Today is Hannah's last day of after school care. Her last day ever of needing daycare, as far as I can see.
After entering family daycare at 12 weeks old, she received full-time care, first by a loving, caring and dedicated family, then in three daycare centers as we moved and things changed. In kindergarten, she began the after school program at her elementary school. The first month of school was all half days, and aftercare filled in the rest. Then she had two full and three half days from there. In first grade, she attended five days a week from 3 pm on.
In second grade, because we added in religious school, she began attending on only Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, which she has done for third, fourth and fifth grade too. I've handled Tuesday afternoons while working from home, and Marc worked from home on the random Thursday afternoons off that she also had. (And a special shout out to our friends the Pellers, who have brought Hannah home with them most Thursdays and took her to Hebrew school; we're so grateful to have you in our lives!).
And now she's done.
Now I know she's my kid, so of course I'm biased, but I think she's awesome. She has great friends, does well in school, has a close relationship with her family, and a good head on her shoulders. While I'd like to take all of the credit for that, I know that I've had the assistance of many fabulous caregivers and teachers along the way that have helped shape and guide her too.
I also know how lucky we've been, and how privileged we are. I've read the daycare horror stories and I know this isn't what everyone's experience is like. But as a young working mom, I held out hope that she would be okay, and she really has been just fine. I only have a sample size of two, but so far, Max has been just fine too.
She's moving on to middle school, where she'll have options for how she gets home and what she does after school. I'll be thankful for cell phones and I know we'll be checking in a lot. I'm excited for this next step, and am truly grateful we've made it this far.