Now that we've ventured into the second trimester, I felt more comfortable with looking into child care for Baby S (I also think I need transition names since Maybe Baby doesn't feel appropriate anymore since he/she is becoming more and more real with every passing week).
The pregnancy checklists that I have seen say that right now is a good time to start looking. I have heard, however, that in the Twin Cities, daycare is at a premium and maybe we should have starting looking sooner. Turns out we may be a little late to the party.
Mark talked to one of his clients who owns several daycare centers in southern Minnesota (unfortunately none in the Metro) to get some pointers from an expert. What she said generally echoed what Mark and I had already talked about ourselves. In-Home vs. Center. Each has its own pros and cons. Centers are more expensive, and can sometimes feel impersonal. In-Home is less expensive and is VERY personal. Some of our friends and coworkers have had not-so-great experiences with in-home, and we liked the convenience and the educational programs that many centers offer.
We decided on 3 centers that are close to our house. It was recommended to us to "sneak attack" - just show up without an appointment so that you get a feel for what the place is really like. That gets a little complicated when each center has a code to get in to keep out the creepers. Each place was very accommodating and each had its own pros and cons. One I liked more than the others, one all of the kids seemed very happy, one they separated the kids in rooms by age (much more than the others), keeping each group small, one just felt "right". To the complete shock of my husband I whipped out the checkbook and put down our deposit.
Here's why I said we might be late to the party. The center has an opening next year, but not until May 1st. We need an earlier opening. Unfortunately since I will not be giving birth, I do no qualify for disability, meaning that my leave is unpaid unless I use vacation and whatever my company offers for family leave (six weeks). Also unfortunate is that we spent all of our readily accessible savings just creating Baby S, so unpaid leave isn't an option. Thankfully we get a week of backup daycare, the center may be able to accommodate us a little earlier, and both sets of parents would be able to fill in some time. Covered, but a lot of coordinating.
Daycare favors the fertile. Apparently we should have booked an opening the minute we found out that we were pregnant, or even when we decided to start trying. I think I speak for the 1 in 8 couples who experiences infertility when I say that it RIDICULOUS!
Also RIDICULOUS is how much daycare is going to cost us. I thought just creating Baby S was expensive.....now I know why people with kids are always broke.
Average Weekly Cost of Child CareBelow are some average ranges of weekly child care costs in Minnesota as of June 2015. Rates for part-time and drop-in care may be higher than those listed below.
|Metro||Centers||Family Child Care|
|Out state||Centers||Family Child Care|
|Statewide||Centers||Family Child Care|