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Author Topic: Childcare: ARGH!  (Read 4966 times) Average Rating: 0
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EofK
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« on: August 08, 2008, 04:28:14 PM »

Mr. Y and I are having a horrible time with childcare right now.  Our daughter Caitlin has been going to the daycare at my work and we've had trouble with it since she started.  Our first caregiver thought she was too fussy and complained about her crying all day unless she was being held.  We haven't seen this happen at home unless she was sick or hurt, and we've since theorized that Caitlin is getting overwhelmed with having other kids around.  Our second caregiver there is wonderful and she's trying so hard to help Caitlin adjust to other kids but the director of the program is pressuring her to terminate our care or force us to drop back down to part time care (which we can't because we're both working full time).  At best we have two more weeks as a "trial period" to see if Caitlin adjusts or we'll be discharged. 

First of all, I know it's perfectly in the daycare's rights to terminate her if she's creating a stressful environment for the sitter and the other kids.  However, I don't feel that they've done very much (until our second sitter) to help Caitlin.  She's a 9 month old baby who is at the peak of teething and separation anxiety.  Of course she's going to be fussy!  We've implemented every suggestion they've given us and we still hear that she's fussy all day. 

Second, I hate having to track down more childcare.  It's so hard to find a good facility or private sitter who is competent and yet not too expensive.  If I could afford to pay $1000 a month for daycare I would be doing well enough that I wouldn't need daycare.  Furthermore, the affordable places tend to be... well... less than desirable accomodations.

Any suggestions? 
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2008, 04:39:45 PM »

Mr. Y and I are having a horrible time with childcare right now.  Our daughter Caitlin has been going to the daycare at my work and we've had trouble with it since she started.  Our first caregiver thought she was too fussy and complained about her crying all day unless she was being held.  We haven't seen this happen at home unless she was sick or hurt, and we've since theorized that Caitlin is getting overwhelmed with having other kids around.  Our second caregiver there is wonderful and she's trying so hard to help Caitlin adjust to other kids but the director of the program is pressuring her to terminate our care or force us to drop back down to part time care (which we can't because we're both working full time).  At best we have two more weeks as a "trial period" to see if Caitlin adjusts or we'll be discharged. 

First of all, I know it's perfectly in the daycare's rights to terminate her if she's creating a stressful environment for the sitter and the other kids.  However, I don't feel that they've done very much (until our second sitter) to help Caitlin.  She's a 9 month old baby who is at the peak of teething and separation anxiety.  Of course she's going to be fussy!  We've implemented every suggestion they've given us and we still hear that she's fussy all day. 

Second, I hate having to track down more childcare.  It's so hard to find a good facility or private sitter who is competent and yet not too expensive.  If I could afford to pay $1000 a month for daycare I would be doing well enough that I wouldn't need daycare.  Furthermore, the affordable places tend to be... well... less than desirable accomodations.

Any suggestions? 

Emigrate to Europe... Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2008, 05:17:07 PM »

Emigrate to Europe...

 Grin

Any suggestions? 

Begin a home-based business that provides quality, affordable childcare?
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2008, 05:23:08 PM »

What advice are they giving you to implement at home?
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2008, 05:30:11 PM »

I would try taking an entire day off from work between you and Mr. Y and to each spend half the day with your daughter at care. You know her better than anyone else. Maybe there is a noise, a kid or something else that is causing her to act this way. The only way to know is for you to go and check it out. She may need to be "re-introduced" to the caregivers. And to see what her cues are for fussiness you need to see what her day is like. Go as an observer, have them do all the diaper changes and feedings if possible. But be sure to have her go off on her own after awhile.

After a full day with her then spend a half day the next day and then on the third day drop her off later and pick her up a bit earlier. Then thereafter do your normal schedule.

Some kids are just fussy when not around their parents. My kids don't allow other people to watch them for the first several years of life. The only option for us would be an in-home caregiver/nanny if we were to do care at all. The younger ones are marginally better when around out eldest when they are babysat, but our eldest wouldn't have anyone care for her before she was about 3-4.
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2008, 05:39:59 PM »

And any care center worth anything will have no problem with you doing what I suggest above.

