Meg goes to daycare one day a week (Tuesdays). I work 3.5 days a week and we're very blessed that my mom watches Meg on 2.5 of those days (mom also works part-time - 3 days a week, which are sometimes weekends). Before I went back to work we found a daycare that we like, that charges by the half day, and is next door to Thomas' office (he can look out his window and see them on the playground!) Its wonderful. We pay for 1 day a week, whether she goes or not, and can send her for additional days if my mom is out of town. Its especially nice if my mom can't watch Meg on a Thursday morning, because I only have to pay for half of the day. It would be annoying to pick her up at 12 and still pay for the whole day (although I never dreamed we'd find a daycare who would let us pay by the half day).
One of the reasons we like the daycare is because its high enough quality we feel comfortable with it (we saw some really sketchy daycares when we were looking), but not so ritzy it costs more to send her there than I'd be making at work. And, not to belabor the point, they accept kids part-time (you could even sign up for a half day a week) and are flexible enough to let a one-day-a-week kid come full time for a week or two here and there. I honestly don't think we could find this setup anywhere else.
But. Nothing is ever perfect, is it? They're not the best at timely diaper changes. Or, I guess I should say, they change her diaper every 2-2.5 hours, but almost never sooner. They tend to not notice if Meg dirties her diaper. She prefers to poop in a dry diaper. She waits until you've changed her to do her business. At home we often have to change her diaper, wait 10 minutes, then change it again. They don't do that at daycare, so she ends up sitting in a dirty diaper for two hours. She has sensitive skin - if you leave a dirty diaper on her for even a short period of time (its even happened at home occasionally) she gets a rash. She comes home with a diaper rash EVERY TUESDAY.
I understand it must be hard in a room of 8 kids (2 teachers). Maybe you smell something, but how do you tell which kid its coming from? How do you know if its one of the kids or just the diaper pail? Meg can be sneaky and she doesn't tell you she has a dirty diaper. I understand how they could miss it. Ideally, they wouldn't, but I guess it happens (almost every time). However, she only attends one day a week. Its not the best, but we can deal with it. A&D ointment works great on it, so the rash is usually gone by Wednesday morning. Thursday morning if it was especially bad. It kind of makes us feel like terrible parents for sending her off to get a diaper rash once a week, but we do like other aspects of the daycare and we don't think its a big enough of a problem to think about switching.
To be continued...