working and student parents - what do you do for childcare and why? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 43 Old 12-20-2010, 08:11 AM
 
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Sydney is at a daycare center and it seems to be the best choice that is available to us. I like the peace of mind of there always being 2+ adults with the kids. I never thought this would be the case until she was older, but the socialization has actually been good for her and she already has friends. She has to learn to wait and whatnot just because it isn't 1 kid to 2 adults like at home where it is easy for us to not have her wait more than a few seconds for anything. That's fine of course when they are newborns, but they have to start learning patience and whatnot as they get older. They are great about communicating and the hours (6-6) work well for me.

The only downside really is that she has a hard time napping there. Since the cribs are in the same room as all the kids, it's loud and bright and so she will nap, but they tend to be shorter than they should be so she doesn't get as much sleep as she should during the week. Also, she went in at four months, I think ideally until ~6months a closer to 1-1 ratio would have been better, but they really do a good job at the center of holding the younger babies as much as they can when they need it.

If money were no object, I would probably work part-time for my adult interaction and career needs and work daycare out so I had some hours at home kid-free for cleaning/exercising/etc. Ideally, a daycare center that I could walk to so drop off and pick up issues are not really a big deal. Can I move someone from my family here to help too smile.gif Also, I would have stayed home longer with someone to come help a hour or two everyday or have her in 1 on 1 care until 6 or 7 months then a center.

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#32 of 43 Old 12-20-2010, 08:18 AM
 
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I only work PT. I work nights, so for us it's a combo of DH and I passing the baton when I leave at 5 pm, and then my mom watching the kids from 9 am to 3 pm so I can sleep the following day while DH is at work.

 

When I was in full-time school, I was able to drop DD off at my mom's house on my way to school, which was awesome.

 

If money were no issue and I were working FT, I would probably have DD in a preschool and DS at home with a nanny.


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#33 of 43 Old 12-20-2010, 09:20 AM
 
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WOW! I can't believe how much it costs for child care! I was mostly a SAHM before my kids were in school full time. Currently I am a full time student and I work PT. My schedule allows me to either drop the kids off at school or bring them to my in-law's to catch the bus. After school they take the bus to my in-law's house and stay there until either my DH or I pick them up. They do this for free. I feel very blessed. My IL's even cart the kids off to play practices and my DD's ballet class. My ILs are retired and love their time with their grandchildren. I have run into a bit of a snafu coming up in May when they are going on a 20 day cruise. I'm not sure when my classes get out but I know I'm going to have to find someone to watch them after school for a few hours. I'm hoping they can go to my sister and brother-in-law's house. It would be the same bus route and they have kids, too. We really can't afford a sitter at this point. I barely make anything at my job (waitressing) and DH works 6am-7pm M-F. Our budget is really tight now that I'm in school I have three night classes this coming semester, too. So we will definately need to figure this out. Thankfully, my BIL and SIL owe us big time for watching their dogs for the last three years everytime they go out of town (which is often). In fact, we're watching one of their dogs and the new xmas puppy they're getting all day and most of the night on xmas eve.

 

I did work a short stint when my kids were young and they were in day care PT. My kids hated it. They weren't used to the structure and didn't understand the rules that applied. They both were done with napping at that point and they were forced to lie down for and hour a day. At ages 3 and 4 they were really busy and active and didn't like the forced lie down. Ultimately, I didn't either and I quit my job to be a SAHM.  


There are three things I learned about life. It goes on. -Longfellow

 

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#34 of 43 Old 12-21-2010, 07:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post

I work f/t, and my two daughters go to a regular ol' daycare center.

For DD1, my MIL lived with us and watched her for the first year. I *hated* it with a passion, so after looking into lots of options, a center is what works for us. DD1 is now in her third daycare...switched when the first one started going downhill, then switched this summer because we couldn't afford both girls in the second school. The school they're in now is a Spanish immersion school, lots of fun activities, webcams, etc. They do CD for DD2 (8 months), too, which is awesome. Yes, it costs a fortune. I take home maybe $100/month now? But I carry our health insurance, contribute mightily to my 401k, get paid to go to a conference in CA every year, and just got a promotion to mgmt, none of which would happen if I took off a few years.

