1st Trimester

when should you start looking for childcare

I assume it's too early, but at what point should one start to explore childcare options? I am due the end of Jan and will most likely be out for 8-12 weeks, so I won't need care until mid-March at the earliest.

Re: when should you start looking for childcare

  • If you plan to go back to work, then you need to start looking immediately and start saving your money.  Quality childcare is expensive.  If you do not have a relative that you can pay to watch your baby (this is second best option of course to you staying home) then start getting information and visiting child care facilities right now.  Showing up unannounced is the best because you will usually see them how they are and they won't, at least at first, be able to put on an act.  Many have waiting lists and considering you are going to be trusting someone you don't know to watch your child you will have to really investigate the people who are watching your baby.  Also check the surrounding neighborhood.  My mother worked at a childcare center and a registered pedophile lived across the street.  Scary.  Remember that no one will love or care for your child better than you and your spouse.  If staying home is definately not an option then you need to take this time to find the right fit with a chilodcare provider that shares your values.  Hope this helps.  :)
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  • Most daycare centers wont accept your name on a waiting list until you are at least in your 3rd trimester. Showing up unannounced at a daycare center might make you end up waiting to be shown around since most of them only do tours with an appointment only (they have a set schedule that they follow and if they had to stop even 2x a day to do a tour, it would disrupt the routine and at times get the children worked up).  If you are looking for a daycare center, I would start calling around and asking what their waiting list policy is. Some centers might charge a 'holding fee'.

    there are websites for you to do a full background check on anyone that you chose. Good luck!


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  • I started looking for a daycare around 12 weeks and I am glad I did!! There weren't very many infant spots out there and some that were open gave me the creeps. My hubby and I want to go with a home daycare instead of a daycare center. I know that MN and Wi have a list of daycares in each county. I am not sure where you live but that might help. I interviewed a few and we signed a contract right away to hold a spot. Good luck!!
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  • When you're 12 weeks pregnant.  
  • I would also agree with 12 weeks.  With DD, I got on a waiting list the summer of 2009 and she didn't get in to the center until August 2010. 

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  • I am only 10 weeks along and I am already on a waiting list. We live in a pretty rural area and good quality childcare centers are hard to come by. Lately the waiting time at this center was 4 months to get in, and there are already 2 expecting in January so I called and got my name in!

    Good luck!

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    I am 10 weeks and also on a waiting list already.  It's a 1.5-2 year wait, so I still need to find another option to hold us over until a spot opens up.
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  • with my first, we waited until the second trimester.  But this time, we've already got it taken care of (actually got an opening for later in the year where we can take DS and the new baby next spring).  Good luck!

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  • I have a friend who runs a daycare and I already called her to make sure she had a spot available in February-March. Lucky that I did because someone called the next day for an infant at the same time so I would have been wait listed!
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  • For my first pregnancy, we started around 12 weeks and ended up on multiple waiting lists.  We weren't able to get into our first choice (which we have since gotten into).  I would recommend calling around and making some appointments to check them out asap. That way, you have a better chance of getting into the one you want.  I am only 4 weeks, and am already on the waiting list for the infant room at our current daycare.  Quite honestly, looking back on my first pregnancy, checking out daycares was the most stressful process.  Good luck!

  • With DD we started looking around 14-15 weeks. With this LO we've already told DCP to make sure she holds a spot. When we told her she said, good thing we told her so she didnt advertise to fill her spot. Like one PP said, look at the county list, our county had the names, date of license, phone number, address, and some other info. we basically called down the list, interviewed 4 people and knew right away when we found the one we liked. Motherly instinct I think. =)  GL
    BFP #1 October 2008 | m/c Thanksgiving weekend | November 2008 | 7 weeks 2 days

    BFP #2 February 2009 | m/c March 2009 | 4 weeks 3 days
    Testing on mom and dad for possible reasons all came back normal.
    BFP #3 8/4/2009 | DD born 3/28/10 @ 38 weeks
    BFP #4 5/13/11 | m/c 6/15/11 | 8 weeks 6 days
    BFP #5 2/13/13 | CP 2/19/13 | 4 weeks 
    BFP #6 3/21/14 | Heard the HB on 4/16 | m/c 4/21/14 | 9 weeks
    Testing results all returned normal and baby was a GIRL.
    More testing on mom and dad for other issues all returned normal results.

    "Dear Lord, I would have loved to have held my babies on my lap & tell them about you, but since I didn't get the chance, would you please hold them on your lap & tell them about me?"
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  • start at the beginning of your 2nd trimester.  a lot of centers have long waiting lists so you'll want to get on it right away.


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