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Old 07-06-2008, 06:12 PM   #1
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Daycare Question

DH and I are trying to make a decision about daycare. I am going to back to work in mid August. I have a few questions.
1. DH and I work in 2 different cities. We also don't live in the city the either of us work in. Should we get daycare close to his work, my work, or home?

2. Is the personal attention of a small in-home (certified of course) daycare worth the risk of the owner closing for illness or whatever and us having to miss work? Or should we just go with a large daycare center?



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Old 07-06-2008, 06:16 PM   #2
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Re: Daycare Question

I'm not sure about the first ?... my daughter went to daycare in the town where my husband worked but I was only maybe 15 min away in the next town so we could both get to her quickly... and it was about half an hour from our home.

We used a small home care provider and she never closed for her own illness. She had her paid holidays and 2 weeks maternity leave when she had her 2nd baby but she arranged other daycare for us for that time. If my daughter was sick I had to keep her home but one time when the baby sitter caught a cold she let my daughter come since she had caught the cold from her. I always pulled my daughter out as soon as I thought she had something and kept her out til it was totally gone because I was terrified of other parents getting mad at me if their kids caught it.
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Old 07-06-2008, 07:44 PM   #3
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Re: Daycare Question

My preference has always been to cut back on how long the child is in the car as much as possible, so we tend to pick our daycare based on it being closer to our house rather than closer to work. I personally work about 35 miles from my house, so I wouldn't want to drive back and forth to work with a crying, crabby child.

I've done daycare centers and home daycare and there are good and bad of both. I wouldn't automatically rule one out over another. Check out both and see what is out there before making a decision.
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:52 PM   #4
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Re: Daycare Question

This is such a tough question. I would have to say that you could look at it as an opportunity to find the best place among all of the areas where you are and go with that. My experience (which I know is unique) is that I have her down the hall from me, but I work in child care. It is great but - my husband has pretty much no responsibility for ever taking her to school. Also - when she is sick, her Dr. is near our house so it just makes more sense for me to take her home than for him to come get her and then take her to the Dr. I think if she were closer to home we would share the responsibility more since we pretty much share everything else.

Also a plus is that it is easy for me to breastfeed her when she is near me, I don't know if we'd have made it this far w/o that. She's 11 months and there have been days when I forgot my pump and just had them call me when she's hungry.

Of course, on the down side when I get sick (which seems to be all the time) I would just love to take her in to school where she has fun but it's 45 mins to an hour round trip w/o traffic and after 3pm it would take forever to get there. SO if I'm home sick, she's here bored with me.

I guess there are benefits to whatever you choose. I would just try to find the most nurturing caregiver you can and then make that work.

Good luck!
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:19 AM   #5
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Re: Daycare Question

I would research all the possibilities first. Location is just part of the equation. I drive out of my city (just over the other side of the freeway) - neighboring city's childcare is $100-$200/month cheaper SOO worth the extra 5 min.

Personally my #1 criteria is the provider herself. And does my child seem to like her.
#2 Provider to child ratio. Many in home care actually have lower ratio than larger facilities.
#3 the activities offered. Programs, events, structures, learning philosophy etc. Is lunch and snack provided? Will she CD?
#4 is the facilities. Your child is more likely to get sick in a larger facility than a small in home daycare. (More germ carrying children with germ carrying parents). Larger facilities have more amenities and usually charge more.

I used to work at high-end large preschool center, I prefer smaller in home care. I even went with unlicensed one - I just liked her more than the other provider. She's got her license now, but that sheet of paper from the government does not mean that my son will be taken better care of. Just mean now she can start to charge more for the incoming parents.

Maybe I'm anal, but I made a list of questions I asked all the providers I interviewed. PM me if you want to have a copy. These are things that are important to me, they maybe different for you.
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Last edited by Mommimi; 07-08-2008 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:32 AM   #6
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Re: Daycare Question

Well... lots of things should go into the location. We have exactly the same situation. When I am not working at home, I work in one city, DH in another, and we live in between. On one hand, leaving Jackson near home gives the flexibility that both of us could potentially drop off and pick up. BUT we wont be able to get there very fast if we have to pick him up and we have to pay to have him in daycare while we commute.

