Finding Childcare that is Right for You
Right now in this section I'm gonna talk you through different types of childcare, brainstorming the options that are out there that maybe you haven't thought of, so you can find the right option for your little one. The first thing that's kind of disappointing, at least it was to me, is that part-time care is hard to find and it's really hard to find the smaller they are. So at least in the US for a variety of reasons. A lot of it is a staffing reason. For example there are ratios, like for a young child there has to be one caretaker for three children. Well the daycare center doesn't really want you to only come in part day because they've already hired a staff for full time so some centers will allow you to split a booking with a child. Actually what we do is we pay for the full day and bring her home at three. I mean that's what worked for us because she doesn't have to be there for the full day. It gets easier and easier as your child gets older and more independent so a lot chang...
es at two years old. A lot changes at three years old. Often because of these staffing ratio requirements. So you have to think about this, what's best for you monetarily? So maybe hiring a nanny, who's quite expensive per hour, but if you only need three hours might be less expensive than paying for full time daycare. So this is where it's important to go through your day, think about the tasks you need to accomplish, and think about how much care you need, and really work it out with your budget. Childcare is tax deductible if kept though an official source. So that is if you are at a childcare center that's licensed, or if you're hiring a nanny and paying her through payroll. So there are payroll firms that manage nannies. So think about that also when you're factoring this in. There are so many kinds of childcare. A grandparent, gonna talk about that, a daycare center, family care, co-op, a nanny, an au-pair, trading play dates, hanging out at The Y, a night nurse, which is someone who comes over and watches your baby overnight so you can sleep, or a nanny share. So I'm gonna be talking about these more in detail. I joined The Y when my daughter was like eight months old because I just needed like a mental break, so The Y had the policy that you could stay for two hours a day as long as you were on campus and they could stay in the daycare. So I would just go run on the treadmill, then look at my phone a little bit and it just completely refreshed me, like I really needed that. She was playing with other people. It wasn't very expensive and I even ended up training for a half marathon that I ran on my daughter's eighteen month birthday, so that was a fun extra. So I encourage you, especially if your goal is to be in a maintenance mode for quite some period of time to think about childcare options that are a little bit out of the box that's giving you the refreshment you need and maybe lessening that financial burden. So a grandparent, I know, a lot of us may or may not- You may think this is an awesome idea or you may think this is the worst idea ever. A grandparent might work for you if they live nearby, they are close to retirement age, they're physically capable of caring for your child, that's important, and you have a good working relationship with them. So Ellen's parents moved in with her and she said, "Having my parent's move in with us was a lifesaver for us even though I feel almost guilty because I know not everyone has this possibility. Even before we had kids we started the conversation about them moving in with us eventually and when I got pregnant we went house hunting for a place that would give enough space for all of us and give them some privacy." Right, so her parents, the grandparents, actually moved from Mississippi to Maryland. So some advantages to grandparents. You know them. They are, well depending on your parents, they are very likely to support the decisions that you make, whereas if you take a child to a daycare center it's kinda like daycare center rules. Grandparents also deal, um, when there's a sick child situation, so for example when my daughters sick I have to stay home with her. You can't send a sick child to a daycare center and that causes much calamity with schedule rearranging and what not. If the grandparents the daycare provider, they're often willing to just hang out with a sick grand baby because nobody else is getting sick. So, this is an awful story, but I'll tell you. Why not? So one, we were moving, moving across the city, bought a new house, this was literally the day we were moving in. The movers had come the day before. My husband was in the middle of his semester, so I, watched, everything happened. Okay, all by myself and then it was actually like moving day and I had to carry a ton of stuff in and whatnot, and our daughter had, kind of a mild fever, and I was like I can't, I absolutely can't, and I feel so bad, but I was just like. (whistling inconspicuously) Maybe she'll be okay. I'll just send her in and just see how it goes. Even if I could get an hour, it was like oh my god. I need help so bad. She actually was fine. She gets fevers when she's like stressed out, which happens when you move. The sick child problem is such a difficult one to solve. There aren't a lot of good solutions, so, man, if I had a parent who wanted to move in with me. Sold. Okay, full time versus part time. This is a lot about how you work best. Okay, there's pros and cons to both, right. So, some people might just crank it out for three hours in the morning, get part time care, and it's- you're golden. Financially, full time care ends up being a lot cheaper per hour than part time care. So you need to think about your expectations and things like that. One thing that a lot of people who have part time care say is "yeah, I work, she has part time care and in the afternoons my kid kinda learns they have to play by themselves a little bit while I do a couple of email checkings" right? So that's part of what it's like to live in your household but it's completely a personal decision and needs to tie in with your future goals as well. So family care is the name of like, an infrastructure, where it's a person's house but they care for a couple of children. I'm sure they have different names in different parts of