Honestly, I'm shocked that there aren't more women here with kids in fulltime daycare! Or maybe they just haven't posted yet?


I don't visit the WOH forum very often, but I guess I'll go ahead and post my past and present experience.  DD was in full-time daycare from about 6 months to two years old, at which time we put her in a full-time Montessori program.  She is four and is now in her third year of Montessori.  I didn't want to do a nanny situation because DH and I are very private people and we just didn't want to maintain a relationship with someone in our home.  Plus, I liked the idea of DD being around other children (she's an onlie and very extroverted, so daycare was a better option for us).  Her old daycare cost $1,200/month, but was worth every penny.  Our family income is such that the cost of care and/or present Montessori doesn't have a huge impact on our budget.  It is certainly a cost and it is mindblowing to some, but having DD in a quality situation is worth the peace of mind and the joy that she receives from her various friends and teachers.

 

When we transferred her to Montessori (which is about the same cost plus other fees), we were sort of sad because we had grown to love the people at her daycare center and we still miss all the parents and kids.  She has since made new friends and has great teachers, but we all had an extremely positive experience with her previous daycare. 
 


"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
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#35 of 43 Old 12-21-2010, 10:01 AM
 
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I am a FT WAHM. My son is at a daycare center from 8-430 or so. My schedule is very flexible since I WAH and I count my lucky stars every day. It costs us $800/month and we LOVE our center. I will keep him there for now but eventually he will transition to a Montessori school.

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#36 of 43 Old 12-22-2010, 05:18 AM
 
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My son has been in a full time Montessori/daycare since he was 22 months and I went back to work full time (prior to that I was working PT from home and had a nanny for 10-12 of those hrs). 

 

I chose a centre because I liked:

- a single-purpose environment - when childcare is in someone else's home, they do other stuff at night and on weekends and might leave tools out or whatever, and my son was at the time the kind of kid would find the One Sharp Object.

- breaks for staff, relief staff, regular hours of care, not having to worry that a sole provider would get a cold and take a cold pill and zonk out, etc.

- my son's pretty extroverted and does well around other kids

 

I chose OUR centre because I liked:

- the Montessori aspect - I like it even more now, but I liked that the teachers would be engaged with a philosophy that is peaceful, respectful, supports child development, etc.

- it had a warm, quiet, calm feel 

 

When my son was under 2.5 it cost almost $1500/mo (that included some extras) and now it costs about $1200 (again with extras)


~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#37 of 43 Old 12-23-2010, 07:02 AM
 
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We have a one and a three year old - girl and boy, respectively.  Our 3 year old goes to 'kindergarten' from 8-12pm every week day and then comes home for the afternoon, where he is cared for by our nanny, who is at our house from 8-5pm, M-F.  We both work full time M-F.  She also covers evenings when both of us are working - this is rare though, thankfully. 

 

This works really well for us.  I like having our daughter at home and I like our nanny.  She's developed good relationships with the kids - and I'm amazed at how good she's gotten with our 3 year old in the few short months we've been doing this (she started for us in September).  

 

That said, I'm in China, and the cost of a nanny is significantly lower than the cost of a nanny in the US.  If we were in the US, I don't think I could afford to do it this way.  If/when we move back, that will be a huge consideration.  I hope that I would still be able to afford a nanny for whatever kids are still under 3.  I liked having my son at home until then and not in a daycare setting.  I think there are lots of great daycares, but he's done well at home, and my daughter is currently doing great at home too.  I also live on the 9th floor of the building I work in, so I can take the elevator up to nurse my daughter during the day.  That's great.  

 

It has been tricky to balance it all though - since I'm both at home and at work in the same building, I've had to learn how to shift gears back and forth very very quickly.  I've also had to learn how to set tighter boundaries and spheres - so that when I'm with my family, I'm really with my family, and when I'm working, I'm working.  

