Monday, April 16, 2007

Hunting for daycare

In the category 'worries I'm fortunate to have' - reader discretion is advised.

As I said before, in these parts you have to start looking for daycare as soon as possible.
The main reason is that most mothers are working mothers. Staying at home was still fairly common in my mother's generation, but that has changed. Maternity leave is fairly short to boot: 3 months.  As generous my government is with funding ART, so stingy are they with maternity leave.  There are a number of schemes to extend your leave, some (partly) paid, some unpaid, but you have to meet qualifications etc. That's a fortunate worry for another day.

I applied for a spot in a municipal daycare centre and am now on a waiting list. They won't tell me whether they can actually offer me a spot before August. Therefor, I have to look for other options as well. Easier said than done.

At 10 weeks, I visited a private daycare, and got the line "well, you're quite late looking for daycare".
Late? Late! When should I have started? When I saw two pink lines? Between beta 1 and 2? When I chucked birth control, all those years ago? I was a bit upset at that response, basically because it reminded me of all those women who could actually be so confident as to apply for daycare as soon as they quit birth control. Sigh.

Another private daycare centre had a spot, but wanted me to pay for the first month up front, right away.
I'd be willing to do that, if it were possible to annul (say a couple of months beforehand) and get a refund. However they don't offer that possibility. I understand their need for commitment, otherwise parents enroll but don't show up in the end, leaving them holding the bag. But I can't agree with those terms, they're not fair. Also, I don't feel comfortable to commit yet. How can I when I'm being asked to predict where we'll be in approximately 10 months time. For one, I don't know how things will work out with my job yet.

An alternative to daycare centres are family daycares, where someone takes care of up to 6 children in their own home. I've enrolled on the waiting list of a non-profit agency, again I won't get an answer till much later.

The whole idea of needing daycare still strikes me as surreal. A baby - in this household? I suppose that's why I'm feeling so laid back about finding daycare. That, and the fact that this worry pales in comparison with those of infertility treatment. No daycare, no work. Whatever. We'd be poorer, for sure, but not poor in any real sense. I'd have to sharpen my budgetary skills, but we'd manage. Truth be told, the idea of spending some time as a SAHM does attract me. Especially the mom part. :-)



At 16 April, 2007 21:38, Blogger Ladybug Ann said...

Ugh, I am looking for daycare right now. Mind you, I have 1 year mat leave. I can't imagine having to think about this in the first trimester, that's NUTS! But then, many women generally equate 2 pink lines with a take home baby. So it's not unusual that you got a lot of flak for waiting "too late" at 10 weeks.

At 16 April, 2007 23:37, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that you were told that you were looking too late and you are only 10 weeks!

In Canada, we get a year for maternity leave. But we don't have any coverage for infertility treatment. Too bad we couldn't find a way to switch houses for a while. I could use the IF coverage and you could use the 1 year maternity leave.

At 16 April, 2007 23:58, Blogger EJW said...

I started looking for daycare at 8 weeks and thought for sure I'd jinx something. I still almost choked when they told me it was a 2-3 YEAR waitlist.

At 17 April, 2007 01:33, Blogger Hopeful Mother said...

We've put our names in at 10 weeks at both our workplaces' daycare centers... they have waitlists too. But the real problem is that they have entrance "groups" - for instance, at one place, the infant groups start in June and have to be at least 3 mos. old. Our babies won't be born until at least Sept. so we will have to wait for "entrance" until the following June... which leaves us in the lurch until then.

I think they do this so that they can ensure a caregiver-child ratio, which is great, but it makes planning a real *#$#$. Cause, yeah, I could plan exactly when to get pregnant for daycare purposes? Getting pregnant at ALL was the chore here, people. They just don't get that at all. Like you said, being so brazenly confident to apply for daycare *before* getting pregnant sounds ridiculous to the experienced IFer.

Let's not even get started on the costs... especially for twins... it's a good thing my parents are close by because I think they will be our primary daycare during the interim period, before we are even in a position to decide on a daycare center.

We seem to have the worst of both worlds here in California... no IF coverage to speak of, and crappy maternity/parental leave policies too. I guess you just can't win!

I hope that you find something that will work for you, Lut. It seems to be a challenge no matter where you are on the globe.

At 17 April, 2007 01:53, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in Canada too and think it's great that we get a year of maternity leave paid at 55% of our regular salary. Like Reality said though, no ART benefits.

I can't imagine going back to work and leaving my 3-month-old in the hands of a near stranger. My son was almost a year and a half before I could entertain the thought, and I'm still procrastinating on finding a dayhome (a "family daycare") for him even for a couple of days a week.

My SIL's sister hired a live-in nanny from the Philippines for her twins. It sounds like it's cheaper to have the nanny than to put both into daycare! And the nanny is well off as she's making three times more than what she did at her last job (in Singapore, I think). How crazy is that?

At 17 April, 2007 02:12, Blogger Thalia said...

Now that is really extreme. I had enough of a problem booking a 12 week scan when I was 10 weeks and they told me I was too late. How can people think that far ahead??

I hope you find a good solution, whether it's SAHM or something else.

At 17 April, 2007 04:36, Blogger Krista said...

I can relate to your dilema. I make a decent income and we would definetly feel it if I didn't work but we wouldn't be destitute by any means. And with good budgeting and better will power we would be just fine. Tempting thought given how hard we have worked on becoming a mom hey?

At 17 April, 2007 06:55, Blogger Sparkle said...

I think 3 months paid maternity leave is considered pretty good - we get that here (job held for a year).

Apparently Day Care is a problem here too - I just don't think I can deal with enrolling right now either.

At 18 April, 2007 00:54, Blogger projgen said...

Holy cow, what a nightmare! So, basically, if you're not a fertile person, you have to sign up for these daycare places before you even pay for your cycles. Sheesh.

I can't even think about that. I can't even imagine thinking about that if I were to get a BFP. I can't even imagine thinking about that if I were to get a BFP, before I was AT LEAST 6 months along. blargh.

At 18 April, 2007 17:24, Blogger Aurelia said...

I had so many daycare problems it was unreal, and even in Canada, I had to sign up while I was pregnant to get a spot that might come open when my oldest son was over a year old.

I've had calls years later...drives me nuts. But I am glad you are having this problem, if you know what I mean?


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