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The One Powerful thing I Learned about a Broken Heart
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"This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students. However, all thoughts are my own."

That's my daughter; Dylan. She’s chasing me with a very cold water bottle at her birthday party. My 4-year old strong-willed blessing. And, unfortunately she's had some really tough moments in day care that we've had an extremely hard time navigating this past year.

I know, I just came right out and said it. I figured we'd jump right into this thing. Many of you are thinking, "But she's so cute!" or "Gosh I hope Toni is okay, that's pretty wild." and maybe even "I'm seriously praying for them."

Let me first say, if you're praying THANK YOU. It's been one of the hardest things that I've ever experienced in my entire life. To have a child that's so smart, resilient, funny, talented and social experience rejection at such a young age hurt me at the deepest levels of my heart. And, figuring out how to discipline her, love her, accept her, affirm her and also not let it impact my own identity felt pretty unbearable.

Let’s put it this way; I never want to type the words "good day cares in georgia" in a google search box ever again in my life.

Here's some relief however, after almost a year of searching, paying registration fees, finding new friends, having hard conversations with teachers and lots of counseling, we're in a stable place, we've worked consistent play dates into our schedule, we've pursued counseling and behavior therapy aggressively and we've poured affirmations into our little one that will not only keep her be resilient now but also push her to be confident in that no matter what has happened she's; kind, good, smart, beautiful inside out and so deeply loved by her family and unconditionally loved by a God that made the ultimate sacrifice for her.

One of the mistakes that I made in getting Dylan into great child care that I believe so many parents struggle with, is having to spend so much time making sure that the child care is safe, close to our houses, certified, and have great opening and closing hours that by the time we find all of that and cross if off of our lists, we run in, take the tour, ask a few questions and we're sold.

For me, I was definitely rushing the process and not looking for the tools that would help me meet all of our needs outside of just teacher credentials and hours. Now, don't get me wrong, all of those things are so very important but wouldn't it just be close to incredible if they were all laid out for you on the front end? Where instead of having to go to each site, create a checklist in the notes section of your phone, go back and forth figuring out and calculating whether or not it makes sense to drive that direction with work, it would just all be there at your fingertips.

If you're a mom reading this, if you’re searching for child care, if you’re expecting and know that one day you will, if you have that one friend who’s kid definitely shouldn’t be at that one child care center, I highly suggest you head on here to the Quality-Rated Tool and check it out.

Let me just give you a quick run down here. Quality Rated is a place where with the click of a button you can get:

Program Safety and Credentials
A built-in mapping system to calculate the child care from home and work

Not to mention any of the child care options that sign up to the featured on the Quality Rated Tool are vowing to be the best for our little kiddos.

I mean come on, that’s pretty solid. And, there's even more things that you can process through here with the Choosing Child Care Checklist!

I'm excited to say that I'll be joining this journey with you soon. I've already started looking through the tool because we've been praying and talking and we really do believe that after we get even more answers around Dylan's behavior in the next few weeks, we'll be once again looking for great child care in Georgia and we will most definitely continue to use the Quality Rated Tool. I'm just pumped to be using an easier way to get our questions answered on the front end so that when I do walk into a potential new school for Dylan all I'll be focused on is having meaningful conversations with the directors and teachers about our kind, good, smart, beautiful inside out, deeply loved by her family and unconditionally loved by God, strong-willed blessing. And we'll talk about behavior styles and partnering on healthy discipline and it'll just be close to incredible.

I really do believe that.

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