Thursday, September 20, 2007

Daycare v. Nanny

I will return to full time work in just a little over 90 days and I have NO CHILDCARE for one of my children. My daughter started at a full time program earlier this month and so far she likes it there. Not that she tells me what she's doing or anything. Like it's any of my business?

My baby son, for whom I believe daycare can be a huge plus*, for him I got nothin'. Apart from the standard dry lines of wait list positions and blathering banter of program directors and family daycare operators who can't tell me anything. The search makes my heart ache. I always feel like an alarm will suddenly ring and I will have to go to the office and leave my near-infant child to lie in a alleyway whilst I toil and fret just to make a living.

Soon I will get the new centres list and hit the phone lines again. If there are no new facilities opening it is a complete crapshoot, a crop of fresh frustration. I will curse and spit and cry and throw fallopian tubed shaped darts at big posters of Stephen Harper and Premier Campbell. Nothing will be sure and at best I will shit some horseshoe like last time and come up with a decent, or even good, place for my kid.

I live in the city. It is nice I can walk to the store and take the bus but ... everyone wants daycare here! Bastards. No one has good choices. A spot can cost the earth even when it's awful half the time. Due diligence and wait lists mean nothing since half the centres are chucking out their lists as the process is too onerous for them to maintain. The wait lists have never really worked anyway because no one ever takes themselves off a wait list... Once you factor in the refuse-no-sibling policy plus stuff like reality and timing wait lists are a complete artifice.

Hear the swoosh another dart before it pierces a large poster of a metaphorical image entitled "Personal Cost".

And it must be asked would I feel better about it or worse if I was sure that daycare was what worked for the whole family anyway? Or should I just get a nanny and give it a rest?

In our next installment of Child Care Search : Tales from Primary Caregiver Hell... Daycare v. Preschool: Nannies Revisited

* at this juncture in my experience I am of the opinion that daycare is very advantageous for children age 11-20 months. For ages 36+ months not so much.

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Blogger Lumpyheadsmom said...

ugh. I have no advice, but wish you the best of luck.

6:50 a.m.  
Blogger Granny said...

Good luck.

8:10 a.m.  
Blogger Mad Hatter said...

Does it have to be a poster of Harper. I'd prefer it if it were the man himself.

You know, I can't even get started on this one. I need to write the day care post over my way but the trouble is, the whole thing has me so heartsick, I think I'll just sit in the corner and cry.

8:40 a.m.  
Blogger NotSoSage said...

Oh, I know. It makes me INsane.

Here's hoping the new centres list works out for you.

9:29 a.m.  
Blogger Tiff said...

Oh how i hated that dilema. Good luck on the search!

5:23 p.m.  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

On my way to writing a very nice, sympathetic comment about how much it sucks to be worrying about childcare (which it does), I got stuck on the words "a little over 90 days". Sigh. Your southern neighbors generally get no more than that total for our federally mandated (but unpaid) parental leave. A pregnant friend was recently complaining to me that her employer only gives 6 weeks of paid leave and was suprised to learn that even that was a rarity around here. Double sigh.

Finding care still sucks.

9:29 a.m.  
Blogger kittenpie said...

We ended up filling the gap between mat leave ending and daycare openings starting with a nannyshare. But truly, there are not enough spots for infants. Either that, or mat leave should be to 18 months.

1:25 p.m.  
Blogger Alpha DogMa said...

(Take #2 -- thanks to stoopid cookie issues )

As a long time reader, I know better than to suggest using the in-laws as caregivers. But I'm sure this will work out. It just has to. RIGHT?

10:37 p.m.  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

This is a hard spot to be in, friend. Wishing you luck during your search.

6:16 p.m.  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

We had a nanny for a year because of daycare waiting lists. We still use her one day a week, but WB is now in p/t daycare.

The nanny was adored but expensive. A bonus for us was that she is Spanish-speaking, and because WB's godfamily are Spanish, and I speak it, and we intend to spend time there with her, we were interested in exposing her to it. Another pro is lots of one-on-one interaction: WB adores Mariela.

BUT - we've found that since Wb started daycare she's much better with other kids. Not that there was problem, but she could be pretty alpha at times. Mariela took her out to playgroups every day, but it's not the same. Plus, she's really responded to the structure of daycare. She calls it school and is always excited to go (though she does cry when I leave, sometimes, which sucks.)

Anyhoo. We're glad to have had a nanny when we needed her, and we're gald to have gotten into a daycare. I guess that doesn't help much.

7:46 a.m.  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Oooh - important point: we managed the cost of Mariela by doing nannyshare as often as we could, so that she was caring for WB and another child (of close friends) at the same time a few days a week. That was BRILLIANT while it lasted. (It ended when friends moved to the countryside.)

7:49 a.m.  

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