The Daycare Hunt

Looking for daycare in Atlanta is kind of like hunting for a snark.

Some people say it exists.  Households with two full-time, out-of-home working parents obviously do something with their children during the day.  But when you actually get out there and discover the limited options available, along with the triple-digit wait-lists, you’re likely to become as mad as the Bellman.

  • “Just the place for a Snark!” the Bellman cried,
  • As he landed his crew with care;
  • Supporting each man on the top of the tide
  • By a finger entwined in his hair.
  • “Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
  • That alone should encourage the crew.
  • Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
  • What I tell you three times is true.”

With that poetry-laden set-up, news from Kristin of the opening of a new daycare facility in Decatur might be a welcome announcement to many area residents.  The Little School House in Decatur plans to hold open houses of their facility at 124 Church Street this Thursday July 1st at 6pm and on Saturday July 3rd at 10am.

The school’s website includes descriptions of their 6 weeks – 18 months, 18 months – 2.5 years, and 3 – 4 year programs, but it does still look like it’s a bit under-construction.

Now one school isn’t going to completely satiate the need for daycare options in the metro, but hopefully it can help out a few of the lost souls caught up in the hectic pursuit.

24 thoughts on “The Daycare Hunt”


  1. The Montessori Academy at Scott Blvd, which is a new Montessori School, located next to Zyka restaurant, is also taking applications for preschool children ages 3-6!

  2. You mean people take their children someplace while they’re at work? We just put water and food bowls next to the cat’s bowls and lock the doors.

    The only problems we’ve had with this solution are the kids keep licking themselves and peeing in the litter box.

    1. Careful, Token– too many people here have NO sense of humor when it comes to their offspring. Besides, isn’t your way the way all Republicans raise their chillen? 😀

      1. Tell me about it, Cuba. After reading the MARTA discussion, I figured some people could do with a chuckle, but I guess I should have added a smiley. So here it is. 🙂

        And I don’t know the answer to your question, since Republicans are pretty scarce in these parts! In reference to a comment made on the MARTA story…I’m a little red dot in a sea of blue

        1. Well, not exactly a sea, comparatively– more like a lake of blue. But I getcher point.

    1. It very well may be. I drove by DHS this morning and there was a newly fenced area (chain link held in place with sandbags at the base) filled with all sorts of little kids’ toys, playhouses, etc. Was trying to figure out what it was, eventually settling on the idea that it was daycare for the school employees (and possibly some student parents?). Either that or EXTREME HOME EC.

    2. Putting in 124 Church St in Google Maps shows a house on Church. It looks like it is across from El Tesoro. I think the website just placed the marker as Decatur High. The playground toys outside the high school might be from the Fraiser Center Pre-K located at the high school.

  3. Yes, looking for a daycare that meets everything a family wants is tough and sometimes expensive. On that note, I was curious if anyone knows of a bilingual daycare in or near Decatur. My husband is from South America and I wish there was a daycare option that wasn’t in Buckhead or Alpharetta that taught both English and Spanish. Anyone?

  4. The Little School House is on Church — across from Twains. I’m sure the infant room will have a waiting list in about 10 minutes.

    FYI — The playground in front of the high school is part of the Frasier Center — the 0-3 daycare is undergoing a renovation (part of the vocational grant that DHS received) and had to move into the first floor of the building. The old playground will be unusable during construction (and we hope, will be upgraded as well). Also, Pre-K students will no longer be at the high school — this is just the 0-3 program that has been at DHS for faculty, students and the community since the early 1990’s.

  5. You can call 877-ALL-GA-KIDS 877-255-4254) or search http://www.allgakids.org for FREE child care referrals in Decatur and across the state. They can serach for child care by cost, quality, and location.

    1. You can check everything out yourself here:

      http://decal.ga.gov/

      All the state monitoring for the last year or so are here as well as the basics. Make sure you check out any daycare with current parents.

  6. The playground toys at the place across from El Tesoro are some business that has stuff set up for their workers kids, not a daycare. The business name suggests otherwise.

    Smart Toddlers is good, but only 9-1 : http://www.smarttoddlers.net/ My child has enjoyed it and learned a lot.

  7. This is not a joke. We got on the Turner wait-list at conception (1.5 year wait) and then got lucky enough to get into the Druid Hills Child Development Center across from Publix on Ponce as our backup (1.5 year wait as well).

    Now get this….if you have a child in a daycare center, you do get preference for siblings. However, we are going to have to pay for two months BEFORE the second child starts daycare as well. Why? Because they know that you have no other options. What are you going to do? I have heard this from other parents at other daycare centers as well.

    We love our daycare center, they are amazing….but they got ya.

  8. Still haven’t spilled the beans in IRL (hence the anonymous screen name) but we’re expecting in January…guess we better get on these waiting lists ASAP.

    1. You should get on the lists the first day of your missed period BEFORE you take the test.

  9. i worked at the end of church street by the RR tracks in the early 90’s and there was a daycare across the street back then, but i’m assuming this is not the same building/house.

  10. I stumbled upon the Little School House while walking to the Decatur School of Ballet. It’s on the same side of the street, just a few doors away from Color Wheel. I was excited and amazed. It was closed but I ran right up the stairs and looked inside the windows. Though still under construction, I could see about 4 small to medium-sized rooms. I ran around back to check out the outdoor play space…and it was not completely clear to me that backyard was going to be usable without a lot of work; cutting down trees, leveling the lot, fencing, etc. I also wasn’t sure how they were going to arrange drop off and pick up with no driveway or parking. (But maybe they can get some ideas from Color Wheel.) Also, there is a narrow alley around back. With all of that said, I’m still excited and I wish them the best of luck! I love that Decatur residents step up and take the lead when they see a need in the community. I just wish that the facility was big enough to make a larger impact on the severe day care shortage in the area. Given the amount of space that I saw, I would say that they could fill the place up with just the 0 – 18month age children. Some very lucky families will get in and have the benefit of a childcare facility located in the emerging “arts corridor” created by Color Wheel, Decatur School of Ballet and the Decatur Music Center. But many more will have yet another place to call and check on their wait list status. Perhaps they could franchise over time and there could be many more little schoolhouses in Decatur 🙂

  11. i am surprised there aren’t more daycare startups. There are NO infant spaces anywhere. Talk about demand. I bet you could charge $1500/ month for an infant and the class would still be full.

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