Original poster writes:
Hi to all the late-working parents out there,
Am looking to make transition to FT daycare from FT nanny for my 2.5-yo daughter. I work in Manhattan and can't get home before 6:45/7p. My husband works later than I do. Seems like all the "extended hours" programs in the
neighborhood run through 6/6:30p--latest. Am wondering what other people in the same situation do? Is there a good 'til 7p program out there that I just haven't found? Do people hire a sitter to pick up their kids and bring them home for an hour? Is it better to look for daycare closer to work (in my case, that means Rockefeller Ctr area) to save the commute time?
Am feeling rather overwhelmed. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
"Day care only works if you have a job with very reliable hours and can get home by 6:00 or 6:30 every single night without fail. That's exactly why people use nannies. We just finished with 6 1/2 years of a nanny and now have an after school sitter who will pick up my kids at 3:00 and stay until 7:00. On the days that we need afterschool care - over at 6:00 - its a huge rush to get there in time."
"We havent even found a place thats open until 6:30. its been a big adjustment to our work life.i work in bryant park, my husband in rock center. i used to leave work at 7ish. now i alternate leaving at 5pm with my husband and a babysitter that we hired to do pick up 2x a week to work from 6-8pm."
"Childcare is overwhelming with two working parents. I've seen some daycare arrangements where the parents pay the teacher to walk the kid home, feed them or whatever until the parents come home. It's obviously separate from the daycare structure, but maybe a smoother transition than a nanny/babysitter in between. Maybe one of the teachers at your daycare would be interested in making a little money."
"This is what I did - I had a full time nanny and as my daughter went to preschool at 2.5 yrs kept her on full time until the next year as the classes were only 3 hrs 2 days a week and there were so many days off I needed her more anyway. When she went 3 full days at three years old we came to a new arrangement where she also cleaned my apt. At 4 when she went full time (5 days) to school we switched my nanny to a 3-7:30pm schedule and I helped her find a morning gig to supplement her pay."
"I'm aware of places that are open 7-7 or thereabouts but more in Bay Ridge (e.g., Tutor Time at 79th and 3rd Avenue, and a few places in the 90's etc.), probably because commutes tend to be slightly longer to Bay Ridge than the Slope. I have met people who live near Park Slope and reverse commute south in Brooklyn for daycare, for its better prices and/or hours. (and price differences can be significant I believe, certainly for preschool) When we lived in Windsor Terrace daycare was more 8-6 from what I could tell, so since we did much better having coverage until 7 p.m., we had a nanny for the first 4 years then transitioned to after-school ending at 6 p.m. and have some sitter and friend/neighbor help for emergencies and we tag team with friends, which gets easier as kids get older. If you find some in-home day-cares you might find more flexibility with someone who's willing to take a child a bit earlier or keep them a bit later than the norm, or go the nanny route. My info is a bit outdated (I have a 7 year old and researched this many years ago) but a friend and colleague chose Tutor Time partly for the better commuting hours a couple of years back."
"To add a level of logistical complexity: what happens when multiple children have multiple after-school activities, and both parents work full-time? Between them, this year my children have 7 music lessons/orchestra practice/chess team meetings 4 days a week, at different times and in different locations-- and I need to be present for the younger one's music lesson. With all this, I can't avail myself of the new, attractive afterschool program at our local school. The only way my wife and I can possibly cope with it is to have work schedules just flexible enough for us to ferry/pick up the kids, but only in conjunction with keeping our previously full-time nanny on part-time in the afternoons to help with the babysitting/transportation. We have a challenging year ahead of us in this regard. But if either of our work schedules had been slightly more demanding, or if we couldn't afford the part-time help, we couldn't do most of this. What about single parents (whose circumstances I approach only temporarily when my wife travels out of town), or those who can't afford the extra help?
I wonder whether the solution might be some kind of collective in which parents take turns with the ferrying/babysitting. The logistics might be very hard to work out, though."
"About a year ago I was in the same boat as you. I knew I could never make it back into Brooklyn, from my mid-town commute by 6, I ended up finding a preschool in Manhattan. I would drop her off in the morning and pick my daughter up on the way home from work. the preschool she goes to now also ends at 6 with 6:30 late pick-up it was doable because she was in Manhattan."
"Traveling with her on the subway when she had a stroller was tough - carrying up and downstairs, but now that she's a good walker, make life so much easier. I take a variety of snacks, books, and my Iphone is great at keeping her happy. Plus the commute is pretty quick even though we have to transfer trains. She's been a great trooper and most times we do get a seat which is surprising during rush-hour. However, things will change when she is going to Kindergarten back in Brooklyn."
"Depending where you go in the city, Manhattan prices for preschool are almost the same now as Brooklyn."
"That being said, we sent my first child to daycare in Manhattan b/c it was easier to manage pick up time. My second child goes to daycare in Brooklyn and I had to take a less demanding position in my job and shift my work hours in order to get him by 6pm. Daycare in Park Slope is definitely not conducive to parents who work full time in Manhattan, which surprises me since it's such a kid-populated area. We opted to not have a nanny and felt strongly enough about our decision that it was worth other compromises to us. It's such a personal decision and there are so many factors. Good luck with whatever you decide!"
Related reading on PSP:
Commuting Into Manhattan for Daycare