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Old 06-26-2009, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Huntington, WV
267 posts, read 447,216 times
Reputation: 188

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Sadly, because of the economy, I can't afford to stay at home with our son after he is born here in about 6 weeks. After the 6 weeks to heal and such, I'm going to HAVE to go back to work to help make ends meet a bit better.

My question is this... because I know there are many daycare centers that take infants as young as 6 weeks, do you think I should delay this a few more months? Maybe wait until he is closer to 12 weeks?

Trust me, if we lived anywhere near family, I wouldn't have a problem- I'd have free day care from a relative, and only put him in daycare a few days a week for socialization. But, unfortunately, we live about 6 1/2 hours away from any family member, and it is out of the question to relocate.

My husband has a good job, we are making ends meet for right now, but it would really help out if I go back to work. I don't want a daycare raising my children, but it really can't be avoided right now.

Any suggestions? Is 12 weeks a good time? (In this case, not in general)

Thanks for any input guys!
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:16 PM
 
Location: nc
436 posts, read 797,431 times
Reputation: 447
Well, I do child care in my home and I worked in centers for six years prior, so this is just my personal philosophy.

I don't believe that children under one year should be in group care. I believe they should be with a one-on-one caregiver such as a nanny. In centers I worked at, I've seen infants left in cribs/bouncers/car seats for a large part of the day. Now this is not necessarily that the teachers didn't care about the babies, but mostly that they were overwhelmed with the large amout of children they were responsible for. It is very difficult to give an infant the amount of attention they need on a daily basis when there are 7-8 other children who also need your attention. It is also difficult to allow the infants "floor time" when there are toddlers still perfecting their walking skills around.

That being said, I do not accept children under 1 into my child care.

I know you wanted something specific to your situation, so, if I were you, I would either hire a nanny at 6 weeks or wait until the 12 weeks and hire a nanny or put your child into center care if you do not want a nanny.
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:57 PM
 
Location: SATX
305 posts, read 781,050 times
Reputation: 221
I have 2 children and I dreaded having to put them in daycare. I think this is a highly personal question that you have to answer for yourself. The longer you can keep them out of daycare (up until around age 2) the better. But if it is a matter of necessity for income, than you really don't have a choice. I was a stay at home with my first one till he was nearly 2, and although I feel I did the right thing for him, I was extremely restless being home allday. I had to be honest with myself and admit this was more a reason to put him in care, besides the obvious of our family needing the additional income. With my second child I was a single parent, and amazingly enough I was a stay at home, work from home parent (until age 9 months) when I could no longer "get by" on the very small income I was earning in this way. For myself, I believe strongly that sacrificing that income was worth every minute of being there for my baby. It is not an easy decision to make, but it needs to be what will fit you and your family. If I were you I would wait till the 12 weeks before putting your baby in care, and also take the above recommendation. That is the other thing...even my 22 month old hated the large commerical daycare; he was not happy until I found a home daycare (she only kept 4 or 5 kids at a time), and in this case it actually saved me considerable amount of money (in early 2001: commercial daycare- $135; home daycare- $85/wk).

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Huntington, WV
267 posts, read 447,216 times
Reputation: 188
I honestly have been looking more into in-home daycare (fewer kids, more attention, 1-on-1 time with each child)

There is NO WAY we could afford a nanny. :/ They are ridiculously expensive. I really can't afford, at all, to stay at home til he is 2. If I could afford to stay at home til he's 2, then why go back to work at all?

It is really impossible for us to get by without me working. AT ALL. Literally, as much as it kills me to have to put him in daycare, I HAVE TOO.

Nothing would make me happier than to stay at home with him, but that is simply NOT the reality in our situation.

12 weeks seems to be the age when I'll start, one or two days a week, putting him in care, if his daddy isn't home to watch him. With our schedules, there may be times when I'm at work, and he's not on until AFTER I get home. This will help.

Thanks for the input ladies.
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:31 PM
 
Location: In a delirium
2,588 posts, read 3,673,166 times
Reputation: 1317
You do what you have to do. If going back to work is what will allow you to feed, clothe, and keep a roof over his head, then that's what you have to do. If you can swing it a little longer, then sure. In the long run, it won't matter. He won't remember. Just do your best as a mom and call it good.

By the way, I had to put my first in daycare at 3 months. I didn't like it, but the circumstances changed such that we didn't have a choice at the time. We were fortunate in that we found an incredibly loving place. I wish you luck in finding that, too.
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
12,156 posts, read 10,695,626 times
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My son started right at 6 weeks because me and his dad were both in school. He didn't go a full day though - I'd drop him off around 11:30 and then his dad would pick him up around 2 - 3pm (still had to pay full price though) The positives were that later in life he handled adjustments very well - he was never one of those cling to my leg screaming type of kids. He was sick a lot that first 18 months or so, but the doctor told me that was a good thing for his immune system - don't know if that was true or not - now he rarely gets sick.
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:22 PM
 
2,907 posts, read 4,192,820 times
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Since child care is my profession, here's some things you may or may not have thought about or even be aware of.

