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Daycare Drama and Making It Work

Friday, February 15, 2019

When I was looking at daycares, I wanted one that closes at 6. I get off work at 4 everyday, but I wanted the time to go to the gym, run an errand, or just sit somewhere quietly, like at the library or the Burger King.

I first started going to the gym cautiously after we started daycare, timing each piece of the visit--dressing, exercising, picking up my bags, heading out the door and going to pick up The Boo. I knew when I had to be there in order to get a half hour of exercise, and when I had to leave to get to her place before the late penalty kicked in. If I went to the gym, which I didn't often, I would get in 20-25 minutes. 30 if I was lucky.

Last week, our daycare provider told my husband that she is changing her policy to a maximum of 45 hours a week and start charging for every half hour above the 45 hours.

That’s simply unacceptable to me. I do not want to have to think about this everyday (“Okay, we dropped him off at 8:00 and picked him up at 5:27 yesterday, so if I pick him up at 5:55 today, then I’ll have to make sure I get him before 5:43 tomorrow.”). Plus, so many questions: How are we billed? Do we get a tab on Friday? How do we pay? Whose watch are we using to count the hours, anyway? Does the time start and end from the moment we walk in the house, or the moment we walk out? It’s preposterous, and I’m not doing it.

It's also workable for very few in this area. That means if you work 8 hours a day, you have a half hour to commute each way. I'm being a bit hyperbolic, but NO ONE in this town has a half hour commute. At least not in our sleepy suburb. Honestly, I could swing it, because my workday is only 7 hours, but it's still tight. Plus, I don't wanna.

However, if we tell her we want to keep the contract as-is, or even pay more to keep the same schedule, my husband was worried she won’t be as caring with him as she used to be. He didn't think she'd pinch him or anything like that, but he thought she’ll subconsciously not want to hold him as much, and so on. And even in that case, I don’t want to think that my daycare provider is counting the minutes until my baby leaves her house.

Monday, I cried and cried, because my baby loves her, I'm pretty sure she loves my baby, and I like her.

Tuesday, I got mad and made an appointment to see another daycare, so we could quit.

Wednesday, my husband decided we should talk to her instead of just up and quitting, because she's a nice lady, and we have a good relationship with her. She wouldn't retaliate, even subconsciously, and it would be mean to just quit without discussion, without telling her we didn't like the new arrangement and giving her a chance to rectify it. So my husband is going to discuss with her today a compromise. We will not accept the hours counting. However, we will change the closing time to 5:30, so that I can pick him up straight from work (which will be more like 5, but I don't want to tell her that, because then she'll wonder why I haven't been doing that from the beginning). That actually puts us really close to the 45-hour mark, but I just don't want to have to do the math.

The reason is that we realized a creative solution that I hadn't thought of while I was busy crying and being angry. The gym has a kids' club, so I *could* pick my boy up straight from work and go there.

The only problem with that is that if I want my peace until 6pm, I can no longer go to the library or Burger King. I mean, I go to Burger King A LOT, but it's not what you think! I had a coupon once, so I went there for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long, and I discovered the one near my house has one of those awesome soda fountains with Diet Dr Pepper!!! This is such a rare find in Northern Virginia, and I've stopped buying it for my house, because I don't want my baby to really see us drinking pop. I go to the Burger King and get a small pop and sit and refill that thing, like, four times before I go get my baby.

And errands? If it's not the dry cleaners or gas, or MAAAAAAYBE the grocery store for one thing I know the exact location of in the store, then those are out, too.

That leaves only the gym. BUT....how is that a problem, really? I can either go home and spend more quality time with my child, or I can go spend quality time on myself. Win-win (-win). AND I can go for 30 minutes or more! No more rushing out the door after 17 minutes, feeling like the working out to getting dressed ratio wasn't high enough!

Wish us luck, because this really must go well. We aren't counting hours. If we're wrong, and she doesn't love him as much as we suspect she does, then we're going to have to yank him. Which would bring me back to Monday.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So what happened next? You've got to write another blog about this and let everyone know, because it's totally fascinating! No, don't tell me, write the blog, please!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    I think she caved or compromised for your family. Your son is outstandingly beautiful and almost always looks so happy, and having her in his life really has contributed to that.
    583 days ago
    I think talking to her is a good approach. Find out what really works for you both. Does she watch other kids in addition to yours? Maybe it is the other parents that are taking advantage of her hours? But getting to use the Kids club is a great option too, give you more freedom and the baby a different socialization. However, check if they have an age restriction on the "kids club".
    Hope it all works out. We loved our in-home daycare lady.. she was a blessing.
    637 days ago
    Feel for you. Nothing makes sense. Women used to share assigned shifts to handle this. The cost and lack of controls for daycare is frustrating. It might be time for a live-in nanny? You could spend less commute time. Look at city services too.
    639 days ago
    I saw your update on the friend feed so knew that this story would end well, but it must have been so stressful to have dealtt with all this in the past days--knowing you had a near-perfect daycare situation and then finding out that it might all get blown up, going through the anxiety, anger, frustration,and uncertainty. I'm glad to hear that y'all were able to figure out the best way to handle the situation, preserving your good relationship with the daycare provider so that you can continue feeling safe and comfortable dropping off your precious boy every day. And it's wonderful that he loves her and you like her! Yay for the happy ending to this chapter of worry! I hope all continues to go well.

    646 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    646 days ago
    Good to see your feed post that all worked out. Good that you have hubby to bounce things off of!
    646 days ago
  • 922012

    Here's hoping it works out for your family!
    647 days ago
    I’m hoping the talk went well and it’s a compromise that works for you both. Sometimes it’s scary to be faced with a change but I think, as you said, there can be many positives to a change. Sending hugs!!!
    647 days ago
    emoticon I hope you and your DH can work everything out!
    647 days ago
    If you can afford it I might say just pay the extra money, sounds like it's worth it, if your baby is happy there and you like her.
    647 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/15/2019 11:51:12 AM
    Congrats to the creative problem solving and being nice and fair with the daycare lady.
    647 days ago
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