Daycare Question

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

    Daycare Question

    I know there have been lots of posts in the past about how to choose a daycare, etc.  But I have a slightly different question.  I have an hour long drive to work and am trying to decide whether it is better to select a daycare that is closer to home, somewhere in the middle, or closer to work.  I can see lots of pros/cons for anyone of these reasons.  DH and I share the first 20 minutes of my commute, so something closer to home and upto about the half way point he could help with drop-off/pick-up. But, something closer to home would need to have longer hours to account for the driving time and there is always the potential I'd get stuck in traffic.  (I would most likely take pick-up, and therefore traffic would matter more than it would in the morning).  Something close to work has the benefit of only needing essentially the hours I work, and I wouldn't have to worry so much about traffic.  But, I would have the baby in the car for an hour each way and that could be miserable depending on how well he/she tolerates traveling.  Also, DH wouldn't be able to help.  The other thing about something close to work is that if I ever got transferred or changed jobs I would need to find a new daycare.  (though the same could be said for close to home if we move)

    What have been other's experiences?  Am I over thinking this?  Do the extra time/traffic concerns outweigh the potential that I'll have a baby who hates the car seat?  Will the traveling grow on the baby the same way the commute grew on me?  Is the half-way point a good compromise?  Half the traffic concern, half the commute time, and if we moved/transferred it would probably still be convenient? 
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Re: Daycare Question

    Ours is closer to home.  I would rule out closer to work because there may be days that you are not working but the baby still needs to go to daycare.  The set up we have works out well where I work early hours and DH works a little later.  He does the drop off and I do the pick up, its perfect for us.  I can't imagine being the sole person in charge of daycare, its stressful so if there is an option where your husband could help that's the one I would recommend.

    As far as the commute with the baby I can really only comment on the drive home part.  Both DD and DS need downtime in the evenings, DS doses in the car and DD relax and looks out the window.  By the time we get home they are both refreshed and ready to play.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Daycare Question

    I'm just now researching options, so can't speak from experience.  But one thing that narrowed for me was price.  I work in Boston and live 35 miles north of town.  Boston centers were almost double the price with 7-8 month waiting lists.  So that basically took those off the table.  We are now only looking at centers about 15 minutes from the house and as close to the commute as possible.  I totally agree with an item KT mentions above, there will be days that you are not working that LO will go to daycare (from what I gather you pay for all days, regardless of holidays or sick days... so if you are paying, you will want to be using!!).  Good luck.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Daycare Question

    Yes, I'd say if you were sick, if childcare was close to home you could bring baby to childcare and go home - and believe me, you'll want that flexibility! 

    I'd also see if you could go in earlier and have your husband be the exclusive (90% of the time) drop-off person, wihle you go directly to work and therefore (in theory) can leave a wee bit earlier so you won't have to panic about getting to childcare on time.

    You'll have to see what hours the centers and family childcare providers close to your home - if they all close at 5:30pm you won't be able to choose them, because that's unrealistic with a 1 hour commute unless you can actually leave by 4pm every day (probably not).

    So the hours of the childcare will be a factor in choosing, too.

    You may find that family childcare providers are more flexible with their hours than a childcare center.  A center is NOT FLEXIBLE with their hours, but SOME family childcare providers can be a wee bit because they are in their homes.  Others cannot be, however, because they find it cuts into their private family time too much. 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from LiveLoveLearnEnjoy. Show LiveLoveLearnEnjoy's posts

    Re: Daycare Question

    We had this dilemma as well and we do what KT does.  I go in early to work and DH does the dropoff and then I do the pick up.

    The way I looked at it regarding closer to work or home was that I would rather DS be playing at daycare for the 45 minutes it takes me to drive from work to pick him up then sitting in the car with me.  Plus I don't want to be solely responsible if DS gets sick...so I would also second picking a daycare where DH can help out. 

    Good luck!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from neda88. Show neda88's posts

    Re: Daycare Question

    We had the same issue and started out with a daycare that was "in between."  It had the added benefit of being closer to my parents so they could be my back-up if I needed it.  In the end, the 25-30 minutes in the car at the end of the day proved to be just too much for DS (and me).  He either screamed his head off (so relaxing at the end of a long day) or fell asleep which then threw off bed time routines.  Two months ago a new daycare opened near our house and we moved him at 10 months.  I have to say that it has been much easier for all of us.  Although with summer ending, I'm starting to stress a little bit about traffic on 93 at the end of the day. 

