daycare recommendations in Charlestown/Boston?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from wedoct09. Show wedoct09's posts

    daycare recommendations in Charlestown/Boston?

    I am getting discouraged by the waiting lists and costs of daycare in Boston.  The prices I have been quoted so far are the same or more than my mortgage payment. Does anyone have any particular centers that they would recommend?  We live in Charlestown and work in Boston and need something that is easy for both of us to get to, preferably near a T station so I can drop off or pick up as well (DH drives to work).  We need something for end of Sept/early Oct time frame, is it normal that they don't know what their enrollment will be to give us an idea of whether we have a chance for a spot or not yet? 

    I started calling just to get an idea of cost, then when I found out no one seems to have openings and can't tell if they will or not or even tell me how many are on the waiting list has been stressing me out! 

    Thanks in advance!

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from summery123. Show summery123's posts

    Re: daycare recommendations in Charlestown/Boston?

    I know how you feel. I am having the same problem! I am not looking in Boston but most places tell me there is a fee to get on the waiting list but nothing is guaranteed.
    I know there are some Bright Horizon centers in Boston although I have heard they are very expensive. You should look on the website. It gives you a list of centers and home daycares in your area. Its a good way to start your search. Apparently you need to sign up your child for daycare before you even think about having kids. Its crazy!! Good luck! It will work out!
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from jttruong76. Show jttruong76's posts

    Re: daycare recommendations in Charlestown/Boston?

    We too live in Charlestown and I work downtown so I take my daughter in everyday on the orange line or the bus. Our daycare is pretty close to Tufts Medical Center stop.

    She goes to a center daycare called Sunshine Child Care which she has been at since she was 3.5 months old -- she is nearly 1.5 now. We love it and the added bonus is that she is learning Mandarin -- and teaching us some!

    They have a fairly long waiting list because another daycare close by just went bankrupt, so all the kids are filtering over there. They are expanding starting in June, so will have more spots -- especially in the toddler and preschool room.

    I think the longest waiting list is probably for the infant room because the teacher:child ratio is higher.

    It is very normal for them to not know if they will have a spot for you until a month or even a couple of weeks before your actual start date. People's work situations and child care arrangements change all the time, so I've seen lots of kids leave the daycare with very little notice, hence a spot opening up quickly... then a lot of people on the waiting list change their minds about daycare or get accepted into a different program.

    Anyway, their website is here if you want to check it out:

    We also checked out the Wang YMCA when we were looking for a place. Buds and Blossoms in Chinatown is also supposed to be good, but they teach in Mandarin only whereas Sunshine is bilingual.

    All of the above options are much cheaper than Bright Horizons -- you are right, it is a mortgage payment and I'm not convinced the teachers there are better than anywhere else that I've seen.

    Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: daycare recommendations in Charlestown/Boston?

    I know this doesn't directly answer your question, but I know that Charlestown has a great mother's group, they might be a good resource?  Also, I know a few people who are in Charlestown who went the nanny-share route...I think you can find info on that on Sitter City? 

    Daycare in general in Boston is RIDICULOUS.  My DD is in a center in Allston 3 days a week and it's $90/day. 
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: daycare recommendations in Charlestown/Boston?

    Have you tried home daycares? When I was calling around the centers were crazy expensive -- $23K a year or something -- but the home daycares were around $50-$60/day. I
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from wedoct09. Show wedoct09's posts

    Re: daycare recommendations in Charlestown/Boston?

    Thanks Jttruong, I will have to look into Sunshine.  

    Luv, I just heard about the Charlestown mothers group last week so I joined the other day.  Just waiting for access to their website.  

    Lemon, I haven't looked into home daycares yet.  I was leaning toward a center, for no real reason though so home daycares are next on my list!  

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: daycare recommendations in Charlestown/Boston?

    We ended up going with a babysitter because my husband works freelance so it would have cost more to pay for all the time he isn't working, but our second choice would have been a home daycare. The ones near us are run by really loving older women and we see them at the park with their kids a lot. It just seems like a really loving environment for a baby, more like a family environment.

    The drawback with home daycares is that they take vacations on your dime -- the ones we looked at took two weeks and had 3 personal days per year. I thought that was crazy when I heard it but I've since learned that it's actually really reasonable.

    Their contracts usually have really strict stipulations about pick up and drop off times and conditions, but when I talked to the women on the phone they were much more flexible.

    You can look up home daycares here

    We found out about the two best ones in our area through word-of-mouth.

    You can also look on sittercity or if you decide to hire a sitter or nanny. We advertised on sittercity when we thought our babysitter was taking a leave and got great responses. Some charged by the hour, others by the day or week.

    Our first sitter when I went back to work was a SAHM with a baby around the same age, but she retired when she had her second.  We found our current babysitter on craigslist -- she is also a  stay-at-home mom with a little boy a bit older than our daughter, and she just had another baby 6 months ago. She's amazing -- a former preschool teacher who ran a 10-child daycare. She wants to stay at home with her boys, but she misses the work and of course the income as well. She's very dedicated. And we got a lot of responses on craigslist as well. Sure, a few were about hot sl*ts in our area, but most were sincere and sounded really qualified. So if you do get wait-listed at the center of your choice, you could consider going with a sitter for the first few months.
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: daycare recommendations in Charlestown/Boston?

    Hi Wed,
    Sorry I can't be too helpful, but just wanted to share my experience.  I was due in February, needed daycare starting in May, and started calling home daycares in November.  They either told me they wouldn't have an opening or to call back in February because they weren't sure.  I'm not sure how centers work, but it seems normal to me that they wouldn't know yet.  I too wanted to have daycare all set well in advance... Now I'm going back to work in ~5 weeks and just started visiting!  You certainly don't have to go that route, but know that it does work out.  I have a good feeling about the one I'm going to next Tuesday.  Good luck!!
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: daycare recommendations in Charlestown/Boston?

    I think it depends on the center, mine guaranteed my spot before DD was born and she didn't start there until she was 5+ mths.  I live in the burbs though so that may be the diff