittedly desperate but not so desperate they would compromise on quality. The Schmieders' requirements? The place had to be clean and have lower ratios than the state-licensing requirement (five infants per adult), and they wanted to see those teachers interacting with the babies. "I didn't want Eva stuck in a swing all day," Christina says.
To make matters worse, the Schmieders didn't have any family in town as backup babysitters. "We were lucky because we could have afforded a nanny if we didn't find a place, or we probably could've begged and pleaded for one of our moms to come out and help until we found daycare," she admits. But the Schmieders preferred the checks-and-balances insurance policy of several adults staffing a licensed agency rather than leaving Eva with a single nanny.