Pre-School and Daycare

Infant care waitlist tips

karbaudkarbaud member
edited August 2022 in Pre-School and Daycare
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!


Re: Infant care waitlist tips

  • I came here to ask the same question! We're looking for care starting in April 2023, so about 7 months out. Some of the places I'm calling have wait lists of 2 years or more (not sure how that works with infants)! The ones that will actually put me on a waitlist haven't been able to tell me how likely it is they'll have a spot in April. Unfortunately we don't have the flexibility with parental leave, and even the 3 months I'm planning to take is unpaid, so we need SOMETHING. I've already called every licensed childcare within 20 minutes of home, but I'm wondering if I need to go even further out to get on more waitlists. 
  • I would ask how long is the wait list is. Keep in mind that the daycare will ask for some type of money for you to be on the waitlist. I feel like you should have a good chance of getting a spot for July 2023. You are smart to start now.
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