What is the ratio there? Anything over 3:1 is too high and would cause any of my kids to have a virtual panic attack. My kids have SPD and large groups of people cause them to freak out. So there is the possiblity that she has something different on a neurological level that doesn't allow her to be around large groups without panic. Those types of kids feel marginally better when around there parents, in a complete panic when they are not. A good clue would be if anytime she is not in large groups and with you she pulls out and is curious about everything around her. But when in large groups even with you she tends to pull in closer to you, hide her head and pull away from others. And it takes hours if at all for her to adapt to the crowd. Liturgy or church in general would be exempt from this, as the comfort level is completely different.
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2008, 05:46:05 PM »

http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/SPD-symptom-checklist-for-infants-and-toddlers.html

http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/child-developmental-checklist.html
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EofK
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2008, 10:12:47 PM »

Emigrate to Europe... Smiley

I wish!  I envy countries who give working mothers a full year off for maternity leave.  I took my full leave... 12 weeks.
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2008, 10:27:50 PM »

In this era of 2 income households, Option 1 is to see if one of you can work and the other one become a stay at home parent with or without a business to replace the income from employment.  Option 2 is grandparent day care if the grandparents are up for the task (aka live nearby )- both of you being in the 20's, your parents can't be that old.   Wink  Option 3, Caitlin misses the cats???

My now 3 year old son took well to day care although he usually keeps to himself and performs what is asked of him.  I was thrown out of daycare after a week so my example may not apply....
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2008, 10:33:28 PM »

I'm wondering too if you couldn't be a stay-at-home mother? My mother worked before her marriage, but after that she stayed at home to raise all of us children. My father was the  sole breadwinner of the family. Granted, we lived very simply. No fancy extras and my mother made our clothing and had a large garden and did a lot of food preservation. If I had the chance to be married and have children, I know I wouldn't want it any other way-even if it meant scrimping and living in extreme frugality.
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2008, 10:37:00 PM »

Quinault,
Our daycare gave us several suggestions.  They suggested we should put Caitlin down for the night while she's still awake so she'll learn to self-calm (and she does this... I admit, I do rock her to sleep often but she's capable of calming herself to sleep).  They suggested that we work on getting her more mobile so she can entertain herself (which she is doing very well... she's a little too mobile sometimes).  They've also tried separating her from the three other kids to help her when she gets overwhelmed with the noise and that seemed to help, but I'm afraid her first sitter just put her in the bouncy seat to separate her and left her there for who knows how long.  The first sitter we had with this daycare was not very good at communicating with us and she would just say, "Caitlin had a bad day today," or would write "Caitlin enjoyed playing in the bouncy chair" on her daily log.  I imagine she did enjoy it for the first 30 minutes.  Anyway, I'm also trying to give her the most regular schedule I possibly can with my chaotic work schedule.  

Since she is our firstborn and not often around other kids, we do suspect that it's just too much for her right now.  She'll eventually grow out of that and will be ok playing in groups, but we may have to look for someone with just one another child until she gets used to other kids.  The ratio for infant care in Missouri is 4:1 and you'd be hard-pressed to find a daycare that keeps fewer than that, and mostly just to afford to keep their doors open.  

I'll consider your suggestion of spending time at daycare with her... I really should have done that when I was working part time and could take a day off with no problems.  Of course, the whole point might become moot soon anyway... I've applied for several different jobs away from the hospital and this daycare is only available for hospital employees so it's likely we'll be finding a new daycare anyway.
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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2008, 10:45:17 PM »

What I wouldn't give to stay at home with her!  Unfortunately, it's not feasible financially right now.  I started working full time again so we could get a few bills paid off faster and then I can reconsider going part time again, but since I carry our insurance, it's not likely I'll be staying home. 

As far as grandparents go, Mr. Y's parents both work full time and my parents are 130 miles away. 

