Day Care Qs — The Bump
Northern California Babies

Day Care Qs

I am for sure going back to work and my #1 thing is finding the best day care. I actually don't really want to go the nanny route or au pair for a variety of reason, but may re-evaluate after I look at daycares.

 I have two questions at the moment.

1) Day care near work or home? Which is better?

2) How far in advance should I start contacting places? (SB area) Is now too early? :) 

I'm sure I'll have more questions later, but for now.. thats my top 2. 

ETA: Hubby and I carpool and work at the same place. 

Re: Day Care Qs

  • Disclaimer I am a sahm. However if I did daycare I would do close to work. That way I could be there in a flash. I am not sure how soon to look. But I am sure there will be great suggestions comming. Good luck!
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  • image tonic:

    1) Day care near work or home? Which is better?
    I'm going to respond to your questions with some questions.  Would you be doing the drop off and pick up?  What is the commute time?  Would you be able to take advantage of a carpool lane?  
    We chose something close to home because DH and I work in opposite directions.  I drop off in the morn, he picks up.  

    2) How far in advance should I start contacting places? (SB area) Is now too early?

    Depends on what sort of daycare you're going with.  In-home is a little early but doesn't hurt to call them.  I called places in 2nd tri and interviewed at the time.  If I wanted to go with them I'd have to put a deposit down to secure a spot, but most of the in-home places wanted me to call back toward end of pg.  I ended up finding our place at 37 weeks pg, put my deposit down and then DD started 3 months later.  
    If you're going with a center, the sooner the better to start calling and interviewing. 


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  • I remember seeing around here a lot of reasons why close to home was better, and the reasons for those who felt that way resonated with me - what if you're too sick to work AND too sick to spend all day caring for baby on your own?  Depending how far your commute is, or how far your H works from home/daycare/your work, that might be an issue.  Also, I travel not a ton, but a little, for my job and it would be teeeeeerribly inconvenient for T to have to do a drop off near my work on a day I have to be out of town.  Sometimes I'll have meetings in other parts of town that go up until 4:00, or I'll have site visits out of town, etc.  I have a quarterly meeting that goes until 6.  And again, terribly inconvenient for T to come out to my area of work.  Like, 2+ hours b/c of traffic inconvenient. 

    Basically, I'm always going to be at home at the end of the day - I'm not always going to be right near my work.  It also helped that T works very close to our house, so we picked daycare close to our home that also is conveniently close to HIS work.  I'll just be the odd one out :)  And daddy gets to do drop off and pick up :)

    Re: when - obviously that's area and what type of care dependent, but we toured three daycare centers when I was about 18 weeks.  One wouldn't have any openings until January, without question (and I'm taking maximum time off, including unpaid time, and still have to be back right in January...so 18 weeks was on the cusp of perfect timing there).  The second laughed like, "you're how pregnant?" and had openings whenever.  The third, which we picked, said they anticipated openings in November, but that could slide to December or January, depending on when some of the infants were ready to move up to the next class and when I'd be done with my leave.  So, my long-winded answer - for a daycare center, I would start touring any time now, get a feel for what they have available, and maybe plan to put your deposit down around 20 weeks or so (based on my experience).  GL!!

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  • image tri-reader:
    image tonic:

    1) Day care near work or home? Which is better?
    I'm going to respond to your questions with some questions.  Would you be doing the drop off and pick up?  What is the commute time?  Would you be able to take advantage of a carpool lane?  
    We chose something close to home because DH and I work in opposite directions.  I drop off in the morn, he picks up.  

    2) How far in advance should I start contacting places? (SB area) Is now too early?

    Depends on what sort of daycare you're going with.  In-home is a little early but doesn't hurt to call them.  I called places in 2nd tri and interviewed at the time.  If I wanted to go with them I'd have to put a deposit down to secure a spot, but most of the in-home places wanted me to call back toward end of pg.  I ended up finding our place at 37 weeks pg, put my deposit down and then DD started 3 months later.  
    If you're going with a center, the sooner the better to start calling and interviewing. 


    I just edited my post to add that my husband and I carpool and work at the same place. Commute time is 20 minutes. So we both would do drop off and pick up unless there was some reason we had to take separate cars. 

  • Wooow, in your guys' case, I think I'd be tempted to do close to work after all.  That's a nice arrangement and unlikely I would imagine that you'd both have any reason not to start and end the day close to work any given day.
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  • 1) Day care near work or home? Which is better? In your situation, I would look at both. You will have more options that way.

    2) How far in advance should I start contacting places? (SB area) Is now too early? :) I started contacting places when I was 6 months. I don't know what the wait is like in your area, but it wouldn't hurt to start now. You can get a lot of preliminary looking out of the way, and start narrowing it down as you get closer to your EDD and make your final decisions before you go back to work.

  • 1) Day care near work or home? Which is better?

    Look at both, you might fall in love with one and that'll be the right choice for you. DH and I knew that near home is the best for us. There are times when we are sick, or need to get things done at home and having dcp near home allows us to do those and not have H at home with us. When he's sick I just get to him as soon as I can. Also, jobs change but having consistency is important for us. We actually are in the process of moving schools because we moved and it is honestly harder than changing jobs. We will be in the new house for a long, long time so I don't foresee moving him until he starts Kindergarten.

    2) How far in advance should I start contacting places? (SB area) Is now too early? :) 

    It is never too early to start calling and touring. Like PP's said, in home tend to book closer to your actual date of needing them and center's are further out. We starting looking at around 10 weeks (hadn't even come out to work yet) and certain high demand places were already booked. We ended up reserving our spot at his current school around 20/21 weeks.

