The inevitable daycare post.

So, the daycare post.

Daycare around here is…an adventure, to say the least. There are a lot of two-working-parent families, so there’s a lot of need, but the state requirements (for the state we live in, in this multi-state area) are pretty stringent for infant care, so there’s not a lot of supply. That means wait lists at pretty much every day care center anywhere near where we live, and pretty high prices.

As soon as we had confirmation that I was, in fact, pregnant, we got on the wait list at the daycare center at Mr. D’s office. We figured we’d have the best shot getting in there because he works there and we thought it would be better to have daycare near one of our offices so that the nearby parent could deal with emergencies.

We’ve since rethought that. We’re not getting off the waitlist, of course! That would be…ridiculous. But Mr. D. works way outside the city, not particularly close to our home or to where (we think) our pediatrician will be, and his office is only accessible by car. Of which we have one. Which he drives.

So we’ve also looked at daycares in our neighborhood. And a month or so ago, I thought I’d hit the jackpot — there’s a small daycare center about a mile from our house that is highly reviewed on the neighborhood listserv, is reasonably priced (which is to say, barely affordable instead of outrageously expensive), and when I called, the assistant director assured me there was no wait list for infants for next spring and that we had a spot. Hallelujah! We scheduled a tour for a couple of weeks after that and…discovered that there is a wait list. We are first on the wait list, but because the center is so small, there’s really no way of knowing if there will be a space for us in March or April. And since we went on our tour, I have not been able to get in touch with the assistant director. She doesn’t return my emails and I haven’t been able to get her on the phone. To say the least, I am no longer feeling all that good about this daycare.

Of course, we still need daycare, and now we’re a few months closer to when we’ll need it than we were when we started this whole process. So I’ve started looking at the other options — a nanny (out of our price range), a nanny share (possibly out of our price range and difficult to figure out logistically), or in-home daycare.

Turns out there are a lot of in-home daycares in our area. I am personally OK with an in-home daycare, possibly because for many years, I went to one (though it was more afterschool and summer care than true daycare). Mr. D. is not. I am thinking he is going to have to be OK with in-home daycare because we are frankly running out of options. There are a few other daycare centers in our area, but all of them have very long waitlists and most of them are quite expensive. In contrast, there are several in-home daycares available (at least one within WALKING DISTANCE of our house) and of the ones I’ve contacted, all of them have room for an infant in March or April. And they are affordable.

So I think we’re going to be visiting some in-home daycares soon.