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Part-time Daycare?

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
3,160
Does anyone split their toddler’s time between daycare and a family caregiver or home? Currently, DS (he’s almost 1 year old) is home with my mother in law full time. We agreed that it would be best to start part-time daycare in the fall. It’s a lot for MIL to care for him all day and the socialization aspect of daycare is appealing to us.

We’ve recently been visiting daycares and some seem to discourage part-time. I think mostly because it’s harder for them to staff and they have to police kids’ schedules. Anyway, I talked to a lovely woman who owns a daycare that comes highly recommended and she won’t do part-time (as in 2 or 3 days per week). Their fee is comparable to the fee I’ve been quoted by other childcare facilities for 2 and 3 days per week. She explained to me that she feels that toddlers specifically don’t do well part-time. She thinks the transition is difficult and much more drawn out than with full time kids and that sometimes, they never fully transition. They never allowed children to come part time but, due to demand, started allowing it a few years ago and noticed that the part-time toddlers struggled more during drop off, nap-time and socializing with the other kids.

I don’t know if I agree with her or not since I don’t have anything to base it on but it did get me thinking. We originally thought we would do Tues and Thurs but that means every Tues, we’ll have to drop DS off after not having been to daycare for four days which I can imagine being a struggle. I really just want what’s best for him and I know that may involve some trial and error.

I was hoping some of you could share your experiences. This daycare search has seriously been tough!
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,039
My daughter did PT daycare this past year (Tu/Th) as well as morning preschool. I actually have no trouble finding a daycare that would offer me PT. It worked for our childcare needs but I do think it was confusing at times b/c she had two sets of teachers, rules, friends.
 

somethingshiny

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
6,746
I can give you some perspective from the other side. I've been watching my friend's LO for several weeks now. He is usually with me 3 days a week. The other days, he's either with his dad, a grandma, or other family member. If I haven't had him for several days, his schedule is really messed up and he is very grouchy. It takes me about a day and a half to get him back in a routine. It's hard on me but it's much worse on him. He does get the benefit from being around another baby and a big kid (mine). I hope as he gets older it will be easier on all of us even if it's been a week since he's been here.

My next door neighbor has a daycare in-home. She has several part time kids. When they're toddlers and older, she says part-time is actually better. They're excited to be there and are better behaved instead of dropped off 5 days a week to look at the same faces. She tries to make sure her part-timers are on opposite days and then ends up with full-time pay, iykwim.

I also watch a few of the neighbor's daycare kids occasionally. Tomorrow she has a dr appt so I'll have 5-6 of her kids here for 2-3 hrs. The youngest is 3 so they're all old enough to know my rules and I have no problems with them.

Hope this helps a bit.
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
3,689
We haven't done this but did look into it (DD is being watched by my mother so we had same reasons as you).

Anyway, in my experience PT daycare is very common and not discouraged - there are FT daycares that do not offer PT but obviously not a good fit for those who have some other P/T set up. I do not believe that kids in P/T daycare are at any sort of disadvantage, although I suppose alot of change in their schedule could be disruptive. Still,if on the "off days" the child is at home, I think it is perfectly fine and a good balance. I personally felt FT daycare was a bit much for my DD at such a young age when we did have other options, but in the end opted to not do it at all so now will have her go to preschool instead (2hrs 3x a week) for the socialization...if only I could get her potty trained! 8)

Good luck, it's such a personal choice and your LO will do great either way!
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 25, 2007
Messages
3,160
Tacori, I'm glad it worked for you. I really want N to be with MIL part time still so maybe we'll just have to see what happens. Since the price difference between part and full time isn't much, we could always switch him if part time is too hard on him.

Shiny, thanks for chiming in with your perspective. I guess it'll all depend on how adaptable N is. We don't really know if he is or not since he's only ever been with MIL. I could see how it's pretty cost effective for a daycare to have 1 kid who is 2 days per week and another on the other 3 days.

Janine, I definitely see your point. I sort of see part-time daycare/part-time grandma care as the best of both worlds! Maybe you should send DD to daycare part time now - then they can help potty train her to prepare for preschool! :lol:
 

Kunzite

Brilliant_Rock
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May 17, 2009
Messages
1,183
I really think you're right, that it will just come down to how adaptable N is. All of the day cares in our area have part time, it's actually much more common than full time. Oliver is home with us 3 days a week and in day care 4 days a week. You can certainly tell on Saturday and Tuesday that he's a little thrown off and trying to adjust to a new routine. For us I think a lot of that is just because we're so schedule based when he's at home but they're obviously much more lax at day care. So I guess some would depend on how similar the two environments are.
 

DivaDiamond007

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 7, 2007
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1,828
We do! My MIL and DH's Aunt Nan watch our kids most days of the week and then they go to an in-home daycare about 3x per month. Our in-home provider, Amy, has watched our son (3 years) since he was 6 months old and we love her to bits. Our son used to go to her house at least 2x a week but it's so expensive with two kids so we use her less now. Also, since our daughter was premature it is important to keep her away from too many germs so soon (she's 6.5 months). The great thing about Amy is that we don't have to use a set schedule. We just call her on Sunday and let her know when we'll need her and she puts them on her calendar. We also pay her per day so don't pay any more than what we use. It has worked out really well for my family but it can be confusing trying to remember the schedule so we have a whiteboard calendar at home that we write the daycare schedule on so DH and I know where the kids are headed in the morning.

