Looks like we will be moving into our rental property in Old Town at the end of the month.  We are looking for a place for my 3 year old son to go a couple days a week.  Looking for something with structure and learning.  Not just a place for him to run around and do as he pleases.

Any Suggestions?

Esquela del Sol is out...to darn expensive.

Would also consider something in the Near North Valley, EDo, UNM and Nob Hill.

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I've heard excellent things about A Child's Garden, near I-25 and Central.  Their prices appear to be about a third lower than Escuela del Sol, if that helps.  From what I know, rates for daycare centers in ABQ typically run about $600-$1000 per month (full time), with the more sought-after/popular ones definitely on the higher end (and prices can vary by a couple of hundred at a given place depending on the child's age -- infants are always more).  Private elementary schools that include preschool programs (Escuela del Sol, Sunset Mesa, Manzano Day School, etc.) seem to go even farther, as they are generally only set up for a the 10-month school year, 8-3 hours or so -- they tack on quite a bit more for before- and after-school care, summer programs, etc.  These can add up to more than $1200/month to cover a 7-6 schedule all year round (which is normally included in the cost of tuition at most traditional daycares).

Sorry, that's more than you were probably asking for, but I was hoping to give you a framework for expectations to help in your search, in case you weren't overly familiar with the daycare situation in town.

Lots of people I know love A Child's Garden. There is a scholarship program in case the fees are a bit steep.

Many years ago my daughter was at Christina Kent Day Nursery in downtown. The fees are *quite* reasonable, and when we were there, the staff turnover was purportedly one of the lowest in the state -- some of the staff worked there for more than 30 years! We were more than satisfied with the kind of care our daughter received -- our daughter who just received a scholarship to her first choice college out of state, so that tells you how long ago this was! Things may have changed since then, but I do know that one of my neighbors who worked there when my daughter was 3 still works there... The socioeconomic demographic that feeds Christina Kent is pretty different from a Child's Garden, or at least it was back then. (At that time it was about a third grad student parents and two thirds working class/blue collar -- with a very high percentage of bilingual English/Spanish speaking families.) 

Both A Child's Garden and Christina Kent Day Nursery are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. This is the gold standard.

Oh, and here's a link to the National Association for the Education of Young Children website -- you can do a search to see what other programs in the area are accredited. Good luck!

We are the waiting list for A Child's Garden but fear that we did not get in.  We were supposed to get a notification last week whether we were in or not.  Do have a call into them.

Christina Kent only take full time students.  We are looking for part time until he can attend Catholic Pre-School at St. Mary's.

Thanks for the link, Barelas Babe.

Not sure if it's important for you, but I've heard from several reliable sources that A Child's Garden doesn't require its kids to be vaccinated.

Not sure if it matters to you, but we were told by some other parents that Child's Garden has a comparatively high rate of unvaccinated kids. We worry about this issue because our community includes some very young babies and pregnant women, so even though our kiddo is protected, we interact with people who can't be yet. Again, this might not be an issue for you, but if it is, you might ask about their vaccination rates.

I understand that Escuela del Sol also has some scholarships available but you have to ask about them. And I know that the YMCA has a downtown daycare, though I don't know anything about its quality. Their weekly rates are $150 for full time.

Will you report back and let us know where you decide to go? We're just starting the daycare search and the place near us that I'd like to use doesn't take children until they're 2, so we're keeping our ears open.

I will certainly look into their vaccination rates.  The YMCA only takes full time students also.  I do not qualify for scholarships due to our income level.  I could make Esquela del Sol work but rather put as much money aside now for Private School later and a College fund.

My son went to Congregational preschool, at Lomas and Girard, another NAEYC-accredited school.  Three-year-olds can go three days a week, two days a week, or five days a week.  School is 9-11:30, with aftercare until 2:00.  We were very happy there. 

Good luck!

I found this on A Child's Garden website.  I do have a call into them since what is below doesn't really state that immunization records are required.

The following is required for each child’s registration:

  • Registration information form
  • An official copy of the health information form including current immunization records, signed by a physician
  • Payment of registration fees (non-refundable)
  • A completed parent agreement form
  • Tuition paid up-to-date for currently enrolled children

Yeah, the public schools have essentially the same requirement. APS parents can fill out a "Conscientious Objection" form with the public health dept. that says they don't vaccinate for "religious reasons" and no one checks whether or not that family is actually part of a community that has religious objections to immunization. I assume the procedure is roughly the same for pre-school/daycare. Again, the vaccination info I got was from other parents rather than from the daycare itself, though I have every reason to believe this couple, as they did exhaustive research before choosing a daycare (not one that will work for us, unfortunately).

Escuela del Sol, which is expensive and FILTHY with COL* in case you're worried about infection.

*Children of Liberals.

Why would I care about that?


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