So, the logistics of childcare has been on my mind a lot. Here's the situation we will have next fall: a kindergartner (we are most likely going to take the plunge and move him to the public school for next year), an 18-month-old and hopefully two newborns.
We adore Chiron's daycare. It is so good that relative to the two places we had Trajan before preschool, I feel almost negligent. They love and enjoy the kids. The notes from the director to Chiron's developmental pediatrician plus how they work with him had her declare at his 9-month appointment that we didn't need to add PT or OT. Their food has been written up by the restaurant critic of the local newspaper. They have great events and the families really interact and it feels like a community. Not only that, but so far they have always had a slot for Trajan to go on his school holidays and he enjoys getting dropped off with his brother and also seems to really like the kids and activities for the big guys. A school with enough outdoor time!
I feel pretty confident that the director would be willing to work with us to negotiate down the price of two newborns and a toddler to under a nanny. They should be a bit over a thousand each, but I really think she'd make us a package rate. I started fantasizing about this idea and it seemed great!
Then reality hit.
One, how do you get two newborns and an 18-month old in and out of the school? I'm guessing a carrier plus a double stroller would work, and probably would work pretty well, but that seems like a lot to do every day just for daycare. Still, other parents are very helpful and in the morning there is often a second teacher around and this could work. Ok, maybe we can do this.
Then Chiron got his first fever. Minor thing, an ear infection, but enough to keep him out of school for two days. Then it hit me what a cold could mean. Kid one has it Monday and Tuesday, kid two on Wednesday and Thursday and then kid three on Friday. An entire week worth of missed work for a cold.
We can't do daycare.
So, a nanny seems like the answer. There are a lot of logistic to be figured out related to a nanny ranging from finding and hiring one to withholding and social security/unemployment taxes to arranging food in the house for all of them to eat and all the minor details, but I really think it will work for us. I've been convinced by those who have used nannies that as long as we select carefully and hire someone with appropriate experience (pay rate appropriate to that experience) that a nanny should be able to watch Chiron as well as two newborns.
Here's the part where I think I may be a genius. Was thinking that we would look for starting sometime around August or September. Both Paul and I really ate through vacation and sick time with Chiron staying home five months after getting discharged from the NICU, so we frankly just don't have the amount of time that we would like. So, having someone in place early will better allow us to get some work in and nurse projects along as well as children.
But hiring someone during that time frame seems stressful for several reasons. One, having hopefully two additional little people. Two, knowing that we HAVE to have someone soon.
Thus, the genius.
We should go ahead and try to hire someone to start at the beginning of June! Trajan's school year ends the first couple days of June and we were trying to decide between some camps and putting him at Chiron's daycare, so instead we can just leave him and Chiron at the house with the nanny. This would allow us to get to the nanny and the nanny to know us, and in particular the big boys, ahead of time. It also would put another support person in place in case something bad happens again necessitating restrictions and/or the fun of the hospital.
A nanny for these months will be slightly more expensive than leaving the boys both in daycare, but I think the advantages to us will be well worth it.
So, experienced friends of the internet, what do you think? And if we are looking for June, when should I start contacting people? The nanny agencies seem insanely expensive. Was thinking with a mix of telling every person we know that we are looking, advertising with Craigslist and maybe care.com or similar and creating a basic starting application with Google Docs to do some weaning, we could do it ourselves?
Any other nanny logistics, experience or recommendations you can share with us?