I definitely think she's missing the cats, SolEx.  Tongue   laugh
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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2008, 10:52:15 PM »

If the first caregiver did isolate her when she was fussy she is likely still pretty scared by that at this point. Kid, even at a young age have such looooonnnnggggg memories for that sort of thing.
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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2008, 10:57:02 PM »

Suprisingly few people know that there are "scholarships" available at a good number of the "upscale" childcare centers. You might want to investigate that.
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« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2008, 11:00:46 PM »

Are there any stay at home moms/wives in your parish you could ask to do in-home care for you? You could fufill a need for both of you.
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« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2008, 11:28:59 PM »

Suprisingly few people know that there are "scholarships" available at a good number of the "upscale" childcare centers. You might want to investigate that.

This is true, and one daycare we're looking at tomorrow is likely to have that.  I'll definitely ask. 
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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2008, 11:36:00 PM »

Are there any stay at home moms/wives in your parish you could ask to do in-home care for you? You could fufill a need for both of you.

There is one I can think of, but she has four kids and one is her own 6 week old.  I'll ask around, though, and see if there's anyone who would be interested.  I appreciate the ideas, thanks!  I'm starting to feel a little better about having choices.  It's just scary to potentially have two weeks left of daycare and then we're on our own.
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« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2008, 11:42:22 PM »

Once you hit child #2 adding more kids really isn't a big deal. In many ways 1 kid is harder than 2 or more kids. Older kids can be a tremendous help. My morning job used to be taking care of 10 kids (all between 1-5 years of age, most of them were 2) by myself for 2-3 hours.

Don't feel like you have the worst behaved child on the planet. I would say that it could very well be that the caregivers she has are not really "into" their jobs. Part of the joy in working with under 1 year olds is that they are cuddly. I sometimes miss my years in childcare working with other people's children. And if your babe doesn't feel loved by her caregiver, she won't feel safe.
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« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2008, 11:51:37 PM »

^Yeah... I feel like they have her pegged all wrong.  I have heard her screaming in the background when they call, but she is *never* like that at home.  The one time she was really fussy and screaming was when she had her first ear infection and the second was when she had two teeth break through at the same time.  She's such an easygoing baby for everyone when she's on her own, but with other kids I think she just gets startled easily and doesn't know how to interact with kids.  I don't want to be one of those parents who thinks their child is a perfect angel despite all contrary evidence, but when she's so sweet for everyone but her sitter I am inclined to believe there's something wrong with the environment and not Caitlin.
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2008, 09:07:32 AM »

I wish!  I envy countries who give working mothers a full year off for maternity leave.  I took my full leave... 12 weeks.

I am glad you did not take my idea of emgration to Europe as an offense. I said it "half-jokingly." In reality, European countries provide all those wonderful services only to their citizens, and it is very difficult for a foreigner to become a citizen (in UK, I understand, it's next to impossible).
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« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2008, 09:21:01 AM »

^Not at all.  I bet it is hard to be naturalized in the UK.  Maybe I could claim asylum from childcare costs.   laugh
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« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2008, 04:55:24 PM »

EofK, you could try to become Canadian - we get 1 year of maternity leave, that is partially paid too (although if you are self-employed you are out of luck) from our employment insurance. The pay isn't much, but better than nothing! With my first though it wasn't quite enough financially and so I had to go back to work when my son was 9 months old. Again, still better than your situation. And many bosses, even if they are legally supposed to find you work again when your leave is up, sure try to make your feel like dirt (and will occasionally "write" your job description out of existence)

You would, however, run into a problem finding childcare. We do have some very good quality daycare, but it's expensive and very hard to get (2 year waiting lists - you have to sign them up upon conception and even then it's not good enough - and they won't let you sign up pre-conception!). Most licensed facilities in our area cost about $1100-$1200/month for a child Caitlin's age. That said, those with low income can usually access a government subsidy. If you are middle class though forget it.