 


Lizbiz, wife to my man who makes me smile, and mom to one bouncy boy (08/07), one sassy girl (12/09), and one sweet new boy (08/12).

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#38 of 43 Old 12-24-2010, 06:56 AM
 
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what are the salaries like where you live, as the childcare costs seem really high.

I live in South Africa, so it's hard to work out exactly what your costs are. Eldest's school (grade 0 - kindergarten to you guys?) costs R2650 p/m and a nanny costs about the same. So for two kids it'll cost about R5k a month in childcare. But salaries can be around R20k p/m - so it's doable kwim?


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#39 of 43 Old 12-24-2010, 08:07 AM
 
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Currently, I am in grad school. Both my partner and I work only PT so that we can switch off childcare. We are deliberately making less money so as to stay at home with our son. It's a challenge, but we love it.

 

When we both want to go somewhere without our son, we have a couple other families that we swap childcare with.

 

And we are talking about moving with one of those families- living cooperatively, which would give us 2 more adults to herd children. I love this idea!


Mama to a 3 year old awesome kid, Rowan (aka Mister Boopy) and TTC another at 43!


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#40 of 43 Old 12-26-2010, 07:22 AM
 
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Put it this way - when my son started, between taxes, commuting costs (car/gas/parking), the odd lunch out at work, and daycare, I was bringing home about $200-300/mo in actual cash. But of course, daycare costs go down and my salary has increased slightly. Now we're having #2 though... so it won't balance nicely for about 3-4 years.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schae View Post

what are the salaries like where you live, as the childcare costs seem really high.

I live in South Africa, so it's hard to work out exactly what your costs are. Eldest's school (grade 0 - kindergarten to you guys?) costs R2650 p/m and a nanny costs about the same. So for two kids it'll cost about R5k a month in childcare. But salaries can be around R20k p/m - so it's doable kwim?




~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#41 of 43 Old 12-26-2010, 03:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post

My son has been in a full time Montessori/daycare since he was 22 months and I went back to work full time (prior to that I was working PT from home and had a nanny for 10-12 of those hrs). 

 

I chose a centre because I liked:

- a single-purpose environment - when childcare is in someone else's home, they do other stuff at night and on weekends and might leave tools out or whatever, and my son was at the time the kind of kid would find the One Sharp Object.

- breaks for staff, relief staff, regular hours of care, not having to worry that a sole provider would get a cold and take a cold pill and zonk out, etc.

- my son's pretty extroverted and does well around other kids

 


This is the exact reason I picked a centre for my LOs


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#42 of 43 Old 02-07-2011, 08:22 PM
 
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I WOH full time. I am also completing an MFA part time through the University where I work. Returned to work at 8 weeks, tho I did 3 days at office/2 "at home" for the next 2 months. We had a nanny up to 7 months. And I work within walking distance of home, so I would come home at lunch to nurse. Wonderful. But we just couldn't afford the nanny indefinitely.

 

At 7 mos, DD started a full time daycare also within walking distance of home/work. Still nursed at lunch. $235/week for infants. It was great till she moved up to the toddler room at about 14 mos (tuition dropped to $215/week). I didn't really click with the teachers (this was when it also became glaringly apparent that most of the 'teachers' were 20 year olds with no real training/child dev education). Kind of chaotic. Also the physical environment of the toddler room was just...uninspired - not much natural light, etc etc.

 

We found a lovely little Montessori school with a toddler program for comparable cost ($865/month), though it means driving not walking. It's worth it. Highly trained, caring staff. Beautiful spaces. Lots of outdoor time. Calm. We're just starting 3rd full week.

 

Agree with a PP that naps are shorter at daycare, makes for a pretty tired girl at day's end. If I could I'd work part days, or fewer days per week. But not possible.

