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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    How far in advance do you make plans for daycare?

    I've been talking to a mother about potentially watching her children all summer but nothing is set in stone. We haven't discussed hours or wages, just the general idea. It would start in June so I know there's plenty of time, but I don't know if I should call her first. She made it sound like she definitely wants me to do it and she isn't looking for anyone else so I don't know if she's trying to give me time since I was unsure about quitting another job for it. Should I approach her?
    Mia, Lydia, Cora
    Corbin, Rocco, Quinn

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Northeast USA
    Well, in your case, if it means possibly quitting a job, I'd probably want to know when I was starting a month in advance (give or take a little). I'd still be weighing my options as to whether the other job could still fit into my schedule before that official date (which I'm sure you are), but I think a month is plenty of time to give notice for your other job. I don't see the harm in talking to her to clarify where you stand. Even if she isn't giving you an official answer, it would be nice to know if she's considering other options and what not.
    Current loves: Theodore & Rosalind

    Mommy to Arabella and Jude

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    North Carolina
    If I was giving up another job for this, I'd want to know hours and wages for sure. If you're way off on what you think is a fair price, for instance, it would be better to figure that out now, for both your sakes.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Los Angeles
    In answer to your specific question, you're trying to enter formal employment with this woman. You're giving up a paid position in order to be engaged as her nanny. Presumably you will not receive benefits or social security given the part-time nature, but you absolutely need to hammer out far in advance your hours and wages. While this mom might be willing to 'play it by ear' and have you as her perpetual back-up person, obviously that's not going to fly.

    In answer to the title of the post, most people start planning seriously for daycare sometime after the anatomy scan reveals a healthy baby. Women know far in advance what kind of maternity leave-- paid and unpaid-- is offered by their employer, and how much leave they can afford to take. This varies a great deal according to geography, but in big cities good commercial daycares are full far in advance, so most people tour & reserve their space 6-8 months before the baby arrives. In smaller markets and lower price points there is less of a crunch. Nannies are engaged a little closer to the date; if you have an ultra-short maternity leave (as I did) then you have to get it sorted out before the baby arrives, but people with 3+months usually like the nanny to meet the baby and interact together. Good nannies are formal employees, again with vacation, hours, benefits (COBRA-- though some agencies provide it), and Social Security withholding. Any nanny worth her salt will demand and expect these formalities, and rightly so.
    Blade, MD

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