We're currently in a panic trying to find temporary childcare until my mother-in-law (hopefully) can come for a few months from overseas (and then after that we're back to scrambling for more childcare). But where I live, most people who provide home-based childcare cram 5-7 kids in a tiny apartment, and I've never been too impressed with the safety standards I've seen either (most don't bother to get licensed, although by law they are supposed to if they have that many kids, but with daycare at such a shortage they can do what they want). Maybe I'm a tad paranoid, but I read a lot and I'm a teacher so safety is pretty ingrained. The other worry is cognitive development. I always found my eldest to just leap ahead exponentially in the cognitive realm when I was able to be home for a week or two on holidays (he was always in home-based care - it's what we could find plus they opened up early enough for me to get to work - most institutional centres have ridiculously limited hours). Anway, it got to the point where I decided the leaps weren't coincidental.

As for me, based on our housing situation we could never be insured to run daycare from our home because we, for instance, don't have a bathroom on the floor the children would be cared on (sounds strange but it's a multi split-level townhome - the tiny bathroom has its own floor). I think a yard isn't necessary though. If you ever decide to run daycare yourself, really do your homework with all the licensing requirements etc. They can be quite detailed, right down to the hight of railings etc. etc. And while I'm sure many people avoid bothering with the (major) expense of insurance connected to childcare, that could really get them into a whole lotta trouble, so seriously consider it, especially in the litigation-mad U.S. (sorry - don't mean to stereotype, and I know litigation definitely has it's place, but sometimes it seems pretty outrageous down there).

Anyway, EofK, I feel your pain - you're are stuck between a rock and a hard place and it's just awful! The worst is if you are in a job where you cannot choose your holiday time! If you can, then you can use up all of your holiday time in a pinch if you're between caregivers, but if you can't and something doesn't work out with caregivers, it's a disaster!

kmm

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« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2008, 04:46:44 PM »

^There do seem to be some advantages and disadvantages no matter where you go.  We have two interviews this week with two different home care people so hopefully one of those will work out.  I've thought about staying home and watching a couple of other kids from church but keeping insured is our major problem.  I don't know, I might be able to work something out eventually since I'm a Pampered Chef consultant but right now our business isn't built up to a level that I could work from home and still carry insurance.  For now, I think we'll just try to find a private sitter with few children.

Incidentally, it wouldn't be the first time I've considered moving to Canada.  I've been to Winnipeg several times and if there was another city I'd call home, that would be the one.
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« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2008, 12:15:33 AM »

My daughter works in a childcare/pre-school place.  She was the "head teacher" of the infant room (6 weeks to 12 months) and is currently the "head teacher" in the toddler room (13 months to 2 years).  Based on the variety of stories she has conveyed over the last 3 years, I would say that...

...what you are describing is not your daughter's problem but that of the child care providers (IMHO).  They are not giving your daughter the necessary attention and coo-ing love she needs to be acclimated to her new surroundings.  As a first born, she is not used to the cacophony of noise that bunches of little munchkins make in any given moment.  They need to help her adjust.

If it is at all possible, pop in on the daycare during one of your breaks...unannounced.  See if you can observe them without them being aware.  Then you will get a good sense of what is going on.

Make sure that she has a dry diaper on when you pick her up. Is her little bottom red and sore?  Any chaffing around the leg openings? They may not be changing her enough or even properly.   

Do you provide her food?  Is it all eaten?  If not, perhaps they are not feeding her enough?

The daily log my DD needs to fill in is broken down into multiple segments for each day.  Each diaper change, food intake etc. is documented.  If this is not occurring at your DD's daycare, I would purchase a little notebook and ask them to document what happens in 2 hour segments. 

My DD must produce a quarterly "report card" on the child's achievements in development (even for the infants!).  What are the child care workers "teaching" your daughter?  Do they play with her?  Teach her the colors?  How to giggle and laugh?  How to pick up various toys?  Strengthen her legs?  Play 'sit up' with her?

I think your idea of finding another child care situation is right on the mark.  Too bad you don't have a friend, neighbor or church member who would be willing to do child care for you two days a week or something, that way your little sweetie-pie would only be in child care setting three days a week.