    To deal with the commute and the times that daycare is actually open (not to mention my own desire to actually spent some TIME with DS during the week) I negotiated a 7:30-4:00 schedule with my very staid, old-boy firm.  I'm on the phnoe the whole way up 93 and I typically go back on line after DS goes to bed, but it's working for us.  With summer traffic I've been letting the 4:00 departure slide a little bit, but in preperation for the back to school traffic, I'm holding firm to 4:00 this week.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from austengirl. Show austengirl's posts

    Re: Daycare Question

    I also agree with the closer to home. 
    1) very important to have dh help with pick up or drop off for your stress and his involvement
    2) If you get the opportunity to work from home periodically so you can attend doctor's appts, furnace servicing etc you can still get child to daycare and potentially pick them up a bit early if it is close to home.
    3) I can't imagine doing a long commute on the way home with an infant or toddler.
    4) If close to home your baby will become friends with others and you can arrange playdates for weekends.  If the DC was far away, it would be hard to do so.
    There are so many reasons you might need to switch daycare's I dont think the risk of moving (unless you know it is going to occur) is a reason to pick a location far from home. 
    Finally, when interviewing Day Cares ask about their flexibility in times.  I am at a center and when my husband travels which is 2 -3 times a year, the owner allows me to drop of ds before the center opens as he is there and willing to watch him and feed him breakfast so I can get to work on time to get out for ontime pickup. 
    If you know you have the potential for those few but possibly unique situations they might be willing to work with you and that could influence where you choose.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: Daycare Question

    Ours are close to home.  I work 15 minutes north, my husband works 30 minutes south, so for flexibilitiy in pickup/dropoff, it's near home.  I also travel to clients often so I'm not always in my office.  While there are more choices near my work, they are more expensive and I can't always be relied on to pick up/drop off 100% of the time (maybe 90%).  I agree with what everyone has posted about napping in the car/screaming etc.  Also for snow days, I can drop the kids off at their daycare and work from home.  I can walk to one of the daycares that we use (2 houses down from us). 
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Daycare Question

    Not sure I'm adding anything new, but would a day care closer to home allow your DH to do either dropoff or pickup?  For us, each doing one is key because of my commute.  I couldn't possibly work 8 hours and do dropoff and pickup on time. 
    We went with a day care closer to home so that DH doesn't have to drive passed home to do pickup.  Also, it really depends on the child, but I too was going to mention that having the baby in the car longer might throw off napping.  If DD were to fall asleep during my 45 minute ride to work, I doubt she'd keep sleeping when I dropped her off.  (She usually sleeps for at least 1 1/2 hours in the morning right after I drop her off near home.)
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from keane5050. Show keane5050's posts

    Re: Daycare Question

    I'm long past this stage but I have to say, I did the opposite of what everyone is suggesting.  I chose a day care center near work.  I felt much better having my daughter close by in case of an emergency.  Also, I was able to poke in every once in a while to check on her. 
    As she got older I would take her on a "lunch date" once a week.

    They will not be infants for very long.  As they grow you might find you really enjoy the time together on the commute. My daughter was always fine in the carseat so that helped.  We would talk and sing for the whole ride.

    In the 5 years she was in daycare I think I only had to take her in one day I wasn't working.  I had Jury Duty.  Other than that, if I was home she was home.  If I had errands to do I took her with me.  A stay at home mother would do the same.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: Daycare Question

    I am like Keane-  we started with a center closer to home, because we were on the wait list for the one affiliated with my work. but I am so glad that I switched.

    at the center closer to home, DH did drop off, and I did pick up, but it was awful trying to get down 93 every afternoon- we had a span where there was a wreck, wild fires and a bunch of other stuff and it was really stressful; and several times with snow I was really late (like an hour late). And sometimes there was just weird stuff that happened- they dropped a bottle (I breastfed) and we had to scramble to get them milk mid day. He once blew threw 3 outfits in one day, and had nothing to put on...  and when DS was sick, i could barely make the 1 hour mandatory pick up time even without traffic (e.g., call to your office, finish what you are doing, talk to boss, get to car, drive to daycare).

