Thursday, January 16, 2014

Home Daycare

I have had a hard week. The Dude has been working overtime since Monday and it's Thursday. He's not even home yet. I get occasional texts from him lamenting his situation. And I've been exhausted. I used to be able to rely on the Dude handling bath time, maybe being home for Jack's dinner or some play. Not this week. I've been going it alone and it's tiring.

Last week I visited a daycare. And I took it. I rather wish it had been a more thorough search, but this city is not set up for childcare options. There are wait lists a year long (some requiring big deposits), not enough infant spaces and a parent right behind you ready and waiting to take the spot you didn't want.

The lady I met was nice and she took a shine to Jack. He seemed happy with the other children and it's an easy drop-off from our house en route to the Dude's work. It was safe, clean and I was able to pop in last minute, which gave me confidence.

I did want a centre, though, not a home daycare. I grew up going to a centre and there was a lot of space and activities, with plenty of children around. But infant spaces are few and far between. There just wasn't an open spot for when I needed it in the centre so I had to look into home care instead.

But I do see advantages to home daycare. For example, Jack really likes older kids and is not interested in his fellow babies. He'll be the youngest child, so he might like that. At a centre, he'd be around only other infants.

Also, fewer kids at the home daycare means fewer chances of coming home with a bug. You can't avoid illness with daycares, but limited kids means lower chances of frequent colds.

But still... it's a little unnerving to me. Here's the thing: I was just on my way out to see a different daycare when I talked to the provider and she told me the space just got filled. Just like that. Another provider told me I'd have to wait till a week before I needed the space to tour it. What? It was sheer luck that this other space was suggested to me and I could go right then.

And there was another agency I looked into, but they don't do the daycare subsidy and frankly we need it. We'll be daycare poor without a subsidy and so daycares that offer it have to take priority over ones that don't. Such is life.

There are very pretty centres that I didn't even bother getting on the wait list for, only because they didn't have the subsidy and $1,400 to $1,500 a month for their space is more than our rent. It really sucks that no matter how much you love your baby and how bad you want the best for them, you're limited in your options by your financial situation.

But again, nice lady, safe and clean home, the menu sounded good, she was okay using our cloth diapers and she has a fenced-in backyard. The inspectors had recently come by, and ultimately I didn't get the no-feeling.

I'm planning on moving him to a centre when he becomes a toddler, though. There will be space for him then.

And don't get me started on how this makes me feel. Even after a tiring week of solo parenting, I'll still miss him and worry all day because it's new and different. Sigh.


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