Don’t forget the Bay Leaf

I promise this is not turning into an “all baby all the time” blog. I do have a question for you though, gentle readers.

How on earth do I go about finding and signing up for a daycare?

Neil and I have been duly terrified (by other parents mostly) into the potential scenario that when I want to go back to talking to grownups for 8 hours a day (or my upcoming year of government-sponsored rearing is up), I may run into the challenge of having nowhere to exchange buckets of money for the privilege of leaving my child with someone else for a while.

Specifically I have heard that daycares in my neighbourhood (Vancouver’s West Side/Kitsilano) that will take kids under 3 years old and not turn them into stew are currently experiencing 2-3 year waitlists. Meaning, I should’ve had my top picks selected years ago, and put my name on their list the last time I ovulated.

IMG_2976.JPG

So far, my usual resource google is useless in solving this one for me.

Compounding the problem, all my friends with kids so far fall into two camps. They do not live anywhere close to me, and/or they are Shit Ass Ho Motherfuckers. I suppose I could end up joining their ranks, but I think it’s easier to assume I will likely end up a “Wanking Ornery Ho Motherfucker” and withdraw my name from the waitlist if I change my mind, than be stuck between the proverbial rock and hard-place of staying home if I’d rather not, or living with the potential that I’ll end up with my infant turned into stew.*

So help me internets, is our panic overblown? Is there a magical list and/or daycare review site out there that’s invisible to google? Is there a secret handshake we need? I’d be ever so grateful!

*When flinging internet dung around in the war of “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG,” it’s so much easier to use acronyms. Typically used to represent Stay at Home Mom (SAHM), Work at Home Mom (WAHM) and Work Outside the Home Mom (WOHM), I prefer Heather Armstrong’s interpretation.

Be Sociable, Share!

9 thoughts on “Don’t forget the Bay Leaf

  1. Oana

    I don’t have kids but of our friends who do, several found child care through Craigslist, while the rest by word of mouth. What are your friends with babies/young kids doing?

  2. peechie Post author

    Laura: that looks remarkably useful! thanks!

    Oana: the vast majority of my friends with babies/kids are avoiding this situation all together by staying at home with them. I do know one family that has a nanny for their 3 kids (too expensive for us with one kid) and another friend who’s got a kiddo in daycare in Victoria (I’ll pick her brain on this as well).

  3. AprilC

    Wish I could help you but I’m a Shit Ass Ho Motherfucker and proud of it. LOL. Just wanted to say Congrats on the pregnancy! I’ve been reading your blog since the days of the nightmare dates (the firefighter comes to mind..haha) and I was so excited to find out you were pregnant. I just had my first baby last September and let me tell you, the time goes by so fast. Could have sworn I just had him yesterday. Welcome to this crazy ride called motherhood. Keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times and hold on tight.

  4. Oana

    What about a nanny-share arrangement? I’m flabbergasted at the rarity of infant (< 30 months) daycare! I hear UBC has a good one, but the waitlist is 3+ years. That's just insane.

  5. Brooks

    As you know my wife works in the same complex as you, and we have had our kids in a preschool in Richmond. Even though they call it a preschool, it is like a daycare and takes kids from 1 year old onwards. My youngest son is 3 and just started there and my oldest son just “graduated” from there in the summer.

    Pros: It is an absolutely amazing place situated right between a farm and a forest, with great staff and mostly organic, local food that they prepare themselves (they bake their own freaking crackers).

    Con: It is pretty much as far south in Richmond as you could possibly go (past Steveston), so it’s not exactly right beside your business park. It’s quite a round trip for my wife living in Van but working where you do.

    For us the con was worth it, but ymmv. Anyways if you want more info drop me an email or hit me up on Twitter.
    Brooks´s last blog post ..What Does A Dying Hard Drive Sound Like

  6. Nicole

    Here’s my story, for what it’s worth:
    Put my unborn child on the wait list for the SFU daycare when I was 10 weeks preggo, thinking I was on top of the game. Being both an SFU grad student and a “Univercity” resident, I was doubly on the preferred list. I started to ease my way back into school when she was 3 months, with Michael and I juggling work schedules (he started, and still works, 2×12 hr days and 3×6 hr days, starting at 6am, so that I can have some business hrs to work. I also work evenings and weekends). At 6 months, it was clear this wasn’t enough time for me, so I went to check my spot on the wait list, hoping for a 2-day a week position. I was number 35. No hope in hell. So, I put an ad on Craigslist for a babysitter. I was lucky because I essentially lived on campus, so I had 17,000 or so poor students with a few hours to spare between classes a few days a week right in my neighbourhood (although you’re close to UBC, so perhaps have a similar situation?). My inbox was flooded immediately and we hired the second person we interviewed (incidentally, the first interviewee admitted to us that she was relieved that we were white because she had been worried that she was going to have to look after a baby that smelled like curry…). She’s been nothing short of fantastic, and has followed us to North Van (her classes are now downtown, so it works okay for her). I never did get a call for a spot in the daycare, and I removed my name when we moved. But, I heard through the grapevine that it’s a very shifty system… something like the 3rd Monday of every month is first-come-first-served day. You go and harass the admin and they bump you into a spot, regardless of your place on the list and your level of preference. This explains why I never got a call. I would have put up a stink about this as well as camped out on the third Monday of the month had I not worked out another situation though.
    Anyway, I know your work situation is much different than mine… but, I thought I’d share because this system has saved us A LOT of money and allowed both Michael and I lots of time with Adele, which he wouldn’t have had if he was working regular hours. He really loves it, and I’ve been able to work about 30 hrs a week with it. I could probably do 40 if I wanted to pay the babysitter more, but this is enough for now.

Comments are closed.