We went with one where I work because things are generally cheaper (so we could get better quality for our budget), so that at least one of us would be able to get him on short notice, and to save the commute time. Plus I didnt actually trust that DH would be punctual enough.

We went with in home because we loved her. and could afford her.

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Old 07-08-2008, 08:22 AM   #7
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Re: Daycare Question

Having done a daycare center when DS was an infant, I would say that I would want to go with a home daycare for a baby if I did it again. There is always considerable turnover in a center, and I really was disappointed that as soon as he bonded well with someone they were gone.

For a toddler I prefer a daycare center. DD and DS are going to be starting in a center in a couple of months. At that age I think the advantages of having less risk of sick days starts to outweigh the turnover issue.

On the other hand, I might chicken out of putting an infant in a home daycare just because I have this fear of what might happen behind closed doors -- you never really know anyone. At a center there's more transparency IMO.

As far as location, I agree with the person who said keeping the child in the car as little as possible is the priority! You do not want a long drive home with a fussy baby crying in the car -- your nerves will be shot by the time you get home.
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:37 AM   #8
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Re: Daycare Question

1. This depends on a couple things in my mind:
A. When your LO is sick, who is more able to take off time to care for them? (ie. who has the more flexible job)
B. Who has the most consistent hours? By this I mean does one of you have a hard stop at 5 pm or do you both sometimes work later or earlier...remember most daycares start charging fees after a certain time, if one of you is in a position where you may be late occasionally/regularly it could probably be easier for the other to pick up.
C. Is one of you better able to handle ped. appointments?
2. It depends on the situation. Some in home places have backups, which may work. We chose to go with a center for a couple reasons....we wanted an educational center, most of the at home centers locally don't have educational background or support. (personal choice)...We also cannot afford to take a week off from work because the DCP gets the flu and we don't have a backup who can take a week off either. For us it was a clear decision to go with a center.

Once you figure out which place to put your LO, then tour a couple places...look at both in home and centers to find what you feel most comfortable with.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:18 AM   #9
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Re: Daycare Question

Originally Posted by Mommimi View Post
.. but I made a list of questions I asked all the providers I interviewed. PM me if you want to have a copy. These are things that are important to me, they maybe different for you.
Would you mind posting your childcare interview questions here?
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:44 AM   #10
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Re: Daycare Question

I loved the *idea* of a licensed home center but the reality didn’t measure up.

I found one I loved – a lll leader & everything – 3w before I was supposed to go back to work she decided she didn’t want to take on another infant. :faint:

The others all took too much time off. All the school holidays, 2(or more!) w for summer, 1w for Christmas some even took an extra week off – spring break. The hours weren’t ideal for me either One was closed on Fri, the others close at 5 or 5:30.

I ended up at a center and while there has been some turnover and staffing issues, it hasn’t been horrible. I like the accountability of multiple providers and the fact that if Teacher A is sick, has a drs appt, getting married whatever it doesn’t interrupt my care.

But of course, not all centers are created equally.

Things that concerned me were discipline policy, hours, holidays, illness policy, cleaning schedules, staff training, turnover rate, education level, pay – not exact pay but are they making more than min wage? Do they get ins paid holidays etc – ie, is it a liveable wage. And I insisted on English speaking providers.

As far as home/work, dh works close ot home so its not the same situation but I love having her near home. If I’m sick or work from home, she can still go to dc. If the weather is bad, I don’t have to go crazy worrying about driving in a snow storm w/a crying baby. It has its disadvantages as well but its working for us.

And go w/your gut. If center A is 200/mo cheaper but gives you the willies for some reason, DON’T DO IT. You’ll never be happy there.
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