     

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  • I like near home because DH can do drop offs and I do pick ups (it gives some daddy time and relieves me in the AM) Also, it means if my job ends, I don't have to change DCPs.  Under your circumstances, I'd rather near work because I could leave to visit during the day and spend more time each day with DC (during the car ride).

    I don't think now's too early to start paper screening, but if you don't want to start paying right now, I wouldn't want to get my heart set on anywhere yet.

     

  • 1) Day care near work or home? Which is better?

    We picked a day care on the way to work, about 15 minutes from home but probably 20-25 minutes away from work.  I like having it kind of close to home so on days when we do take him in and are not working it's not super inconvenient.  

    2) How far in advance should I start contacting places? (SB area) Is now too early? :) 

    We found our place in about 2 weeks (EB).  We didn't have any issues with wait lists at any of the places we looked at.  At first I was dead set on a center and only looked at one in home day care place based on a recommendation from a friend.  I'm so glad I did because we absolutely love it and can't imagine L in the centers we looked at after visiting the in home place.  So keep your options open to different scenarios...you never know what you'll find.


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  • I was also really torn with looking close to work or home. The thought about breastfeeding on my lunch break was the main reason I wanted her close to work. Steph had great reasons for choosing close to home. Since you have a good situation with your commute and husband, I would look into both areas. This is what cemented my decision, I feel in love with a place close to our home and couldn't find anything I liked as much near my work.

    In terms of when to look, I agree that you should look at centers really early on. I toured/called a few places before I was 20 weeks. In terms of the in-home, you have a bit more time. One of the in-home places I really liked filled up just a week before I was going to sign up (I was 30 weeks). I signed up for the place we have now at 34 weeks, and found that she had two other parents coming to look the same week.  

    Here's to hoping you find the perfect place! :) 

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  • 1. I looked at and fell in LOVE with a few daycares near work, but they had super long wait lists (like, we would still be waiting. they couldn't guarantee a spot until Oct 2011 and I was looking in Aug 2010 when I was 14 weeks). There are not many options super close to our home, but we picked a place that is half way between our house and my work. Only 15 mins from our house. Its a bit out of the way for John, but still doable. I'm so, so, so glad we went with something closer to home. I work from home sometimes, which I wouldn't do if she was in DC in Davis. AND, last week when John and I were both sick, we took E to daycare, it would have really sucked to drive all the way on a Friday in July.

    One thing I will just bring up about you and DH carpooling that you should really think about. It has already happened 3 or 4 times where E needs to be picked up early bc of an illness. Would you both be able to leave work to pick up child and bring them  home? 

    We started looking when I was just out of 1st trimester. We knew we were going to go with a daycare center rather than in home or nanny, etc. The centers in Davis had long lists, the one we went with did have an opening available when we needed it, but even it is now full.

    **** TW - kids and loss mentioned ****
    ~~ married 8.11.07
    ~~ DD1 1.16.11 ~~ DD2 1.3.14 ~~
    ~~ BFP3 12.22.15 MMC 2.29.16 @ 13 weeks ~~
    ~~ 2 D&Cs (3.1.16 and 3.10.16) for MMC
    ~~ BFP4 10.27.16  MMC 1.23.17 @ 16 weeks ~~ D&E 1.26.17 ~~
  • The hospital I work at has a daycare, so DS will be across the parking lot from me.  I chose that arrangement b/c I wanted to be close and it's super convenient.  Also, the hours are great for me (opens earlier and closes a bit later than others I checked out) and DH works in the city center, and takes the bus to work so I can't count on him to be part of the pick up scheme. And if something happened to DS while at daycare, I work in ED and it's right there.  Big relief for me.

    I had the mentality that I had to be on a waiting list early, so I contacted the daycare super early.  I found out that hospital employees have priority and are on the top of the waiting list; however, we were lucky and there was no waiting list for under 2 year olds.   Now I have heard other daycares have waiting lists of over 200 kids.  So, for me, it never hurts to ask and the earlier the better!

  • image ladipale:

    One thing I will just bring up about you and DH carpooling that you should really think about. It has already happened 3 or 4 times where E needs to be picked up early bc of an illness. Would you both be able to leave work to pick up child and bring them  home? 

    Right, its definitely an issue with carpooling and probably something that will come up and require one of us to go back and get the other or drop one of us off at home. Hopefully infrequent enough that its not that big of a deal. Not carpooling just for 3-4 times probably doesn't make sense. I'll have to think daycare being closer to work would matter in this situation or not..

  • Thanks for all the advice. I'll probably look at both then to start.
  • image tonic:
    image ladipale:

    One thing I will just bring up about you and DH carpooling that you should really think about. It has already happened 3 or 4 times where E needs to be picked up early bc of an illness. Would you both be able to leave work to pick up child and bring them  home? 

    Right, its definitely an issue with carpooling and probably something that will come up and require one of us to go back and get the other or drop one of us off at home. Hopefully infrequent enough that its not that big of a deal. Not carpooling just for 3-4 times probably doesn't make sense. I'll have to think daycare being closer to work would matter in this situation or not..

    yeah. as i was typing the original, i thought, "well, I guess DH could just drive us both home and go back to work. duh" just something to think about.

    **** TW - kids and loss mentioned ****
    ~~ married 8.11.07
    ~~ DD1 1.16.11 ~~ DD2 1.3.14 ~~
    ~~ BFP3 12.22.15 MMC 2.29.16 @ 13 weeks ~~
    ~~ 2 D&Cs (3.1.16 and 3.10.16) for MMC
    ~~ BFP4 10.27.16  MMC 1.23.17 @ 16 weeks ~~ D&E 1.26.17 ~~
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