When I was looking for daycare after our son was born I found that most of the center-based places discouraged part-time care and actually charged just as much as full-time regardless of how many days your kid was there :o It wasn't cheap either - about $900 per month, per kid - more than my mortgage payment!
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
Have you thought about doing something like Mother's Day Out program? It's part time around here (most places 2 or 3 days a week, 9:30-2:30) and it is not expensive. This way your MIL would still have him most of the time, but he'd also get the socialization aspect and give your MIL a bit of a break. Here it's mostly church-based programs.
 

blacksand

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
889
I can definitely understand the day care's point of view here. I used to teach the 2 and 3-year-old group at a nursery school, and we had kids with all kinds of different schedules. The kids who came 4 or 5 days a week generally did much better, cried less in the morning, socialized more with the other kids, were more engaged in projects and activities (probably since they remembered things we had talked about the day before, and came in excited for the project). The kids who came in 2 days a week were almost always the hardest. Every day was like the first day of school all over again. They cried, they missed their parents, they didn't want to play, etc. They really never settled in at all. The kids who came 3 days a week varied widely. Some adapted better than others. Most eventually settled into a routine. It was definitely better when they came in Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as opposed to three consecutive days, and then a long break before they came in again. In my opinion, 3 days a week is fine, but you'll want to space the days as evenly as possible, and allow a little more time for your child to adapt to the new routine. A lot depends on the individual child, of course, but for most children, it should be fine.
 

phoenixgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 20, 2003
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We're enrolling our almost two year old in preschool this fall. It's two mornings a week, 9 a.m. to 12. It runs the whole school year, and the total cost is less than $2k. Since all the kids are in the same boat of only attending a few days a week, I wouldn't worry as much about there being issues with part-timers vs. full-timers. Have you looked into something like that? Our preschool accepts as young as 8 months for one day a week. We had the option for two or three days a week for her age.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 11, 2006
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I would also choose a Mother's Morning Out to give your MIL a break and not consider daycare before the child is two. And then, it might be easier on a child to go consecutive days to each place...like M-W daycare and Th-F Grandma's.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 16, 2007
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24,364
We considered it with Hunter while I am on leave with Ryder for 9 months -- we instead opted to leave him in care full time for my own sanity :rodent:... oh, and so Ryder gets the same one-on-one experience that Hunter had with me. Anyways, our daycare allows parents with full time spots to find another child to share the spot with, to save money and save the place in the center. The only recommendation that the daycare had was that each child come at least 2 days per week and they be successfive days -- so a M/Tu and W/Th/F split would work. They did not mention any problems with adjustment in this scenerio, but they are a very organized group center and so it could be different than an at home-daycare situation where it might not be as structured. Most of the kids also have similar routines at home as the do at the daycare, which could also lessen the issue of transition. Also, they are all daycare kids from about 12 months old, so are very used to daycare and the routine, which would make transition easier. I imagine if a child was at home with mom/sibs for a few years and got very used to that, transition could be harder.

Perhaps try finding another parent to share with instead of taking a part time spot? The former seems like it should be less expensive than the latter.
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 25, 2007
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Thanks for sharing!

A partial day program such as Mother's Day Out won't work for us. We would love to do that but MIL lives 25 minutes away and DH and I both work full time. I think it's too much to ask her to drive 25 minutes to our house to pic DS up from daycare and stay for a few hours. We are SO lucky that she has made that commute EVERY day for the last 9 months. I don't think I realized how good we had it until now!

So, part time for us will mean less days not shorter days.

DD, I never heard of sharing a full time spot. Financially speaking, it will cost us almost 80% of the 5 day cost for 3 days! 2 days just doesn't seem worth the price.

We visited three centers on Thursday and two of them were really nice. I think the transition is going to be difficult for all of us (MIL included!). It's an awkward time to start childcare it seems. N is smack between the infant kiddos and the toddlers which I guess makes sense with his age. At this point in time, the toddlers would run him over! But, he's way ahead of most of the infants.

We're going to talk with MIL about a flexible date. I would rather wait to place N in daycare when he can keep up with the toddlers. Otherwise, we'll have to put him in the infant room and then he'll have another transition shortly after into the toddler room. A lot can happen in two months but right now he's not crawling, walking or eating table food. And, he desperately needs two naps per day. MIL originally suggested we sign him up when he starts walking - I thought that was a silly idea until looking at the daycares. Turns out that might be the best plan!
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 16, 2007
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puppmom|1311552750|2976010 said:
DD, I never heard of sharing a full time spot. Financially speaking, it will cost us almost 80% of the 5 day cost for 3 days! 2 days just doesn't seem worth the price.
Interesting. They would not admit two kids to the programme so if you called and asked it migh tnot be offered, but for existing kids it is an option. You would arrange to split the fees, I assume paying 3/5 for three days and 2/5 for two. What about looking into centres and asking if they offer this to existing kids? They might not. It really happens here in Canada because of maternity leave policies. Most mothers take 12 months leave when their kids are born, so will sometimes keep the older kid home for a year to save money, but to keep the spot need to find a part time sahre. So the shared spots are only for a year or less.
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 25, 2007
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DD, you seriously make me wish I lived in Canada sometimes! It's like this far-off fantasy land to me where mommies can be home with their babies for more than 12 weeks.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
24,364
puppmom|1311603786|2976323 said:
DD, you seriously make me wish I lived in Canada sometimes! It's like this far-off fantasy land to me where mommies can be home with their babies for more than 12 weeks.
We are very fortunate. If you worked before you went on leave, then you also get gov't benefits on leave which is 55% of your salary up to a max of about $1800 per month. My work tops us up to 95% of our salary for 8 months. My heart goes out to all my US mama friends, going to work at 3 months pp is so difficult ;(
 
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