Monday, August 22, 2011

the daycare visit

After reading about the extra time off my current provider is planning to take, which would have resulted in me needing more vacation days than I am able to take, I called the subsidized place to see if I still had a chance.  Luckily I called early and she agreed to take me.  So I went to visit today and it was really nice.  I was quite impressed with their operation, the meal plan and the daily plan.  They are happy to use my cloth diapers, and they have a great outdoor space.  The director was very nice, and the place is very secure.  I think Jackson will do well there, though I am not looking forward to the short transition.

I still need to have an interview with the city about the subsidy, I couldn't afford to have him there without it, it's about half the cost that the city is going to cover... That adds up to a lot of money.  Hopefully they call me tomorrow about the interview so I can get that over and done asap.  The start date is September 6th.  I have the day booked off to take an extra long weekend, now I'll be going to daycare to spend the day with Jackson there and help him adjust.  He'll do a half day then on the 7th he goes all day, unless there is a meltdown of some sort, in which case I'll have to go get him but that's ok with me.  They are closed the 3 days between Christmas and New Years, but I expected that any way so it's ok. Way better than the 10 days DCP is planning to be closed.

Now the sticky part.  My contract says I have to give one months notice, and I'll be giving two weeks.  I'm willing to pay for those two, obviously, and one more after he's done there.  But I do not want to pay her for a whole month.  Even that extra week is a bit much.  I feel as though she has violated the contract first because she says 10 days vacation but has already taken those, plus one booked in November, and the time over xmas... it would be 17 days in one year.  I don't get that many days in a year.  Never mind that I have take some extra time just for me. 

One good thing about the new place is that I can take my holidays whenever I want.  I have to pay regardless but if I want to take two weeks off in the summer, I can do that.  I will have to save 3 days for December, but that's fine.  I can do that. 

I am feeling blessed, and glad to have gotten the second chance.  Both a friend and my mom have said that this must be meant to be, and that someone upstairs is looking out for me.  I am not that religious but I do believe in a higher power, and something out there was knocking me on the head with the right decision to make.  That does help. 

The location is ok, could be better for getting to and from work but it was a 10 minute drive home from there.  I'll have to change my work schedule to 8 to 4, that's ok I guess.  And I will have to figure out how to actually get there and back, and avoid the construction currently going on.  I think we'll adjust to the new schedule.  Kind of funny it's labour day weekend, when school starts up here... I haven't had anything big happen around labour day in years!  Now it feels like I'm starting new :-)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

daycare and holidays arg!

I decided to leave Jackson where he is.  He's happy there, and yes it costs more but he's learned a lot and is doing really well.  It's also very convenient.  But now I'm having some second thoughts.  Mostly because of vacation and holidays.  The contract I have with the daycare says she will take 10 vacation days plus the stat holidays (she lists them) and up to 5 sick days.  So she has technically taken 6 sick days already, but Jackson was sick for 1 of them so I'm ok with that.  She has also already taken 10 vacation days as far as I am concerned.  There were 10 days, not stat holidays or sick days, that she was closed. 

And now she's put more on  her calendar!  One in November after US thanksgiving.  Ok fine, I'll play dumb and call in to work that the daycare is closed because she's sick, so I can use a different type of leave than vacation days, but is she expecting me to pay her for it?  Then she's got herself closed from December 21st until January 6th! That is 10 working days, not including the stats for Christmas and Boxing Day, and New Years.  I am so upset!  That means I'll have to use 20+ vacation days for this year, never mind that I'll be using 2 1/2 of them when she's open but I want to take a day off.  I only get 15 in a year!  I feel suddenly trapped by her scheduled. Yes I think she should be able to take vacation, and yes she's giving me lots of notice, but I have no backup. There is no one to split these holidays with, it's all me.  I'm stressing out now because I'm not sure I have enough holidays to cover all these.  It's making me ill as I write this and I can't even check until I go to work Monday. 

Plus one of the days I'm not sure if she's actually closed or not.  And the 23rd is a bring the kids to work day at work, so I can not take the day off and bring him in, get paid for it, not have to use holidays, but how does that look?  I'm off the two days before because daycare's closed, but sure I'll come in on the Friday.  I also have to save a day off for February when she's closed for a provincial holiday that I don't get because I work for the federal government... yeah go figure that one out.  And if she takes any other time before the end of March, I have to take unpaid leave.  Because I can afford to do that... I'm quite upset (in case you can't tell) and am wondering now if I should have taken that other spot... at least it's a centre and while they are probably closed over Christmas, that's 3 days, not 10.  Arg!!! 

I'm so drained by all this crap, I just don't know what to do any more.  I would like to not pay her for the extra days, since they are above her 10 vacation days, but does that make thing uncomfortable for us?  Do I care?  I guess I have to because she's watching my kid... and I don't want him to suffer for it.  So stupid.  I wonder if I can change my mind now about the other daycare... course I don't have time to give a months notice so I'd be screwed there any way, have to pay for two places at once.  I feel ill. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Daycare dilema

Just have to write this out I guess.  I love my daycare provider, she's great, she's convenient.  Jackson loves going there, he has learned soooo much and she has a lot of patience with the little boys.  Jackson likes his little friends there, he talks about them (though I don't always know what he's saying).  So what's the problem?  It's expensive.  And I'm a single mom.  And I got a phone call today, well a voicemail because my cell doesn't get great reception at work, from one of the waiting lists Jackson is on.  I have to call back but did some checking when I got home.  It's for a subsidized spot, so I'd save about $350 a month, over two years that's close to $8,000.  That's the down payment on a house, or payment for fertility treatment ;-)

The new daycare is on the way to work, sort of.  It's open 7:30 to 5:30, so I'd have to change my hours.  They wouldn't give him breakfast so I'd have to get him up earlier for that.  There are more kids there, so he'd have more friends, but also perhaps less attention.  There would be girls there, he now only has boys to play with, it might be nice to have a variety.  And if someone is sick, I wouldn't have to keep him home (unless it's him of course).  I mean now there is only my DCP, so if she is sick, she is closed, and I have to take the day off work.  I wouldn't have to take my holidays when I'm told, I could take holidays whenever I want to. 

It is a strange position. If he wasn't doing so well where he is, if it wasn't so convenient, if he didn't like Kristina so much, and if it wasn't so much money... I wouldn't even consider not taking the spot.

Another thing that worries me is there was one write up I found on this particular daycare and they go on about how it's for "families in need" and they are "serving poor families". Well sure, I qualify for a subsidy but I don't think I'm poor!  I mean the subsidy would be awesome, but do I need it?  Am I taking a spot from someone who really does NEED it? 

I will probably call them tomorrow and ask a few questions, will they use cloth diapers, some of their policies, how naps work, things like that.  I'll decide if I want to go and see them, and go from there I guess.  My gut is, he's doing really well where he is.  My head tells me to consider the option... it's a lot of money, and while money isn't everything, it sure makes things easier. 

As a funny side note, Jackson has recently become obsessed with the potty, and has peed on it twice.  DCP is willing to start working on potty training, though I don't think he's quite ready yet.  It is interesting and I wonder how much of it the other little boys there, one who is potty trained, and so he sees this. I'm really not ready for potty training yet!