Child Care (aka paying 2k a month to have your balls in a vice)

We found out that we were pregnant about 7:30pm on Friday, October 11, 2013. By 8am on Monday, October 14, 2013, we were on two daycare wait lists. A third soon followed. We knew generally where we would be sending our baby to daycare before the doctor even confirmed I was pregnant.

When people tell you that you need to be on a daycare wait list the minute the stick turns blue, they are not kidding. Avery was three months old when we were notified that we'd gotten off the wait list at our last choice daycare. We anticipate getting off the wait list at our first choice daycare about the time she turns 18 and we send her off to college.

The consolation daycare (aka second choice), had the compelling feature of guaranteeing a full-time spot for infants. As parenting rookies, this was comforting. No matter what, we were covered. Good to go. The fly in this balm to our souls was the fact that we really only needed part-time day care (a monthly savings of roughly $500, thanks to some incredibly enthusiastic grandparents). And part-time daycare was not guaranteed. Knowing this, we were committed to working with the daycare so that we could get a part-time spot as quickly as possible, even if it meant starting out full-time.

Nearly three months ago, we officially notified the daycare of our preference for part-time care. They asked us for the days we wanted each week, and we filled out a form with our first, second, and third choice schedules. We were told a spot would likely be available by December 1. We could work with that.

Six weeks go by, and the daycare informs us that they are undergoing a policy change to their part-time schedule. Now, if you want 3-day per week daycare, the three days you will get are Monday/Wednesday/Friday. No options. While this was a liveable schedule, the grandparents strongly preferred to have two days back-to-back. When someone is offering to provide free childcare, you try to accommodate that shit. We decided to hold the daycare spot and start looking for a nanny share.

Within a couple of weeks, we found a couple interested in a nanny share. They live a few blocks away, had a son close in age to our daughter, and needed a similar schedule to ours. Happy times! But before we started interviewing potential nannies, the daycare emails us. They've found a family that has a baby that needs care Monday/Tuesday. Would we be interested in Wednesday/Thursday/Friday? The Gods have smiled upon us. It's a miracle. They will grandfather Avery into this schedule even after the policy change goes into effect January 1. Sound too good to be true? You're fucking right it is.

Fast forward to today. We've long since apologetically let the other family know that we no longer need a nanny share. I've spent the weekend filling out a college application's worth of forms, most of them redundant, that we have to submit along with our child on the first day of daycare. I've called a dentist and gotten Avery officially signed up as a patient, despite the fact that she has no teeth yet (for which my nipples are eternally grateful).

At approximately 3pm I receive an email from the daycare. They have yet another policy change. They are no longer taking any part-time infants. Effective January 1. They'll happily take our baby, and our money, for the month of December (during which they are closed for a week), but we'll need to find a different situation effective January 1. Remember that whole thing about getting on a waitlist the minute the stick turns blue? Yeah, that should tell you just how fucked you are when you have two weeks instead of fourteen months to find childcare.

So what happens when your daycare screws you over? Well, you go through the five stages of grief very quickly.

Denial: I must have read that incorrectly. They cannot be doing this to us. 

Anger: Motherfuckers. They will not do this to us. I will write scathing yelp reviews. I will sue them for breach of contract. I will argue detrimental reliance. I will use my goddamn law degree to Burn. Your. Ass.

Bargaining: Hey daycare that I called 12 months ago that told me the wait list is 24 months long? Any chance you can take my kid? Part-time? On two weeks notice? How much will it cost? I'm sure that we can buy a spot at the top of the wait list, right?

Depression: We are so fucked.

Acceptance: We have to hire a nanny.

And then you become those assholes who hire a private nanny. Because you have no choice. Because the daycare has completely fucked you over.

Don't judge us.


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