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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

G-d willing I will start my PhD in the fall, and I was wondering if I should keep my 18M now, then 2 years old in a full time or part time daycare. During my first year, I will have to take 4 courses, TA, plan my field work and apply for grants. I am also her primary caregiver and soon I will be separated from her daddy.This is my first kid, and I didnt have a baby during my MA.

I was wondering if I could get some feedbacks and/or if you could share your experience about how many hours to send a baby to the daycare while in a PHD program.

Thank you
 

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I started my PhD when DS was 9 months old.

I was able to do it with four days a week of daycare. However, I did not have to TA my first year and DH and I were very much together and on the same team, so I could do a fair amount of work in the evenings and on weekends while he took care of DS. Considering all the stresses in your life, I would plan for FT day care if you can at all afford it. That gives you the extra "wiggle room" you may need when adjusting to the new demands of both a PhD and single-parenting.

And, as an aside, good luck! Doing my PhD was the single hardest, but also most rewarding thing I've done other than have and raise DS. When he grabbed my hand and looked up at me with such pride after my defense, it was all worth it. You can do it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
DariusMom, Thank you so much for your reply. I am planning to have DD in a full time day care at least in the first year as I had already been told that I will have to TA and English is my Second Language.
 

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Hi! Just wanted to add my story. I had DS1 at the end of my first semester, took it easy the second semester with one class (and an independent study over the summer), and then started with a full load in the following fall. I had DS in care about 30 hours a week, and that worked out just fine. However, I did not have to TA that semester, and I took one day on the weekend to study (with DH providing care). I did TA in a subsequent semester, and kept the 30 hour care the same. I think it really depends on the intensity of your program, and even how much/well your child sleeps. If you can get a lot done at night, that can help, but sometimes you end up running on exhaust fumes! Also, it will depend on how well-prepared you are. Given you have a MA, maybe you are better prepared and more efficient, so might not need as much help? Can you play it by ear and add/subtract based on your needs?

Good luck to you! I know it is hard to be a single parent -- I grew up with one! I am fortunate in that I have a DH who helps out a decent amount with child duties.
 
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