    He now commutes with me, and there are pluses and minuses. I have a job with a lot of hours.... so this allows me to use all of the hours that daycare has (I know that stinks and I don't love it, but right now it is necessary).  It makes it easier for me to get down to daycare with emergencies and such (out of diapers or whatever), and I have gone to see him at times.  I splurged on a comfortable car seat (Britax) and he typically sleeps in the morning and at night- which gives us more time to play once we get home and makes me feel less guilty about leaving the house so early. I also have a bag of "car toys" he only gets to see in the car for the days when he is awake which keeps him entertained. When we get to work, I park and he goes in a stroller and we walk together, which gives me a bit more time with him which I love. 

    there have been a few times where I needed to drop him at daycare when I wasn't going to work which have been annoying because of the drive in, but there have also been times when I had to pick him up at day care during the day (e.g., he had a rash but felt fine) but I needed to do a few things at work, so I could bring him back with me rather than leaving for the day.

    I think that the best advice I can offer is the following:
    (1) when I picked initially, I felt I was making a decision for like 5 years. but you aren't and don't have to. if whatever you choose is really terrible then you just change. Although transitions can be hard for kids, if they aren't happy, transitions can be good.
    (2) all kids are different and you just have to wait and see (loves being in the car or doesn't)
    (3) everything may change (moving, job changes, etc.)- so you can't really plan for that- think in 6 month increments.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Daycare Question

    I don't have DD in daycare yet, but that is definitely down the line for us... I'm thinking of it as, I want her daycare to be close to someone.  We will probably choose it to be close to home because DH currently works at home every day and could easily go get her if need be.  But if he didn't, I would want the daycare to be close to one of us at work.  If daycare called with an emergency, I wouldn't want DD to have to wait long for one of us to get there.  But then there is definitely the issue of the long car trip home... so I guess I would choose something close to one of us, but on the way home. 
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostongrl. Show bostongrl's posts

    Re: Daycare Question

    Thanks everyone for the posts!  I called a bunch of places yesterday and started getting calls back yesterday evening and today.  I've set up interviews with one near home, one near work, and 2 in the middle.  I got really good vibes from all the ladies I talked with.  I guess the next step is actually driving to the houses, meeting the providers, and getting the vibe of the places. 

    I paniced yesterday because about half the numbers I called (I had gotten a list from the state website) were either full, had no infant openings, were now closed, or didn't speak english.  There were also 2 that listed later pick up times (6:30) but then told me that pickup was really 4:30.  So I left messages on more than a dozen answering machines, and thankfully got a handful of calls back.  The one I'm interviewing that is near home caters to the medical personell who live in our area and is totally use to super weird hours and actually has kids stay until 8pm some nights (mom works the 7-7 shift) so she wasn't weirded out at all by possible commuting nightmares, etc.  This alone made me feel so much better.  There is at least one viable option near home.  I was so afraid I wasn't going to find any options near home.

    I totally hear everyone on the pros of being near home, but knowing that some have successfully commuted with their LOs also makes me feel better.  And it is an excellent point that you can always change the plan.  Planning for 6 month intervals is a really good way of looking at it that I had not considered before.  I will try to put my need to plan everything aside for a few moments and interview with an open mind :o)

    Thanks!!
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Daycare Question

    Yes, we have many parents who commute with their child and therefore are close to their child during the day.  Many mothers nurse their baby once a day, and we've had numerous fathers who come to visit (either feed the baby, or just visit) every day or at least a few times/week.  These parents love having their child close to their workplace. Also, you're right, in an emergency you can be very close to your child, and get there quicker than driving up 93.  (although in a true, true emergency we're calling 911 and the ambulance and paramedics will make a final decision about care)  Most babies are fine in a carseat, although there are those children who get carsick (young babies who end up being carsick as toddlers/preschoolers just CRY CRY CRY in the carseat as infants).  And, yes, it does mess with sleep times, but that's just factored into the bedtime routine and the time the baby goes down.

    It can all work - it's just different in how it works for different people.
     
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