Monday, September 6, 2010

Daycare Dilemmas

I don't think that I've shared any details concerning our search for a daycare center for Jax. You see, it's not an option for me to stay at home, even I had a desire to do so...which I'm not saying that I finding daycare should have been of utmost importance to me, right? Well...that's right in theory, but in reality? Maybe not so much.

Brent actually took the first steps toward finding a daycare for Jax. You see, living in a smaller city outside of a larger city, our daycare options are somewhat limited. Brent found out that even though the elementary school located in the subdivision behind our house is exlusive to residents of that neighborhodd (which we are NOT residents of), the day care that is next to the school is not exclusive. Brent's cousin takes his daughter there and Brent called them to check it out. Turns out the tuition was better than I was expecting, and the place looked really nice. So I went online to check out the rest of the information (this was about two months before I was due to deliver) and found out that this particular daycare required a deposit. Not just a registration fee, that was also required, but an actual deposit. Like you would put down on an apartment.

Now, I've been a parent for eight years now, and I have NEVER once in those eight years paid a deposit on DAYCARE. And Jenna's been in daycare for all of those eight years, and she's been enrolled in four or five different daycare centers between all of our moves. You would think that if this were a standard practice to collect a deposit for daycare that I would have heard about it by now. And not just a small deposit. This place wanted a $100 non-refundable registration fee in addition to the $300 deposit that could be applied to your tuition if you gave two weeks written notice when leaving the daycare.

It all seemed a little extreme to me. So what did I do? I didn't do anything. I didn't go take a tour. I didn't call to see about availability. I pretty much just kept it in the back of my mind that we had "found" our daycare and that was that. Yeah, maybe not the smartest move I've ever made...

Once Jax was born and I was home settling into my maternity leave, I called the daycare center to finally make that inquiry. Turns out that they're full. The lady can take my name and phone number and call me once she hears about two possible openings in the infant room, but other than that I'm SOL. I had a moment of panick hearing those words. Seriously. I mean, Brent had already decided that THIS was THE PLACE, so how was I supposed to tell him that I messed it all up? I mean, he thought that I had called and secured everything way back when he told me about it in the first place.

Calmly, I started calling other daycare centers. Like I said before, there weren't alot of options here in small-town Kyle. So I expanded my search to include Buda. The two centers in Buda were also full in their infant rooms., cricket. What to do now? I checked into private care, and found a few moms that keep kids out of their homes, but Brent wasn't as comfortable with that idea right at first. Then, like the heavens parting and the sun shining down on a dreary day, I remembered that a new daycare center was supposed to be opening here in Kyle that was part of a really good chain of daycares in Austin!

After a week of calling and trying to find out if they had availability, I finally connected with the center's manager. As it turns out, she was the woman that ran the center that Brent and I had both used in South Austin - small world! She remembered both of us, and was nice enough to talk with me directly about the ONE SPACE that was left in infant care in Kyle, TX. There was actually a woman ahead of us in line for the spot, but she hadn't put down the $50 to hold her spot or filled out the paperwork or anything. To be completely fair, the director called the lady and explained the situation and told both of us that if we wanted the spot then we would have to pay from Sept 1st...even though neither of us wanted the spot that early.

Since the other lady wasn't needing care until the end of the month, she opted out of the spot. That left it free and clear for us to snatch up. How fast do you think that I wrote that $50 check? If you guessed that my pen was actually smoking as it signed my name, you'd be right!

We really hate paying for daycare two weeks before we really need it, as I'm off on maternity leave until the 17th of this month...but what were we gonna do? We knew that this was possibly the very last spot outside of Austin without going into Austin to find a daycare center. And we didn't really want to do that since both of us don't work in Austin. So we took the spot.

Which means that Jax starts daycare next Tuesday, since he turned six weeks old on Friday. I'm partially excited, partially sad about the whole thing. I've decided to take him in each day for at least half of the day...I mean, we ARE paying for it, so I might as well take advantage of it, right? That's going to leave me with some free time on my hands each day. I've got lots of plans for that time, but not sure exactly how I'll spend it.

There are a lot of things around the house that I'd like to get taken care of. My closet is starting to resemble that monster on the TV commercial with Justin Timberlake where his photos/videos overtake his know the one I'm talking about? So cleaning that out is high on my list. Doing some "fall" cleaning would be nice too...maybe one room each day? And then of course, shopping for some post-baby clothes would be cool too! So many things, so little time.

We'll see how much of that actually gets done! I'll be sure to keep you posted.

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