Which childcare to choose?

Returning to the paid workforce, study or just going out for the night. Discuss issues related to leaving your baby with a carer here
joanium
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Which childcare to choose?

Post by joanium » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:32 pm

I am in the miraculous position of having two childcares offering me places for my baby, who will be 6 months old when she goes to childcare three days a week.

I'm not sure which childcare to choose -- would love your thoughts.

Childcare A is 650 metres from work and also on the way to work for hubby. I hope to go in twice a day to breastfeed, although my work is very busy so I don't know if I'm over-optimistic about this. The nursery has 10 children. It is $118/day. Very professional and organised, although I didn't get a warm feeling from it. I was offered a few 30 minute orientations to get baby comfortable with the centre.

Childcare B is 150 metres from home. I wouldn't be able to breastfeed my baby during work day due to its distance from work. The centre seems relaxed and family-like, a bit disorganised (lost my original form, forgot my tour appointment!). It is $97/day. The nursery has 15 children. There is a small risk that my baby will be asked to leave to accommodate children of the people who work for the host organisation. I was offered up to 4 weeks to spend an hour day at the centre to orientate my baby.

The ideal situation, of course, would be for Childcare B to be at Childcare A's location so that I can feed during the day. But being 150m from home is not to be sneezed at either!

I've never expressed in any serious way before (just 50mL a day to build up an emergency stash). I guess I worry that I won't be good at expressing, and also about how I can get away in the thick of deadlines to feed baby if I were at Childcare A.

All thoughts and questions appreciated!

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Mummy woo!
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Re: Which childcare to choose?

Post by Mummy woo! » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:45 pm

How far is work from home?

The place near home sounds better because it will happen that you are sick (probably something you catch from the baby :roll: ) and are staying home from work while bubs goes to childcare. It would suck to have to drive in to work to drop baby off. But you said Dad works nearby too, so maybe that won't be an issue for you.

Honestly, the place near home sounds better because you thought they were a bit more warm and family-like. We have been with a small community-run child care centre since Oobiwoo was 9 months old. We started at a glossy business-like place when he was seven months old (no choice, it was the only one that offered us a place) and after two months I was ringing around in desperation when we got very lucky.

Tough call though, that chance of being bumped out for an employee is a big risk to take. Is your work flexible if you all of a sudden need to change your days?

On the expressing and feeding thing, if your work is flexible and would allow you to work from home you could go in for the morning, head to Centre B for a feed and lunch together, then work from home in the afternoon (or vice versa). You didn't say what you do for a living though - hard to be a nurse or work in a shop from home!
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joanium
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Re: Which childcare to choose?

Post by joanium » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:00 pm

Mummy woo, thanks for the quick reply! I'm an engineer with lots of meetings and deadlines so if I get a morning or afternoon without a deadline, perhaps I can work from home as you've suggested. Home is about 25 mins from work by public transport.

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fellare
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Re: Which childcare to choose?

Post by fellare » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:02 pm

Can you go with one and change if it doesn't work out?
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joanium
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Re: Which childcare to choose?

Post by joanium » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:11 pm

Fellare, I'm not sure how the waiting lists work. I guess I could go with one and tell the other that my arrangements have changed and I'd like care in, say November. That's probably a good strategy whichever childcare we choose! Because in November, I could look at how things are and make the switch if needed. Great idea :)

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Esther
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Re: Which childcare to choose?

Post by Esther » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:40 pm

My only advice with cc is go with your gut. Mummy instincts are pretty strong. You'll know the right one for you. If things change, your LO will be older, with perhaps more possibilities for care.

Good luck. It's hard....
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MamaMagoO?
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Re: Which childcare to choose?

Post by MamaMagoO? » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:20 pm

My personal experience was that I really wanted DS to go to the childcare at my work both because I wanted to be able to BF during the day and it also had a really nice feel about it. But I didn't get a place... Well I was offered one just after I was made redundant so I didn't take it,

Instead I had no choice but to send him to the newly opened, really swish/professional one close to my house. However I have to say that although it didn't have the same feeling of warmth overall the carers there were absolutely lovely. Over the 2 years he was there I had a couple of issues with the management (which kept changing) but I never once felt worried about the level of care DS was receiving from the wonderful carers.

As has been mentioned previously I really did appreciate being able to drop DS off on the occasion I was sick but he was well then go back home to bed. It was also really handy when we were moving house. And one of the other kids from my mothers group was also there so it was nice having a friend. I also found I kind of appreciated having some time between drop off and starting work... Although the other side of that was I hated how long it took to get to the CCC to pick him up at the end of the day.

I also found expressing at work a lot easier than I did at home.

So I guess what I'm saying is that on the one hand the more impersonal/professional CCCs can actually be lovely in spite of their slickness but also there are some nice things about having child care close to home.

