I've been hearing since the day we announced our pregnancy one common theme. Everybody in the Saint John area has been consistent in their words: "Congrats. How are you feeling? When are you due? Get on a list for child care now, in fact do it yesterday". At first I brushed these comments off a bit but then as time went on an I met a few girls who just had babies, are pregnant now, etc and they said the same thing. John also started coming home from work saying that his buddy said the same thing. Last weekend at a baby shower for a new friend I met all kinds of moms! They all said the exact same thing with urgency in their tone of voice. One woman even told me that she went on a wait list for day care well before her baby was born and she didn't get a call for an available spot until the baby was...get this...21 months old! HOLY CRAP! That put some fire under me and I got to work. I will only take our child to someone in the Valley area-it just works out better for travelling to and from work and the day care and also the times day cares are open. Also, this is likely where Baby Walker will start school and it is important to me that he/she will start school knowing some kids from day care! I called every day care facility in Rothesay and Quispamsis that I knew took infants! Here's how it went down:
Call #1: A very very sweet woman answers the phone and we chat about pregnancy and she tells me she too is pregnant and due in november. She said they already have a 60 person wait but will certainly add my name to the list. We chat some more about how I am not originally from here, just moved to Quispam last year, and where we live in the neighbourhood, etc. She mentions that they will try their best to make sure our child will get a spot since they like to keep the children in their home area too and they are very close to our house. They have been in business for a while but recently built a brand new facility really close to our home. She gave me hope that a spot would open for us in January 2012 but still suggested to call others just in case as spots are few and far between and things change all the time!
Call #2: A nice, but firm, British woman answers the phone and does all but laugh at me when I tell her I am looking for a spot for my child in January 2012. She says all of 2011 is filled and a lot of 2012 as well. She actually says this: "Definitely call other places because I'll be honest, you're chances of getting an open spot are basically zero. Around here, when women get pregnat we are second to know. They tell their husbands first and then they call us". Great-thanks for the optimism lady!
Call # 3: Hard to say right now. Will call people as spaces open up and if we're not ready at the time of the call its kind of too bad so sad and they can't garuntee one will come up again later. (FYI-I'll be damned if I am going back to work any earlier than I have to-NOT happening). Also, this lady was not overly nice and a little gruff-not the warm and fuzzy feeling I got from the others and you know what they say about first impressions...
Call #4: Won't take babies until they are 15 months old! But would be able to tell me well before January if there was a spot open in march 2012. Option would be to look at hiring a private sitter for the 3 months up until then.
Call #5: *Same as call #4 - but this woman was soooooo nice! I really liked her! She provided me with TONNES of information that really helped me.
Obviously, if I did get an available spot at one of these facilities I would want to go visit and spend a few hours there just to make sure it was the best place for our child but at least our name is on a list and we are a step in the right direction. I find it all kind of shocking that I am already starting to think about who will look after our baby when I go back to work before I even go on my maternity leave! Besides coming to the conclusion that child care is extremely hard to find, I've also come to the conclusion that it is extremely expensive! I knew this all along but just when you start actually taking a hard look at it all, it's quite shocking! I think I'm in the wrong industry! ;)