 

I usually have one night class per week, and I hate those evenings when I we get home from daycare and I have to hand her off again not 2 hours later. This is also true of evenings when I have to be out for work (~once a month). DH works evenings Mon-Thurs, so we have a sitter on those eves I have to be out. But I hate when an evening stacks on top of an already full day & DD just wants her mama time.


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#43 of 43 Old 02-07-2011, 08:52 PM
 
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In our house DH is the one working and in school, I do various crap to make up the difference.  DH works full time, 40hrs, and he's in school full time, in his last bit of a mechanical engineering degree, and it's the hardest part.  He's taking 4 classes, for a total of 16 credit hours, but 3 of the 4 also have seperate lab time as well, which isn't part of the credits he gets, so he's in class close to 20 hours a week, not to mention homework time.

 

Because of this, I simply cannot work much.  We have a 2 year old and a 5 month old, that would cost us minimum of $300 in daycare a week.  Which means I would need a job that would bring in minimum of $500 a week, after taxes.  There are few of those around here that I am qualified for. 

 

SO, I do a couple of different things.  First, I work at CVS part time.  VERY part time.  I actually only bring in the very bare minimum that we need...two weeks ago I only worked one 5 hour shift.  But, because it's so part time, it's not super difficult to work my schedule around DH's.  I have basically given my boss the exact times that DH is not in school or working and said that's the only time I can work. And it's not been hard to work around that.  The only exception is our stock days...DH has to work that day and I also have to work that day to make it worth it to the store to keep me around.  So, for that day each week, we have my MIL and FIL come out.  They live about an hour away and love to hang out with their grandkids, so having a weekly time for them to babysit keeps them from trying to come out at inopportune times (which there are a lot of with our schedule.)  We do not pay them, they would probably be out anyway if I wasn't working at all.

 

I also own a photography business, though it's slow to get moving.  When I have to shoot a wedding or portrait session, I cobble something together.  I have 3 siblings, 2 of them living right close by, in addition to the ILs and my parents.  So, between all of them, I can almost always find someone to watch the kids for that, especially since the portrait sessions are usually just an hour or two.  Again, I don't pay, I am usually just swapping care anyway, I watch their kids for free when they need.

 

I also do some craft fair/baby and kids shows to sell some baby crafts and ring slings.  For those, I usually have at least one of the two young ones with me.  I also have a teenager and she is usually ok to watch the other one.  She gets very overwhelmed with both the little ones, but she's fully capable of handling one with no problems. 

 

 

So, for the most part, it's either something cobbled together for a once in a while thing, or just worked around DH's schedule. 

 

What I like about the arrangements-

 

free.  We really can't afford to pay for care.  We just can't. 

 

 

The kids are always with family, who are all trustworthy.  All told, there are 9 individual family members, between siblings and their spouses, who we can and have called on.  Ultimately, if I have gone thorugh 9 people and none of them is available, I probably need to just call in. 

 

Often, care is right in my house.

 

 

Some of the cons-

 

Because I am not paying, some of the more difficult times are harder to get someone to cover.  If I have a wedding that starts really early or ends really late, we have to sometimes scramble to rearrange DH's schedule (thankfully his work is totally flexible) to cover the reallly early or late shift.

 

There is basically NO other time for us to get a babysitter.  Grocery shopping is sometimes done at midnight because it's so hard to have an incredibly active 2 yr old and a baby in the store, alone, but DH isn't home to watch them and I can't ask someone to babysit again, when they just stayed with them till 11pm the night before, you know?

 

Sometimes they can't watch the girls at the house, and I end up with a "commute."  Last week I had an eye appointment (have been without my glasses for over a year because of insurance challenges, so I couldn't wait any longer.)  The eye dr is right by my house, but I couldn't find ANYONE who could watch the girls at my house.  So, I drove a half hour to my sister's cake shop, dropped the girls off there, drove a half hour back for the half hour appointment, then drove half an hour back down to pick them up and half an hour back home.  If I hadn't REALLY needed the glasses I would have changed it to a time when MIL could have come out.

 

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