Raising a Blended Family

Daycare update!

on January 17, 2014

I am happy to report that daycare is going better… sort of.

The good news is he’s a lot happier there now. We are getting reports from his babysitter of “happy days” and “hour and a half long naps in the pack ‘n play” (which, by the way, who is THAT child? Because he’s clearly not mine, the one who won’t take more than a twenty minute nap if he’s not on a mom at home). He is not in tears when I walk in the door anymore, and seems to be adjusting to the schedule.

I’m adjusting too, though I miss him tons. I’m actually enjoying being at work, which is something I never thought I would say because I enjoyed being a stay at home mom so much. But the adult interaction and conversation is nice, and it is nice to be out and about and out of the house. You better believe though, that when it’s time to go home, I’m the first one out the door and I’m practically speeding on over to the daycare to pick up my baby!

We did find out that some of his issues last week were due to a raging ear infection. The babysitter reported mild fevers and lots of fussiness when we checked in with her at noon on Friday, but neither one of us were really in a place to be able to go home and get him, plus she said that the fever had not gone above 100. So we figured it was maybe his teeth, more anxiet, or a combination of the two, and instructed her to give him some tylenol, which she did and reported to us that he was happy and playing about 45 minutes after she gave it.  By the time we went to pick him up, though, he was screaming and when we got him she reported that he had been digging in his ears a lot. We took him straight to urgent care, where his ear infections and my terrible mistake of leaving my poor sick baby screaming in pain at a stranger’s house were confirmed. 😦 I mean, it really doesn’t get much worse than that- not only does he have separation anxiety, not only was it his very first day of daycare ever, but he also had two “pretty severe” (dr’s words) ear infections that were completely untreated and he spent two days howling in pain and not knowing where we were. UGH. Just thinking about it makes me want to throw up and cry.

BUT. But. We got past it. We got over it. It is behind us and he is doing much much better.

At hand now is the issue of whether to keep this current sitter of find another one. On the one hand, I really like her, I feel comfortable with her, and Pax has finally gotten to know her. She is also one of the few sitters able to accommodate both watching Pax and dropping T1 off at school in the mornings. I really don’t want to have to start that process of looking for a new one and matching schedules and acclimating the kids all over again.


But, this lady has some policies we don’t like. She makes us pay for days we are not scheduled, and even days when her daycare is closed for whatever reason. Example? That blizzard we had last week, daycare was closed monday and tuesday, yet we were expected to pay her anyways. Why? I have no idea. It’s one thing if we last-minute cancel on her- if we make a schedule then we would stick to it and pay her off that schedule, regardless of whether or not our kid actually showed up. But when SHE closes it and says “I’m not taking kids”, why should we have to pay for that? Frankly, I don’t have the MONEY to pay for that.

More worrisome is that she also seems to take a lot of time off. She just gave us a list of upcoming off days- there are 5 in the next month and a half, three within two weeks of now.  That may not seem like a lot but we just don’t have the call in time to be able to work like that with our schedules. That’s why we need a babysitter in the first place! It’s one thing, to me, to take a scheduled vacation, but another thing to take random days off (or half days) in the middle of random weeks. If there’s this many now and we JUST started with this lady, the question becomes is this the norm for her? Is she dependable and reliable or is she someone for whom it is usual to take this much time off? And yes, by the way, we are expected to pay her for the days she is taking off, too.

So, I don’t know. The cost of shaking things up and taking a risk finding someone else, vs. the cost of sticking with what we know and paying, literally, for it. We do have a meeting this weekend with another possible lady just to see what our options are… so we will see how this goes. One thing I do know- choosing daycare is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done!


5 responses to “Daycare update!

  1. X says:

    Glad things are going better!

    For what it’s worth, we pay our licensed, in-home daycare provider for something like 11 holidays, three weeks of vacation, and up to two personal days (for illness or unforeseen circumstances) but ours is published in January of each year so we can plan accordingly. At first I was annoyed but really now see it as exactly what it is – a paid vacation – and why shouldn’t it be? That being said, five days in the next month sounds excessive and it would be nice for you to know as far in advance as possible.

  2. Lindsay says:

    I’m so glad to hear he is doing better at daycare. What a relief! It also gives me hope for Evelyn. She’s not doing so well there, so far.

    I pay my centre for days off, too. Statutory holidays are paid by me, even though no one is working. Basically, if it’s a week-day, I’m paying the centre, whether Evelyn is there or not. So I think that’s standard procedure.

    What ISN’T standard procedure is your babysitter taking 1/2 days and full days off and only giving you 2-weeks notice to find care. That’s some bullshit there, and it’s not right. I would be inclined to find someone else just based on that. Perhaps a centre that doesn’t require just one individual’s schedule to do it all.

  3. meridith says:

    The daycares we have been in are similar – pay for all the days, even when the center is closed. I do think you should have more notice upfront about all the days off. I wonder if there’s a health problem with several doctor’s appts or something? Still, I think it’s a good idea to look at other providers. Are there other kids with this particular sitter? Their parents might be able to tell you if this is more flaky than usual or not!

  4. Alison says:

    Glad to hear that it’s getting better for Pax – but that stinks that your daycare provider sounds a little…shady. Hopefully you’ll find a great fit soon!

  5. Isa says:

    Hmm…We pay for days off, but it’s not stated anywhere. I guess we could get away with not, but we LOVE her, and she’s cheaper than any other place we found, so I think it feels like a wash. She has a set number of holidays (usually federal ones, plus Christmas eve and the day after thanksgiving kind of thing), and takes two weeks of vacation a year–but those days are still staffed! She and her family are out of town, but the other girls or her relatives step in and keep the kids anyway. We also get 5 sick days and 5 vacation days that are paid at half price for the year. I hope you find a situation that works better! Does T1’s school have early and late care? that’s what my parents always used for us instead of sitters. I hope Pax is feeling better, poor little guy!

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