Hello all, TLTR: If I want to ensure that my infant gets into daycare when I return to work, how many waitlists should I sign up for?
I've read that infant care waitlists are incredibly long (looking at 6-12 months to get into a daycare). I'm due in February 2023 and am looking to begin daycare in July 2023. I'm lucky enough to have a 6-month maternity leave here in the US. I'm on one waitlist already, and there are 15-20 families ahead of me. They said that they don't expect an opening in July 2023. I'm touring another daycare in a week and plan to get on the waitlist. I also have a tour in November, which is insane to me that it is so far out, but plan to get on that waitlist. My question is, how many waitlists should I pursue. I've done a ton of research, read reviews, and have read through the official inspection reports, complaints, and investigations. There are only three daycares that I'd feel comfortable pursuing in my city. But, do I need to plan for more than 3 waitlists to get my future child into daycare? How many waitlists to you plan to get on? There are two other daycares outside of my city that I like, but I don't know if it is worth pursuing them just to have more options if my top three choices don't work out.
I'm not super comfortable with in-home daycare, nanny, or babysitter options, and our closest family members are a 2-hour drive away. Luckily, my husband and I both work from home and might be able to spend 2-3 months flexing our schedules so that one of us is always available to take care of the baby, but that would be temporary. I'm really crossing my fingers that a daycare eventually works out! It's so stressful planning for this!