DHs and Childcare — The Bump
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DHs and Childcare

I called a couple of child care centers this afternoon when I was taking a break from working to find out their tuition rates (I'm looking in either downtown Seattle or Bainbridge Island). The Seattle one told me that their waiting list was often 6+ months long and to guarantee an infant spot I should get on the list 9 months before needing care. This seems a little crazy to be paying a deposit now-ish since we have no idea what we want to do for care, whether a family daycare, center, nanny-share, near home, near work, even all the possibilities make me feel overwhelmed. I tried talking about daycare with DH and he looked at me like I have 3 heads since our little one isn't even born yet.

So here goes: when did you make your decision? Any thoughts on whether near home or near work is better? Seems like it would be good to be able to get to a sick kid quickly but near work for me is WAY more expensive (like as much/more than my mortgage). Was DH involved in the process? Interested in being involved? Do I sound like a crazy person? Maybe don't answer that last question... =)

Re: DHs and Childcare

  • I had a similar set of conversations with DH. He thought I was crazy to look while I was only 4-5 months along and didn't want much to do with the process, while I felt like I wasn't looking soon enough/wasn't going to find a spot we liked and could afford. What I ended up doing was holding a spot at a commerical daycare center that could be cancelled up to two weeks before the start date. I lost the deposit when I decided to cancel the spot (~$100) but it was completely worth my sanity. It was nice to be able to look for another situation without feeling desperate. DH wasn't thrilled, but whatever.

    LO is now 4 1/2 months old and has been in child care since the first week of September. We ended up going with an in-home place located close to my job that is not licensed but run by an acquaintance of mine from work. So far it is going extremely well. 

    Good Luck!

  • Hey shevaCC ... We also live on Bainbridge Island, and are having this same conversation!!  Our baby is 7.5 weeks old, and I was just posed the opportunity to work 1-2 days per week, so: 

    When did you make your decision?  We haven't made a decision, but will need to pretty darn soon:)

     Near home or work?  We are looking near home because my husband works on this side of the water, and I would be taking the ferry to downtown ... I also looked at daycares downtown, and it wasn't worth me going back to work!! 

    Is DH involved?  Yes, sort of:)  He shares his opinions after I present the information to him!!  He is interested in being involved because we are both very concerned about child safety!

    Do you sound like a crazy person??  NO WAY!!!!  You have to start looking early!  We were supposed to move to DC(husband's work), and I called about daycare on base, and they told me they had a year waitlist .... what??  How is that even possible!  Its never too early to start!

    We've been looking at Peacock & First Years, both in Bainbridge.  I stopped by Peacock, and they would definitely have room for a newborn, right now there is only 1 baby there.  So, that is kind-of appealing for us because it would be a 1:2 ratio. The problem with Peacock is that they don't open until 6:30am, and we would need them to be open by 6am.  First years opens at 6, but I haven't been there to check the place out yet.  

     Good luck with your search!  I'm sure you will find someplace perfect!!

  • We ended up going near DH's work, as he works in a small town and care prices overall are cheaper.  Plus my folks are out there in case of emergency.  We made our decision when baby was about a month or two old, but none of the places I was interested in had huge waitlists. 

    Um, were you serious about including DH in the decision?  How could he NOT be?  Is it not his child?  Shared financial decision?  Won't he be involved in pickup/dropoff?  The only crazy part of your question is the thought of not involving your spouse.  Push the conversation and explain to him why you may need to decide things much further in advance than he thought.

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  • I don't have experience with this particular situation, but DHs in general don't adjust to the whole having a kid thing until after the kid has arrived and then some. Don't let him off the hook, but understand that the baby isn't as real to him as it is to you.
  • I visited a couple of daycare centers, and I put the deposit down on the daycare where I felt the most confident with their infant room.  I was probably around 23-25 weeks pregnant.  My son came early at 31 weeks.  My son was actually in the hospital for 35 days, and I had a 6 week maternity leave.  When I went back to work at the beginning of July, we found a part-time nanny that came to our apartment and watched our son for a couple of days a week.  And then our inlaws would come in for a couple of days a week.  And my husband and I just covered the other days with our extra vacation.  We did this for July and August.  We found out at the end of July that our son had cleared the waitlist for daycare and then my son started at the beginning of September.  I actually brought my son into the daycare at the end of July and at the end of August and just saw how he would do in the infant room.  And my son is now 18 months, and he is a happy toddler in the toddler room.  Our daycare is at retirement home, and it is 10 minutes from my work. 


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  • I considered all for a while too with my first. It was very difficult trying to make a good decision that would benefit my baby.

    I finally decided that I didn't want to be away from her so I became a nanny! Both my girls come with me to my part time job & it's great! But obviously, if that's not an option for you, I would find a place close to home or close to work. Maybe close to work in case something happens & you need to pick baby up... 

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  • Thanks for all the replies everyone! Makes me feel much better that I'm not the only mom-to-be freaking out about this. And don't worry, I fully plan to drag DH into being involved with the decision -- I'm not trying to do it behind his back, more he's excited about the idea of a baby but not quite aware of the reality of her arrival. I'm glad to know that's pretty normal too.

    I don't have any decisions, but appreciate all the different things to consider. One big concern is that I suspect I'll be on sick kid pickup duty and stay-home duty since my sick leave is a lot more generous than his (he doesn't have any and has to use regular leave). He also can't dependably get away from the office on a moment's notice and I'd hate to have a sick child waiting to be picked up for too long. My management is very understanding of that type of thing so probably that will be my responsibility. I guess that pushes me back towards Seattle and the expensive day cares there, even though DH works in Keyport and drives right through Poulsbo twice a day. Of course the 2 hours extra time with my kid would be nice as well...

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