Thursday, May 13, 2010

Daycare Dilemma

We are in the midst of deciding what to do regarding childcare for this summer. Tim is done teaching June 18th and doesn’t go back until the end of August. He has applied to teach summer school, which would be Tu/Wed/Th, but we’re waiting to hear about that. Wouldn’t it be awesome if Conor only had to go to daycare 3 days a week and could spend M and F home with dad? It would be awesome for all of us to have a break from the daycare grind, even if only 2 days a week.

Not possible. GH won’t accept a Tu/Wed/Th schedule because M/F only spots are hard to fill. If we do drop his schedule down they can’t guarantee there will be a full time spot in the fall. I can’t get a straight answer about what the chances of there being a FT spot are. We’ve been very happy with our daycare situation so far and don’t really want to be stuck scrambling in the fall. But the idea of Conor going to daycare while Tim sits at home watching World Cup makes my stomach turn, and yet might be our best option.

It feels like this decision rests squarely on my shoulders but there’s really not an obvious answer. I don’t know what to do, so in typical fashion I made a PROS/CONS list of our options:

Option 1 – Keep Conor in daycare 5 days/week regardless of Tim’s schedule.

PROS: No stress about childcare for fall. Conor continues his routine and stays accustomed to daycare.

CONS: No break from the daycare grind. No break from $$$ daycare bills. Why is baby in daycare when one parent isn’t working? Tim doesn’t get to spend extra time with Conor.

Option 2 – Drop Conor down to 3 or 4 days a week for July/August (3 days a week will only work if Tim doesn’t teach summer school).

PROS: Some $ saved. Will have at least part time child care secured for fall. Conor stays acclimated to daycare. Some break from daycare grind. Tim gets to spend some extra time with Conor.

CONS: Full time child care for fall at risk. Still paying for at least some childcare days when parent is not working. $$$ saved for 4 days/week is minimal, probably not worth the risk esp. if Tim doesn’t teach summer school. Conor’s schedule becomes more hectic as his days are more variable.

Option 3 – Withdraw Conor from daycare for the summer (only if Tim doesn’t teach summer school.)

PROS: Major $$$ saved. Tim gets to spend tons of time with Conor. Break from daycare grind. There are other (cheaper) childcare options for fall.

CONS: Childcare for fall at risk. Stress of finding new daycare for fall – do they have openings full time, will it be as good as GH, will Conor adjust okay, will is be as convenient to work?

So, great. That really didn’t help at all. This all hinges of course on whether Tim ends up teaching summer school and who knows when that decision will be made. If he does, the financial aspect makes less impact but it’s hard to put a value on Conor’s experience in all this. We only have a couple weeks to decide this because we need to make any changes to his contract a month in advance.

Sorry for such a downer post but if anyone has input I’m all ears.


  1. It's so hard to find the best day care scenario. We are part-time all year, with my MIL watching Laura twice a week. But it was hard to find a day care that would accomodate that!

    Go with your heart...

  2. I'm sorry that GH isn't being more accomodating of a part-time schedule. It would be great if Conor could get more time with Tim this summer and you guys could have some break from the daycare grind. I'm sorry I don't have any input, just {{{{{}}}}}

  3. Here's an option if you all would be comfortable with it:
    Get a nanny. I work(ed, I had to leave my last job because the family was unreliable, but I hopefully will start again in July! yay!) as a nanny part-time and its convenient for the family and me. I have an 18 mo old dd that I bring with me and because I'm in college my schedule is fairly flexible. They paid me $8 an hour and all I asked for was a schedule ahead of time and at least 10 hours a week. If you find the right person it can be both cheap and a better substitute for a daycare as your child gets more one-on-one attention. And you can definatley get cheaper care if they are bringing their own child or if it's a nanny share.
    Its just an idea and it isn't right for everyone.


  4. Thanks for the tips Jacy! We have looked into lots of different child care options and for our current situation center based care seems to work out the best. In the future that may change, especially if we end up with two needing care at some point. I think we would definitely look into a nanny at that point.

    Fortunately we were able to come to a compromise that will work out, even if it's not the most economically practical option.