Ok so I know its early to be asking, but if you did or are doing daycare when did you start looking for one? My co-worker/friend (who's actually quitting next week to be a SAHM) told me today that I need to start looking for daycares now. She waited until she was 12 weeks pregnant and got on 3 waiting lists and didn't get called back until her baby was 16 weeks old. While I would LOVE to have 16 weeks off, I'm not sure I can swing it financially, plus I know it will put a strain on my current position.
Anyways, I'm really wanting to wait until my first appointment at least. I will be 9 weeks then. I feel its still too early to start interviewing daycares...but she seems to think that if I don't get my name on a list before 12 weeks pregnant, then I will have to wait a while to get into a daycare. I know its different depending on where you live, but I wanted to get your thoughts.
I'm planning to ask for 12 weeks off, I will not get paid for any maternity leave and we are paying for prenatal care and the birth out of pocket, plus buying a baby-safe car (because I swear mine is going to crap out any day now). So financially I will be really stretching it to just take those 12 weeks off.
About the car first - I have a Mustang. I got it in 2004, still runs great (knock on wood), but it's definitely not a "baby" car, I'm worried I'd knock the babys head more than a couple times trying to get it in the car. I had thought about trading it in and getting another car, but as it stands right now, I'm gonna wait until after the baby is born.
A friend of mine does in home daycare, but it's like 35 miles from here. DH COULD take that route to work in the morning, but it would add time on his already long commute, but I really don't trust anyone else. I've already talked to her about it and she said if the baby has to be dropped off at 5 am (we work weird schedules) then that's fine and I don't know many daycares open that early. So, I have her as an option. I'm STILL trying to convince DH that I should stay at home...haha. (That's completely not gonna happen, we need my paycheck.)
OH I would totally keep driving my car if I didn't think that tomorrow (literally tomorrow) it might die on me. I've also poured over 3k into it in the past 2 years just to keep it alive. I have been stranded numerous times in those 2 years. It's 12 years old and was never really a good car anyway. The check engine light has been on for 10 of those 12 years. LOL. I'm still going to get a ridiculously small new "used" car when I do buy one. I'm not looking for a mini-van or anything.
I'm very interested in in-home daycare, but I just don't know where to start to find one. Plus I've read online that those are sometimes even more difficult to get into since their capacity is lower. I've researched the nanny option and in Dallas, a nanny's salary is about the same if not more than my own salary...so that's out.
Well its good you have an option. I would love to stay home too, for at least a year. But DH and I have talked about it a lot and it just won't work for us right now. I'm scared if I take more than 12 weeks maternity leave that my job wouldn't be secure. It sort of happened to my co-worker. When she came back from maternity leave, we didn't have many active projects and her hours were cut since she wasn't familiar with the projects that we did have. But right when they cut her hours another person quit, so she was saved by that.
I would start by making phone calls to a few that you would be interested in. Ask them what their waiting list is for newborns and whether or not there is a charge for getting on it. If there is no cost, there is no harm in getting your name on the list. You don't necessarily have to go visit them or make a decision right now. But at least it will give you options when it's time to make the decision. If you wait too long, you may not have a choice and have to go with the daycare that has space vs one that you really want you baby in. With DD1 I paid to have her put on a waiting list when I was 6 weeks pregnant because I wanted her to go to that daycare and they had a wait that was about a year. I recently moved and just went through finding daycare for my 2 girls which also includes a newborn come early next year. In this area, the waiting lists for newborns can be 9-12 months. Good luck!
I remember calling the local day care centers when I was pregnant with T and totally freaking out and basically shutting down because they were all so freaking expensive and also had like a year wait list (I think I was like 6 mos pregnant at the time.) I remember sobbing to DH "What are we going to do????" and thinking we had totally screwed ourselves because we couldn't get in anywhere, and even if we could, it was too expensive to afford.
What I found in my area at least is that in home daycare was the way to go. Cheaper, a nice stable set up with the same small group of kids and one care provider every day, and also there are tons of them so I had to just keep calling around to find the ones that were currently accepting newborns. My county actually has an online listing for licensed in home day care providers, and they will tell you what type of license they have, the results of recent drop ins, any complaints about the provider on file, et cetera. Starting when T was about 6 weeks old, I map quested to find out who was close to me, and then started calling around to see who had availability. Most of them also had websites which helped me focus on which ones sounded like programs I might be interested in (my lady specifically mentioned organic home cooked meals and being fluent in Italian - LOL!) I finally narrowed it down to a couple that had availability, went and met with them to tour their facilities and get references. By that time, I narrowed it down to my lady because I liked her set up and her personality the best, so I just needed to call her references. They were all glowing, so I called her and requested a spot. By this time I had about a month left before I went back to work. I did pay a deposit to get her to hold my spot. If I remember correctly, it was one week's worth, and she credited it to my account so I actually didn't have to pay the first week.
I hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions!
-Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)
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Daycares are sooooooo freaking expensive. But I did know that when TTC. I am hoping to find an in-home daycare that I like and that's less expensive than daycare centers. I found a similar online search for the state of Texas. Thanks! I'm looking at it right now!
wow. we were really lucky..we managed to get a daycare last minute. However the 3 yr old program we wanted to put our son in you basically have to get on the list when they are born. we moved here when he was a year old but did manage to get a spot (which we had to turn down bc he won't potty train) To be honest I think we went through word of mouth. I was hired last minute and was desperate to find a daycare in like 2 weeks. I honestly dont even remember calling etc to get in. (it was a whirlwind as a I started a teaching job last minute) more and more in home daycares have popped up here so there is not too much of a waiting list..but I think there is one for most places depending on the age.
We managed daycare because my dad is good friends with a relative of the owner!!! I don't think I would have a problem this time around since my DD went there. It's crazy expensive though! Not looking foward to that.
I just wanted to let you know that I have had good luck finding a care provider for my kiddos on care.com. DH and I have mostly opposite schedules that only overlap a few hours so we needed someone to cover the gap time and were looking for someone who would come stay in our home with them. But, when I posted the position on care.com I had quite a few in-home providers contact me. I think you would be able to find a lot of options using that site and they also offer background checks and will do a phone interview for you if you want them to. There is a monthly fee but you can cancel as soon as you find someone...it's like $30 a month I believe. It might be worth checking out if you are having trouble finding options for in-home daycare.