the country. So we first thought we wanted our daughter to go to family care because it was more of a homey environment. She had been home with me for so long. They have more flexible timing. So these were the only places we found that had part time options available. But we took her and she ended up crying completely hysterically for the first 45 minutes, and they called us and told us. We had to come get her and they couldn't handle her. So because they don't have a full staff, they don't have as many resources available. She wasn't compatible, there you go. She goes to a daycare center which has multiple staff. If there's a problem, so and so plays with her on the side until she's sorted back out and ready to play again but there's no part time option available. So pros and cons to family care daycare. So how to research a childcare center provider. For sure you want to go in person. You want to go and have a look around. If anything doesn't seem right to you, try another one. Yelp now has reviews for childcare centers. There are also, your state should have a licensing agency that will allow you to look up any reports, any claims, things like that. A lot of daycare centers these days have remote camera technology available, so that you can actually like look on your phone and watch your child during the day. Overall, it's been found that smaller group sizes and a lower child to teacher ratio have been correlated as signs of quality. So if you feel like the center's really packing the kids in and they don't seem terribly supervised, it's probably not the highest quality place. But your own nose is probably the best sniffer that you have So this is a really great website, the US Government's Office of Personnel Management offers some resources as well as really practical interview steps for how you can interview a daycare in person and on the phone. So that's a great resource as well. You're also gonna have to sort out, should you work from home or not. So when we lived in Minnesota, we had a house that had bedrooms, different bedrooms, and so I could have a college kid come. They would play with my daughter downstairs, I could go up into an office and work, and it all worked perfectly fine. Then we moved into a one bedroom apartment in LA and the option was off the table. There was just no way to have someone come into our home. She would see me, right? There was no other place to go and then she'd want to play with me. So that option, what did work well in one place doesn't work in another place. So this is another thing to think about when you're deciding should I have someone come into my home or would it be easier if I had my child go somewhere else. Think about the kind of production that you're doing, the kind of work that you're doing when you make these kinds of decisions. Another option that's always out there is a nanny. So great pros about a nanny is they'll have flexible hours, right? So you could say, "oh I really need someone from noon to ten pm" and you could probably find someone who can do that. The other thing to think about though is a nanny needs to earn an income to live, so I had an experience, I would have someone come three hours a week and I thought oh my gosh this is so great it's flexible. I can, if I need them on Friday I can call them, but that person was packed. They had all these families for three hours a week because they needed to work a full time schedule to earn enough money. It's often really easy to find someone, maybe with weird hours, but not that changes from week to week because these people obviously have lives too. So care.com is a place to start looking for a person. They also have reviews and things like that so this could be a great solution for your family. It also, sometimes, solves the sick kid problem. You obviously have to speak with each person, but in daycare centers the concern with a sick child is that they'll get other kids sick. If you have someone coming to your home sometimes that can concern isn't as big. So that can really help alleviate some of these problems that come around with having a sick child. Alright, so pros and cons of a nanny share. So a nanny share is having one nanny, but two families, two kids, however many, share the nanny. Right, so one pro is that it saves money. You are getting a nanny for almost half price. It ends up being a little more than half price because usually you pay the nanny a little bit extra for having to watch the two kids but then you're dividing it with another family. So that can be a really great alternative. The downsides though is you need to agree with the other parent on the schedule. So I have a friend who was in a nanny share and they were doing it for three days a week but then my friend wanted to up it to four days a week but the other mom didn't, right. So then that becomes a conversation that you need to have. It's harder, if the child's sick, you're basically in the daycare situation because you can't get the other child sick. You also need to have a location where this works. So if you have a one bedroom apartment maybe it doesn't work to have another kid over at your house so in the particular nanny situation with my friend she fortunately had a house with a backyard so it worked, but you can picture situations where it wouldn't work. The other issue is you need to have two of everything. So if you want the nanny to take the kids out on a walk you need a double stroller and that's something you probably don't have as the parent of one child. So there's an upstart cost to getting that rolling, but it's a cost savings also so that's something to really think about. This is a resource that I've never actually used, but I found it in doing some research for this class so I thought I'd throw it up here. There is an association of sick child daycare centers, so these are places that you can take your child if they're sick, if you need care for them. Because as I said before, this is probably one of the hardest things to manage when you're a working parent and is finding care if they're not feeling well because you don't really find out until six am that morning that they're not really feeling very well. Especially if you have a partner that doesn't have a flexible job and you have some kind of thing scheduled, this can b- I hope is a great resource for people.