Hang in there.  Do not give up.  Defend your little pumpkin.  She can't defend herself.  And kick the child care worker in the shins...she's not living up to her job requirements.   Wink

In Christ, Trudy
(Mom to 2 adults kids, formerly did childcare in my home)
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« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2008, 09:18:51 AM »

And kick the child care worker in the shins...she's not living up to her job requirements.   Wink

This is my favorite part.  Grin

In all seriousness, though, I think you're right on the mark with her being scared of all the noise.  Caitlin startles easily and with her being already freaked out with separation anxiety, the littlest thing can set her off.

Her basic needs have always been met there and our current temporary sitter is wonderful with her, but the first sitter she had through daycare didn't seem to care much about actually interacting with Caitlin.  We had daily log sheets filled out with diaper changes and feedings and even Tylenol given in what dose and what time but as far as communicating her progress, all we would hear was "she enjoyed floor time" or "she enjoyed playing with toys."  When she had a really bad day in which she'd cry all day, our former sitter would tell us she was "a little fussy" without telling us any details.  I just chalked it up to teething and separation anxiety until the sitter practically had a nervous breakdown one day and told my husband she didn't think she could handle it anymore and she was going to recommend to her supervisor that they terminate care.  If I had known it was that rough for her, I would have been asking what we could do to help or had her watch for cues from Caitlin as to what was upsetting her.  Unfortunately at that point her mind (as well as her supervisor's) was already made up and they didn't want to deal with Cait.  It's not like she's a difficult child, she's just very young and used to being with adults so when the only adult in the room is ignoring her, she gets upset.

Anyway, my complaints aside, I will definitely try your suggestions.  Thanks for the insight!  I know we probably should have been asking more questions of our sitter, but it was hard to determine anything was wrong when she kept telling us she was just fine or was a little fussy.  Being a little fussy doesn't make a good caregiver just give up. 
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« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2008, 08:52:27 AM »

My daughter works in a childcare/pre-school place.  She was the "head teacher" of the infant room (6 weeks to 12 months) and is currently the "head teacher" in the toddler room (13 months to 2 years).  Based on the variety of stories she has conveyed over the last 3 years, I would say that...

...what you are describing is not your daughter's problem but that of the child care providers (IMHO).  They are not giving your daughter the necessary attention and coo-ing love she needs to be acclimated to her new surroundings.  As a first born, she is not used to the cacophony of noise that bunches of little munchkins make in any given moment.  They need to help her adjust.

If it is at all possible, pop in on the daycare during one of your breaks...unannounced.  See if you can observe them without them being aware.  Then you will get a good sense of what is going on.

Make sure that she has a dry diaper on when you pick her up. Is her little bottom red and sore?  Any chaffing around the leg openings? They may not be changing her enough or even properly.   

Do you provide her food?  Is it all eaten?  If not, perhaps they are not feeding her enough?

The daily log my DD needs to fill in is broken down into multiple segments for each day.  Each diaper change, food intake etc. is documented.  If this is not occurring at your DD's daycare, I would purchase a little notebook and ask them to document what happens in 2 hour segments. 

My DD must produce a quarterly "report card" on the child's achievements in development (even for the infants!).  What are the child care workers "teaching" your daughter?  Do they play with her?  Teach her the colors?  How to giggle and laugh?  How to pick up various toys?  Strengthen her legs?  Play 'sit up' with her?

I think your idea of finding another child care situation is right on the mark.  Too bad you don't have a friend, neighbor or church member who would be willing to do child care for you two days a week or something, that way your little sweetie-pie would only be in child care setting three days a week.

Hang in there.  Do not give up.  Defend your little pumpkin.  She can't defend herself.  And kick the child care worker in the shins...she's not living up to her job requirements.   Wink


I agree whole heartedly with Trudy!

My wife works in a Christian Day Care Center and she states that the infant workers must  really love the infants they work with because they must be surrogate grandmothers and mothers to those children.  They need to be happy holding a crying infant, comforting a small baby away from its mother for the first time. When we discussed this she notedthat their regular infant worker was just that a grandmother who would hold one or two while rocking  in a chair and talking to the others in the room,  Singing songs, and in the case of babies whose fathers are gone overseas in the army even holding pictures of their daddy for them to see an talking about daddy.  She says she can see the difference in the children when other workers come in who do not work or like to work with infants---the infants cry more and in her opinion may even be handled more roughly. Not all child care workers are cut out to work with infants but they may be great with crawlers, toddlers ,and Preschool age kids---the director needs to see if she has a worker who is the right fit, not the child who is the right fit.
 
