Reassessing child care (yes, again)


Remember this diagram? It’s the one I created to gather my thoughts about our child care priorities and choices. And yes, I’m reassessing, AGAIN.


Yes, yes, I know… kids in daycare get sick a lot in their first year, much like kids who don’t go to daycare get sick a lot when they first start school. Kids are mini-petrie dishes of grossness.

And yes, I know… I do have a wonderfully flexible job and a super helpful husband and a great, fantastic pediatrician who can see us within an hour of my calling. We have a daycare we like with staff we love that take great care of my son and keep an eye on him when he seems off.


So, I go back to my pretty little diagram… and a new one that looks sort of like this:


Option A is where we are today and it’s a fantastic situation except when Javi is sick. This option requires some flexibility when he’s sick but offers the most happiness when he’s not. As the status quo option, this requires nothing different than what we’re doing now.

Option B is my knee-jerk response to his sickness and it could be a fantastic situation except a) I work from home and have to hide out if he’s here lest he pitch a fit and b) the woman I’d have in mind is our sitter and he HATES being home with her (though he loved her at daycare). This option also requires more money and a new work situation for me.

Option C involves a combo of Joey and a sitter alternating hours here at home with Javi. This option requires me to find a new work situation and Joey to have a less flexible schedule but could end up even in terms of cost.

Ultimately, I think we’ll be back where we started: daycare offers the best combination of socialization and our other values (ability to be flexible, adaptable, rely on other people and himself for comfort, stability, consistency, and stimulation), but it’s helpful to have a framework with which to reassess.

I’m curious. I’ve been toying with the idea of putting together a toolkit of sorts with all the nerdy charts and exercises I use in kid-related decision-making, from how to decide on a stroller to when to reassess various decisions. Call it a big framework of coping tactics for a project manager’s personality, but now I’m wondering if this is useful to other folks. Let’s be honest: this is a market survey. I very much enjoyed the online pre-conception class I took from Sara Cotner despite having some heartburn over paying for it, but in the end it was worth it. Would this be/ have been helpful to new mamas?


8 thoughts on “Reassessing child care (yes, again)

  1. This decision is so hard!! I’m not even half way through my pregnancy and my husband and I are already working on figuring this out so that we can have some peace of mind.
    One thought – have you ever looked into smaller setting, in-home daycare? It’s a top contender for us right now. Allows our kid to be around others, and out of our home but still not around too many kids so that this whole constant sickness can hopefully be avoided.
    Good luck!

    And yes I would totally be interested in something like that about kid-decision making. I also enrolled in the Purposeful Conception course and found it was well worth the money, and would find this to be a next logical step to something like that.

  2. What are these pre-conception and purposeful conception courses? They sound wonderful and useful, or you could just explain all your brilliant concepts to me and I wouldn’t worry about these courses 🙂

  3. We just pulled our 9 month old out of daycare and are going to have her in home with a nanny. She was sick too often and while we liked the daycare workers we just felt that at her age, she would benefit more from one-on-one care. Maybe we are coddling her, I don’t know, but when she is sick or teething or just fussy, I want to know there is a lap for her or an extra cuddle, and she can’t always have that when it is 4 kids to each adult. She has her entire life to learn to depend on herself and other non-parental adults so I am comfortable holding off for another 6 months to a year on that. As for socialization, at 9 months it’s more parallel play that true interaction, so again, we can wait until she is older to worry more about socialization. It will mean more hours at a coffee shop or hiding in our bedroom for me, but ultimately I think (hope) it’s better for where my girl is at right now. Also, we save $400 a month and that’s paying our nanny a strong living wage (daycare is crazy expensive in LA). We plan to weigh everything again in 6 months and see where we are at and maybe give daycare another go because ultimately I do think it’s great for kids and I want her to have the experience eventually, and definitely before big kid school starts. I don’t know if any of that helps your decision making, but since we have similar situations and kids close in age, I thought I would throw it out there as food for thought.

    And yes, I think you are on to a good idea with sharing your decision making process. You are clearly thoughtful and intelligent and the parenting world needs more of that.

  4. I think some kids just get sick a lot – no matter the situation. I’m thinking back to reading Bee’s blog and how often Charlie was sick even though he was at home with a nanny. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s an ‘ultimate’ solution.

    And ah yes – this decision is upon me as well. What to do with Child #2. I *REALLY* for various reasons CAN NOT put my baby in daycare… maybe at 6 months or so I’d be ready for it… but NOT at 12 weeks. So what the heck to do about it? I have not been able to convince my mom to move to town for 3 months to help out. Bring the kid to work for 3 months? (Well maybe then I’d by default become a SAHM because they’d fire me!) Pull WT out of daycare and have both kids home with nanny? Have the kids in different situations? (Like a nanny share for the baby.)

    I miss college when I could just have fun and not worry about Big Kid decisions!

  5. YES!

    I think that this would be really helpful in assessing what we as individuals and a couple want/value.

    Do it.

    I love your nerdiness.

  6. I second the idea of looking into taking your son to a babysitter or small in-home day care. We did that with our son after he was in day care because in the three months that we were taking him there, he got 6 ear infections. He was so sick, so much of the time that he’s actually about 2 months behind now, developmentally, because when he was so sick he wasn’t progressing or developing at all.
    In any case, the in-home babysitter has really been the answer for us. Our son goes to the home of a women who is staying at home with her two kids. We pay the same amount that we were paying at daycare minus the tax benefits. He still gets socialization and fun, new experiences, but with limited exposure to germs.
    I now firmly believe that in-home day care is best for kids under 1 year of age, and probably even two. We will have to find new care in August, at which point we may look into a traditional day care again, but I think if we could find another great in-home babysitter, we would much rather do that.

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