Protestant Day Care

Our first child will be born any day now. We live in the buckle of the Bible Belt, and while we have found a great, traditional Catholic parish with a school that we plan on sending our children to, there are no Catholic day cares in the area. The school starts at pre-K, and offers before and after-school care, which means that we will only need to have our son in day care until he is approximately four years old. For the past six months we have been researching, visiting, examining and interviewing all the day cares in the area. The secular ones are downright awful, so we have narrowed our choices down to two Protestant day cares, both of which have excellent reputations and are clean, well-staffed and convenient to us.

My first choice is at a Presbyterian church. This is in an upscale section of town, and is generally considered the best in the area. Unfortunately this means that there is a long waiting list here, so we may not get in.

The only other option for us is at an academy run by Free Will Baptists. While both day cares were great about answering any questions we had, the Free Will Baptist day care added the extra step of interviewing US. I would generally be okay with that, except for the reaction I received when, after being asked where we go to church, we replied that we are Catholic and go to Mass weekly. The principal actually paused, looked us up and down, and then stated that we should go to their church instead. The rest of the conversation shifted from talking about the day care, to trying to convince us to leave the Church and start going there.

I have been told by others that I am making too big a deal over this, but I am quite literally horrified at the prospect of sending my son into that environment. I know that nobody is going to try to proselytize a baby or a toddler, but it seems to me these people must have a pretty low opinion of Catholics. Or is it possible that they would have tried to convince us to go to their church regardless of what religion we currently were? Is that just the way these places work?

If anyone has any experience with this sort of thing, I would love to get your thoughts.

Did they ultimately turn down your child for their daycare?

Is acceptance based on your conversion?

If the answer is no, then I would still consider them. (although cautiously)

Of course, if acceptance is contingent on you joining their church, the I would brush the dirt from you shoes.

Remember, this is a chance for you to educate and evangelize them also.

It works both ways. :stuck_out_tongue:

May God bless you and your new family.

I think you need a new back up plan in case the Presbyterian day care isn’t available.

STAY AWAY from the other day care.

My son went to a Presbyterian preschool for 2 years and was well accepted. (we are nowhere near the “Bible Belt”, however.

For the very young, it’s just pictures and stories of Jesus, David & Goliath, Jonah, Noah, etc.

I think given the Baptist interview, I might prefer a non religious daycare over their hostility.

While you obviously need to do what is best for your child, you need to make sure you and your spouse are also welcomed and comfortable with whoever is taking care of your child.

That being said, I doubt any spiritual harm will come to your child for the first few years even with the Free Will Baptists.

As an alternative, even though there aren’t any Catholic pre-schools, the Catholic school families probably have gone down this same path before. If you look at schools where the Catholic families send their younger-than-PK kids, you might at least know your child won’t be the only Catholic kid in the nursery. :slight_smile:

I would also ask at the school office for referrals. There might be a day care co-op that they know about or even someone from the parish that does day care in her home.

I think the solution to your problem might be a licensed childcare provider that works from her home. I would put an ad in your parish’s worship aid and possibly that of other nearby parishes. Do you know any teacher? They are great people to go to for daycare suggestions because most of them have used it and the rest have worked with students who go to one and they often know of several good options. I would recommend looking at this avenue, especially with an infant. Even the best daycare centers are not the ideal place to leave your newborn. Also, some in-home daycare providers are less expensive.

Thank God for this forum.

You know, it never even occurred to me to ask around at my Parish, or at the Catholic school office. We are still new there, and haven’t gotten close to anyone yet (outside of the Deacon, who has been an incredible blessing to us). I’m now slapping myself for missing the opportunity to ask at the Baptism class!

As this is a very traditional Parish, there are many families with multiple children who homeschool … but I’m sure there must be others who are in similar situations to ours! I will start making inquiries right away!

Thanks, all!

For preschool, I wouldn’t rule out the Baptists if you are strong in your faith. You may be a wonderful witness to the Catholic church. I can only imagine some interesting conversation but if they are humble and loving they will back off. Perhaps not though. Ask them If they believe Catholics can go to heaven. Don’t be surprised to get a no. :mad: . It’s also fair to ask how faith is brought into preschool. If they ever invite you to attend their church, considering doing so only if they attend yours as well. You are the seed and the Holy Spirit does the converting…,it’s amazing what can happen. They may be shocked that we read so much scripture.

Don’t totally rule out the homeschooling moms either. As a homeschooling mom, I know that there are some that do daycare from their home. Also, a lot of homeschoolers didn’t start off that way, but came to it after issues with public schools or being led to it later. They might have ideas of a good place for your young one.

I would though ask that you think about this. I don’t know your family’s financial situation. So, take this for what it is worth, one mom’s 2 cents from her experiences. When my oldest was born, I thought that I would go back to work once she was weaned. When she was 6 weeks old, I looked down in her face and just couldn’t imagine leaving her with anyone for 8 or 9 hours a day. I was so greatful that I was able to stay home with her. I know that everyone is not in a situation where they can, but if you can, you might want to take that 1st year and just enjoy your little one. Or take as much time as you can. They grow so fast. I know. My oldest is now 15. I don’t know where that time went. May God bless you and your family as you figure out what is best for you. :slight_smile: :blessyou:

Answering your second question, yes. They would try to get you to come to their church no matter what faith you told them (try converting to Catholicism from Protestantism, it goes both ways around).

Sending your child to a Protestant day care is not the end of the world. They’re still Christians. Opposed to public school or public day care where Christ is not taught, it’s better to take them to a Protestant day care.

As to them trying to bring you to their church, stand firm in your faith. Jesus taught us that we could go to wherever we wanted.

I would be evry careful of leaving any child with Protestants espeacilly this group you mentioned, it is amazing what small children can pick up! It may never get noted but one bad comment from a trusted adult could cause damege in the future, the others who have posted have left you lots of good ideas of where to serch, i am sure the local catholic mums have been down this route before, you may even be able to convince one of the stay at home Moms to look after youre child along with hers, obviously with fair payment for it.

Congratulations btw :thumbsup:

I would try to find a home daycare and ask other families in your parish where their little ones go. I wouldn’t rule the Baptist daycare out completely; I was considering leaving my MOPs group that is associated with a local Baptist church but have realized that being part of it has given me the chance to change perceptions and made me stronger in my faith. Just a thought:)

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