Most states limit child care workers handling infants to about 4 -6 infants per worker.What does your state mandate?

Thomas

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« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2008, 11:15:36 AM »

Most states limit child care workers handling infants to about 4 -6 infants per worker.What does you state mandate?
No more than four under the age of two; the limits then rise to eight between two and three, and eventually 35 when they're teenagers (my limit as a secondary teacher). Those limits are very high, though, IMO; I have my hands full with 25 teenagers, let alone 35 (although I have had that many)--and I can just imagine how much energy must go into taking care of four babies.
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« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2008, 01:43:09 PM »

It looks like the only NAEYC accredited center in your area is KinderCare.

Info about what NAEYC accreditation means
http://www.rightchoiceforkids.org/

Lark Street KinderCare
1439 East Lark Street
Springfield, MO 65804-7330

Ph: 417-882-6410
Fax: 417-887-2916

Center Director: Angel Lapaglia
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« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2008, 04:36:52 PM »

You know, I actually looked at KinderCare a few months ago when we did our first search for daycare and it was ok... I didn't like the way the building was set up.  The infants and toddlers are separate from the older kids, but there wasn't really any clear division between the babies and the ones and twos, and with the older kids, they just had to stay around their particular center instead of having their own rooms.  It was really expensive, too, about $200 a week.  I currently pay $125 a week, so that's an extra $300 a month. 

The more I think about it, the more inclined I am to stay home and take a couple of other kids myself. 
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« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2008, 04:40:21 PM »

The more I think about it, the more inclined I am to stay home and take a couple of other kids myself.   

There you go - modest income, self-determination of your child's care.... and accelerated hair loss Wink
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« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2008, 04:55:39 PM »

There you go - modest income, self-determination of your child's care.... and accelerated hair loss Wink

Sounds great to me, where do I sign up?  And where's the nearest wig factory?
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« Reply #31 on: August 14, 2008, 08:40:35 PM »

The more I think about it, the more inclined I am to stay home and take a couple of other kids myself. 

This is exactly what I did.  I did not need to do anything official because I just did babysitting for some friends.   Grin 

The first little girl started with me when she was 6 months old.  I took care of her until she started kindergarten.  I even took care of her older sisters during the summer months.

After her, I took care of a little boy for a year until his parents moved away.

The next two were a brother and sister. I took care of her from age 6 months and her brother from 6 weeks.  We remain friends with the family and still see the kids who are now 13 and 12.  We are "aunt" and "uncle" to them and we share great joy!

I thoroughly enjoyed the time caring for these wee ones.  And the money paid the grocery bills and supplemented a meager income when my husband lost his job.  We kept up with our church giving and mortgage payment.  Christmas gifts were skimpy a couple years running but my kids will tell you they were the best Christmas' ever!

I say "GO FOR IT!!!"

Hugs to you!!!
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« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2008, 09:09:15 AM »

Thanks, Trudy!  Well, for now we've decided to go with a daycare center.  It's more expensive than I would like but I do feel that she'll be safe and loved there.  We'll reconsider after we see how our budget works out.  Thanks to everyone for your advice, encouragement, and prayers.  Much appreciated!
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« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2008, 09:49:27 PM »

Sorry EofK, I know this seems sort of late, but my computer has been down awhile. I just thought I'd add, if you ever do decide to come north, I'm about 99% (someone tell me if I'm wrong) sure that unlike European countries, you do not need to be a citizen to get maternity leave benefits. As long as you are a landed immigrant and are paying into the employment insurance program, and work the minimum number of hours to qualify (and I don't mean full-time necessarily, just work enough hours over however many months etc.), you can get maternity/parental leave (15 weeks maternity, 35 weeks parental - if you wanted to split the parental weeks with your husband, you could).

Anyway, I'm glad things appear to be working out.
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