First, infant care is typically very limited due to state mandated ratios, so if you don't already have him on a waiting list somewhere the decision might already be made for you, as you may have a very difficult time finding an opening and have to wait. For instance, if your location is indeed WV, then their regulations limit a child care center to no more than 4 infants to one staff with no more than 8 infants total in care. In home care, if I read it correctly, no more than 2 infants, and no more than 6 kids total.
Having said that, at this time you might not has as much trouble finding an opening with the economy as it is and many people have had to discontinue child care as you would have a year ago.

Next, very few providers will accommodate part time care of infants due to the strict and low limits on how many infants you can have in care. Having one spot out of 2 or 4 filled for only a couple of days doesn't make up for the loss of the full spot, so it doesn't make good business sense.

Also, due to the strict ratios, cost for an infant is much higher than older children, so will your salary actually allow you to profit after paying for infant care? The going rate for infants in my area (DFW Texas) is anywhere from about $150/week to $250/week for infants. That's quite a chunk of money in this economy.

Last, I was management in a center for 11 years and have been providing care from my home for 8 years now. There are advantages that differ quite a bit between centers and home care. So, you need to decide what you want out of child care for your newborn.

For example, in a quality center you have back up care if the lead is absent for any reason and you also have someone who oversees the entire operation. You also should have trained staff specifically for infants that are professionals at their job. If they are in the right job, they are very nurturing, organized and friendly people. The disadvantages come in when the management isn't high quality themselves or they don't insist on high quality standards in their center. Also, the cost is usually higher due to all the overhead involved.

In home care, you do often find more of a family atmosphere, yet there sometimes isn't reliable back up or anyone to oversee the provider. Cost tends to be lower in home care and some might be a bit more flexible on policies than a center is allowed to be.

So, bottom line is, if you discover that you can indeed come out ahead from working and not in the red, then decide what you want from child care and start a serious hunt asap. What you find will guide you in what you choose to do. Sometimes that 6 weeks is exactly right. Other times 12 weeks is better and for some a year or two is what they need.

Good luck in whatever path you choose.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:16 PM
 
Location: here
17,005 posts, read 14,354,759 times
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I'm confused. If you HAVE to go back to work, don't have family close by, and can't afford a nanny, what option do you have other than day care? Mine went to day care at about 5 months old, after spending a few weeks with grandma. If you have a friend who would take care of the baby for a reasonable price or maybe trade babysitting duties, that might be an option. That way the baby might be on more of a schedule when you start day care. I went for a center rather than in-home. I just felt like they were more accountable, had other people watching. The bad thing was there were germs galore, and the baby got sick. The good thing is, you get that part over with, and once they've built up immunity, you'll have the healthiest toddler around. Another "pro" is that, once I could stay home, my 4 year old was so used to day care or "school" as we called it, sending him to preschool was no big deal. Other kids were in the halls crying and clinging, and mine went right in! Good luck.
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:33 AM
 
2,839 posts, read 6,574,656 times
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If it's only for a day or two per week, maybe you can get a private babysitter? Homeschooled teenagers make good babysitters... they're usually available during the day, they often have younger siblings (sometimes many younger siblings), and their mom is typically only a phone call away. Though I don't know that I'd leave a young infant with a teenager... depends on the situation, I guess.

I did have my son in daycare for a year, and he was constantly sick. Ear infections, colds, and the flu up the wazoo. Honestly, with the amount I spent in daycare, plus taking time off from work when he was sick, plus doctor's copays and prescriptions... I might as well have just stayed home! A home daycare is probably your best bet if you can't afford or find a private sitter. (Though I agree that you may have a hard time finding one for strictly part time hours.)

Either way, I'd put it off as long as possible. Definitely 12 weeks is better than 6 weeks!
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:42 AM
 
3,842 posts, read 6,810,279 times
Reputation: 3120
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikongirl24 View Post
Sadly, because of the economy, I can't afford to stay at home with our son after he is born here in about 6 weeks. After the 6 weeks to heal and such, I'm going to HAVE to go back to work to help make ends meet a bit better.

My question is this... because I know there are many daycare centers that take infants as young as 6 weeks, do you think I should delay this a few more months? Maybe wait until he is closer to 12 weeks?

Trust me, if we lived anywhere near family, I wouldn't have a problem- I'd have free day care from a relative, and only put him in daycare a few days a week for socialization. But, unfortunately, we live about 6 1/2 hours away from any family member, and it is out of the question to relocate.

My husband has a good job, we are making ends meet for right now, but it would really help out if I go back to work. I don't want a daycare raising my children, but it really can't be avoided right now.

Any suggestions? Is 12 weeks a good time? (In this case, not in general)

Thanks for any input guys!
So do you HAVE to work or does it HELP OUT if you work?

First you say you have to then you say it helps makes ends meet.

If you HAVE to work, you don't have an option.

But since you seem to have an option of staying home longer...

I think once you have your baby, priorities & finances will become very,very clear.

My #1 went to daycare at 7 months. I quit my job within 3 months of that....There line b/w "having to" and "helping out" becomes extremely clear when your infant is in daycare.
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