I'm currently waiting for my CSR number to be issued, and I'm starting to get a little freaked out about the transition from student to reporter. One of the things that stresses me out the most is daycare. My daughter is two and has never been in daycare. I know she would love the interaction, so I'm not so worried about her as I am about scheduling. How do you work daycare when you don't work a regular job and you get scheduled the day before a depo? Do you just have to pay for full-time daycare and only use it when you need it?

Thanks,
Heather

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Heather, that's what I used to do. Most daycares don't have a part-time schedule. What's nice about having full-time daycare is you can bring your daughter there on the days you need to get caught up at home on transcripts.
Heather, if you're going with a regular daycare center, they won't be as flexible as, say, someone's in-home daycare, which might be better when you're just starting out. My daughter's grown now with 2 of her own, but even when she was small, she was in daycare full time. From my daughter's experiences with her 2, daycare is costly, and it would be a shame if you had to pay for full-time daycare and only worked a couple of days. I'd suggest maybe looking for in-home daycare, what we've seen as granny daycare, or a church daycare center, which might -- might -- be more flexible with your schedule, at least starting out.

M.A.
I totally agree with Mary Ann, (as usual), Heather.

With the recession, I'm thinking you could find a really nice in-home daycare that would be flexible. I know around here all the daycare providers are starving -- like so many other fields.

Just be really careful and do your homework. Call all the references and ask for the numbers of the other children in her care.

I'm going to be bold here and say -- after working all of my years in court, my number one rule was that there was to be no other stay-at-home males present in the home during the hours my child would be in their care. Yes, I have had the same type of cases involving female figures, but I really just never wanted that to enter into the equation of things to worry about.

I can feel a tongue lashing coming with this one. . .
Thanks, Tami. Sometimes there are long dry spells where no one agrees with me ... but, back to Heather, when my daughter was just 2 and in regular daycare, she kind of took a liking to a little blonde-haired girl that was her same age. The mother of that little girl struck up a conversation with me one day and said that she worked odd hours and things, and since our daughters seem to get along pretty good, couldn't we kind of buddy up and help each other out? We did, and sure enough, we "used" each other plenty ... but never felt "used" because we both called on the other about the same! It worked out great.

And to add what I think is a very happy and interesting continuation of the story, those two little girls were only in the same daycare for less than a year. After that, we moved away from each other (but still in the same city). Believe it or NOT, those two little girls (through their moms, us, while they were small ... later, on their own) stayed friends until this day. They had babies within 4 months of each other, and now THEIR kids are best friends.

So, as a famous quote says, "Trust ... but verify." You may strike up a relationship with another young mother that you have a lot in common with. And who knows what the continuation of that story will be?

Good luck!

M.A.
Thanks for the replies, ladies. I hadn't really considered an in-home daycare because I don't like the idea of someone wanting to take her in the car to run errands or something. But it does make sense that I'd have a better chance of someone flexible that way. Do you let your in-home providers drive with your children? And Tami, I totally agree. It may not be right, but a man in the home is a definite no-no in my mind, too.
You're right, I was thinking of one person at home with my daughter and maybe her own. I suppose it would make sense they can't go anywhere with a bunch of little ones! Thanks again. Oh, and the tip about asking about late drop-off or early pick-up was great. I hadn't thought to ask that.

Heather
Where's the family love, Heather? First of all, I would ask relatives you trust if they can be available for you when you need them -- for pay, of course. You never know, you might find a relative with a flexible enough schedule willing to help out family and make extra $$.

In my experience, in-home daycare is pretty much structured like actual daycare facilities -- they ARE NOT very flexible. You have to let them know your schedule when you sign up and pay for that weekly daycare no matter how many days your daughter actually ends up going :(. You may find one or two in-home people that may bend it for you a little depending on how understanding they are.

And there are in-home people that drive your kid around. I had a lady in the past that had 12 children, but when the school-aged children were in school she was left with only 3. And she did tote them around if she needed to, but she always let me know ahead of time if she was going to do this and if I wanted i could've said no. Remember it's your child and your ultimate say so. So if you don't like it be firm with what you're expecting out of your provider.

What I've done in the past is paid for part-time care and even if I didn't need it my son would go those days. And this is when I worked and went to CR school, so I haven't had to go through the worries of daycare scheduling while being licensed. (Thank mom for that.) But the interaction is good and at least you're not paying for full-time. (Part-time consisted of 3 full days or 5 half days and full-time is, of course, 4 or more full days.) Anyway, my suggestion would be you can enroll her for 3 full days and then when you get hooked up with a CR firm let them know you're only available such-and-such days of the week. And, of course, if you don't have a job one of those days, you can work on a transcript at home while she's at daycare. Believe me, you'll need that extra day :D. Hope this helps. You can call me at home if you have any more questions.

Who watched your daughter during school?
I use at the sitter's home care, and part time. I pay for the days that I plan to work. . . Usually Tuesday through Thursday are the busy days. Then, if I do a job on Monday or Friday, I would either use my mother-in-law or just call her to see if I can do an extra day with her. Or if DH could watch her for the time of the depo, if it was short. Usually I don't have a job on those days, although Friday's are changing now that I'm helping another Court Reporter. She's in school now so that helps. You would just have three years until school, then it's just after school. My sitter is on the bus route so DD takes the bus to the sitter's house. It works out wonderful!

My sitter does not drive "ever" with the kids.
Also, think about when you have to leave early. Can you take her earlier to the place you will use? Sometimes I have to leave by seven forty-five a.m.. I then have her go to the neighbor's and she can get on the bus from there. Once in a blue moon she will get off the bus at home and just go next door. Not often. I try not to abuse that relationship. If we ever move, I'm in trouble, LOL!
I forgot I started to respond to this and then by the time I hit the button, the site was updating. Oops. Here's what I saved from the other day, lol.

Jena,

We've been lucky enough to have family help while I've been in school, but my husband's grandma had to have heart surgery a few weeks ago (probably from chasing around my crazy kid.) He went back to school, so right now he's able to watch my daughter most of the time during the day, but if I wasn't home by 4:30 three days a week, he'd have to drop her at his mom's I guess. But I'm not sure what his schedule will be next semester. My mom has been helping out a couple days a week since "Grams" got sick, but I'm not sure how long she'll be able to do that.

You gave me some ideas about the half days, though. I think I could work something out where I would be available 4 days a week, at least for this semester. And it would solve my biggest fear, which is that they won't be able to get her to nap, and she'll scream and wake up all the other kids and they'll hate her, lol.

Thanks for the info. I'll probably be calling you!


And Rhoda, that's good stuff to think about too. Thanks.

Heather
Heather, I had one of those kids that wouldn't take a nap. So instead of the teacher fighting with him to get to sleep he just sat awake and helped her clean up toys and things. He thought he was the teacher's helper so he didn't have to take a nap :D. Anyway, that's the daycare center's problem not yours to worry about.
I'm in Sacramento, CA. Any chance your fabulous day care is in my area? :D

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