So...my son has been at his current school since April (when I started work). It is a 5 star center (highest by NC rating standards). He loves it, his teachers, and the other kids. I am very comfortable with him being there.
My husband cannot help with drop off or pick up, however, because we live 30 minutes away, and he works another 30 minutes from there.
In April, when my son turns 2, he will change teachers, classes, and kids. We've just joined a church that has an early childhood center in the town we live in. Drop off and pick up would work for both my husband and I if we were to move him. It is also a five star center, and one of the original places we wanted him to go but they start at age 2. It is also 2k less a year. The money is not an issue, but is certainly another attractive "pro."
My problem is feeling guilty about moving him from the familiar to something new...which i guess is a lesson he will need to learn in life, but i somehow feel like i am doing it for selfish reasons. Eventhough I know the place he would be going is as good, probably better (smaller, more family like atmosphere). Since he is going to be going through changes at his current school i thought it would be a good time to move him totally.
But the hesitation is killing me!! Help!
It seems you are not only trying to go with the daycare option that best works for you and your husband, but you are also trying to do what is best for him. As long as you feel 100% comfortable that the new early childhood center is going to be a great place for him, I wouldn't worry about the change since his class and teacher was going to change anyway.
Children have an amazing ability to adapt to change, and as long as it is just once a year and the change matches a new milestone for your child, I think it is a good thing. It will help your child to continue developing and learning social skills at a young age... with the ability to adapt to new friends and a new environment.
Maybe other moms have been through the same thing and can reassure you some more! Another thought I had is that is the center is part of your church, these are children he would already be used to through Sunday morning childcare and other activities.
Finally, another way that you can ensure you provide your son familiar surrounding with a flexible, qualified caregiver dedicated to your child and organizing activities with other nannies, is hosting an au pair. In addition to 45 hours of childcare, they can also help out with things around the house, take him to the park, to play outside and organize playdates... You don't have to drop your son off anywhere, the au pair is right there!
I think couching it with, you're turning two, we have a new school could help make it more exciting to your child too. Most like acknowledgement that they're getting to be "big kids".
It sounds like it is also a great place, would give you less stress with your husband being able to help out and even if money isn't a big issue, who doesn't like saving it?
If your son is the normal outgoing two year old, should be just fine.
Look at is this way, you are in a great position of choosing between 2 5-star rated programs! North Carolina has very high standards, so you can be assured that both programs have demonstrated a commitment to high quality care. I work for a child care organization, and we support our programs as they work toward achieving state/national accreditation. What this means as well is that both programs will have established transition plans in place to help your son (and you!) make a smooth transition from room to room or place to place. Gradually introducing your son to his new teachers, room, and school will help all of you feel more comfortable. Your program's parent handbook should have written plans for transition, so don't be afraid to ask to see them. Also, ask your son's teachers and the new director for support.
Good luck, I'm sure you will all do great!