It is a difficult decision. All the best xx
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Yankee
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Re: Which childcare to choose?

Post by Yankee » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:42 am

I agree that I think the more important feeling is how you get in with the carers in the room, rather than the management. Both can cause problems of course, but the room carers are the ones who will have a personal relationship with your baby.

As someone with childcare near work, personally I think it's the better option. It's faster to go get them when they're sick or need you, and personally I have found it very rewarding to be able to bf during work hours. Even if you can't get there every time, I really enjoy having the quiet time with my baby during work hours. It has also meant I've been able to see the carers at work (they have a bf chair in the room).

Not an easy decision to make. I also applied to two places and one felt more corporate, but I was only offered one place. Good luck deciding!
DD born September 2013

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Penguin
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Re: Which childcare to choose?

Post by Penguin » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:06 pm

Our dd was initially in a centre near my work - ok when I was dropping off and picking up, but if I was sick or having a study day, it was an hour round trip in the morning and another hour in the afternoon to pick her up (20 min drive home to work) not sure how far your home is from work. We ended up moving her due to location but also because the centre was rubbish. Closer to home is better for us.

How old is bub? How often will you need to feed/ pump?
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Ducks
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Re: Which childcare to choose?

Post by Ducks » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:06 pm

We went with close to home. We had a few choices in the area and i wanted to meet people that live nearby for playdates etc. Not important at your bub's young age but as they get older it is. Also my son now Has af few friends that are likely to go to school with him too. I know friendships are fluid at this age but familiarity is good.
I also catch public transport to work. It takes me about 40min to get home if I need to do a pick up of sick kid in the middle of the day, which is a bit stressful but is much quicker at peak hour when there are more trains.
My dh also works in the cbd. We could have picked an innercity centre but they don't have the huge outdoor area of the cc that we ended up choosing. Also taking tired grumpy kids on crowded public transportdidn't appeal to me...

Those are some of the things we thought about when making a similar decision.
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joanium
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Re: Which childcare to choose?

Post by joanium » Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:10 pm

Thanks everyone! It was really helpful to go through all the things you've suggested. I've ended up with Childcare B (close to home). I flip flopped for two days, and almost made the call to confirm Childcare A a few times. But in a moment of clarity, I realised that my work days are likely to be so packed that I wouldn't be able to visit Mia as regularly as I'd want. And I'd feel guilty and conflicted every day trying to work out if I go to feed Mia or reschedule a meeting (or push a deadline out).

This article made me realise what my days might feel like -- http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/life-st ... 3b5bx.html

And although my work has very parent-friendly policies, there are quite a few old school people in management who I work with, and the sad truth is that they would see me missing meetings and draw conclusions about my commitment.

So I'm going to buy a very good pump for work, and between 8:30 and 5:00, be the model worker that I always was, then leave at 5:00 on the dot to pick my baby up.

There are other advantages to Childcare B -- no need to carry baby on public transport in peak hour (which I'll appreciate on rainy days) and I could work from home sometimes and still go in to feed her. Ducks, your point about meeting people in the area for playdates is a great one too! The best thing, though, is that Childcare B has encouraged me to come in every day for an hour over the next three weeks to get my baby settled in. It's so close that it's like I now have an extra large living room to go to play with her.

joanium
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Re: Which childcare to choose?

Post by joanium » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:06 am

My baby started at childcare three weeks ago.

I naively expected her to handle it well because she's a relaxed baby but the first day was a shock. She cried, didn't eat, didn't sleep. I picked her up five hours later (as planned).

She is a bit better now. She has half the milk and half the naps that she would at home so is exhausted when I pick her up. She does smile and play, though, which is some consolation. The lack of sleep does worry me. She cries at home and is unhappy at her swimming lessons the next day (too tired).

She was also sick all of last week, and now I'm at home sick as well instead of at work.

Sigh.

I found a family day care around 15 minutes away. I live in the city so the FDC is in an apartment. It doesn't have outdoor space but perhaps it would be a better environment because she will have the one carer and there won't be as many sick babies around. Has anyone got any experience of FDC versus childcare?

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Yankee
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Re: Which childcare to choose?

Post by Yankee » Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:15 pm

Don't know about FDC, but big hugs for getting through the first two weeks. Being sick certainly doesn't help!

I found DD was really worn out at first too, it's a lot of stimulation to take in, new people, new toys, new surroundings. But hopefully things will settle down as it becomes a more familiar environment.
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joanium
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Re: Which childcare to choose?

Post by joanium » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:05 pm

Thanks Yankee. I hope she does settle in. I hate being tired myself and just feel guilty whenever she misses her naps.

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michansam
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Re: Which childcare to choose?

Post by michansam » Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:48 am

What did you decide? How has your daughter settled now?
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