Question about Daycare- Arlington — The Bump
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Question about Daycare- Arlington

I am sure this has been asked a million times but how do you find good daycares in the Arlington/Shirlington area? Also, when do you start looking? I am only 10 weeks but I just feel very lost when it comes to this type of stuff! Also, how much more expensive is a Nanny vs. Daycare vs. In-home? Any help, guidance, or tips would be GREATLY appreciated!

Re: Question about Daycare- Arlington

  • If you're specifically talking about the Shirlington area of Arlington, I completely struck out on day care centers.  There are more in-home options, but that ended up not being the right fit for us.  We ended up with a nanny, and could not be happier.

    When I interviewed nannies last year, the minimum price I got for an experienced nanny was $16/hour for one infant, and that does not include the employer portion of taxes or overtime at time and a half.  We have a nanny share and pay our nanny $18/hour - split between the 2 families.  All in (with taxes, overtime, etc.) our portion of our share is about $25,000/year.  The family we share with pays less b/c they don't have the 5 hours of overtime that we have each week.

     Prices we got for centers ranged from $1350/month to $1900/month.  In-homes were around $250/week.  

    Our nanny is obviously more expensive, but the convenience and the attention for DD has been well worth the cost.

  • Look up the county social services website - they have lists of all of the licensed centers and in-home daycares by zip code.  Look at centers now, because the wait lists tend to run at least 12 months.  You can hold off on looking for an in-home or nanny for a while (3-6 months, depending on how nervous you get as you get closer to needing a space).
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  • Bright Horizons opened up a new location in Skyline earlier this year. I haven't heard any specifics about it, but in this area they are generally pretty nice centers with good, quality teachers. However, they are really quite pricey. I could be wrong, but I think that the rate for an infant is around $1700/month.

    For a daycare center, definitely get on the wait lists ASAP. (fyi-you may need a letter from you OB with your estimated due date.) 

  • I'm in that area. I agree about daycare centers for infants being few and far between. We ended up reserving a spot at a daycare center (Kindercare) when I was pregnant just to keep our options open. This was the best option for daycare since my H works near beauregard and king street and I work in DC and take public transportation.

    I received a recommendation from our local MOMs group when I was on maternity leave for an in-home daycare that was a better location for my H and cheaper. She wasn't registered with the state but was registered with the city of Alexandria. We pay $225 a week and the daycare center was $305/week. Our son has thrived under her care and she is so loving and sweet to him. She only has two other babies the same age so I liked the small numbers.


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  • I think we will try and get on the waiting list just in case but I really do think I would like to go the in-home route. Is the best way to find them by going on the state website where they are listed? I know you some of you said you recieved recommendations. If you hear of anything good could you pass it along? My H works in Herdon, I work in Springfield so we are pretty flexible about location.

  • I'm almost 13 weeks and am looking to do a nanny share in the same neighborhood-ish -- if you would be interested drop me a line!  mrsgindc at gmail dot com.  
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