I’ll try to keep this brief, but hoping for some feedback/advice.
My DD will be 3.5 at the end of September, but won’t start Kindergarten until September 2020. She currently attends a daycare centre for 2 days/week, and my mom watches her the other three days while DH and I work.
We are expecting #2 in early November, so I will most likely start my mat leave before the end of October. I will be off for at least a year (so until after DD starts Kindergarten).
DH and I are currently leaning towards only sending DD to daycare one day/week (instead of 2), starting Nov. 1 (baby is due Nov. 8). This is mainly to save money while I’m on mat leave. I don’t want to pull her out completely because although we don’t LOVE her daycare, she likes it and I think the interaction with other kids is important.
I guess I’m mainly just wondering if it’s better to leave her schedule as is (two days per week), or if reducing to one day per week at daycare makes sense (other than just saving us money). Will we wish we could send her both days once baby arrives (so I/we only have to deal with the baby two days/week)?
For those of you who had (an) older child(ren) in daycare when a new baby arrived, did you change/reduce their daycare schedule at all? Why/why not?
persimmon / 1079 posts
I’m on mat leave now and my 2 yo will be going back PT(3 days) a week. He is usually there for 4 but since I am home he will only go 3 days.
We wanted to save money but he loves school and we love the curriculum and interaction he gets. The time he is there also gives me some bonding and flexibility to do other things with Lo2. He goes back after Labor Day and he is so excited.
In my opinion, I would keep her consistent with 2/days.
We only dropped the 4th days because it saved a couple hundred dollars and 3 days is pretty good for him.
nectarine / 2400 posts
I would send 2 days. Consistency for her and a break for you.
wonderful cherry / 21504 posts
I would have loved to have two mornings a week for my older when my younger was born. I would definitely keep it if you can. Consistency for her and you have a break and extra time to bond with the new baby. Plus it will be less of a huge change when she starts K 5 days a week later.
grapefruit / 4291 posts
My middle child was doing two long days and one short day before I went on maternity leave and we dropped him to three six hour days. Most 3yo’s I know do the same three six hour days (ECE is fully funded in NZ for up to twenty hours per week).
grapefruit / 4361 posts
Keep the daycare for sure.
We went from 40 hours a week m-f 7-3pm, to 8a-12p any 5 days of the week and it was a godsend. He was also still napping so this schedule meant I rarely had to deal with 2 on my own in the early days.
Follow up question. Will your parents be babysitting at all?
nectarine / 2461 posts
My impression from every daycare provider I’ve talked to is that the more days kids are in it, the better they do—plus I t seems like the socialization aspect especially as she gets older is going to be important for your daughter ?? And the time off to just have the baby will probably be a huge relief, unless your folks are stepping in a lot and you don’t need the break. My son had to stay in daycare (full time is the only option and we’d have lost his spot) when my daughter was a newborn and I can’t imagine how exhausted I would have been if he was home. (But, we have only a two year age gap.)
persimmon / 1045 posts
@MLE81: we had a similar issue and she gap and we chose to keep LO1 at same days as pre his brother arriving. He loved it so we ended up increasing the days after a while....& was able to pull him out the days we wanted to spend together. The option of having a break was rather handy in those early months with two!
nectarine / 2797 posts
In the US so slightly different situation - we couldn’t have pulled her without losing her spot and leave was only 12 weeks, but no regrets about keeping her in daycare FT. The structure was great for her and the uninterrupted time with the baby was great for me.
persimmon / 1023 posts
I would keep at 2 days until after baby comes and then decide. Friends of ours have a 1 month old and were going to pull their older out of care to save money but after a couple weeks, they kept her in. Pretty much everyone I know has kept their older in because it’s just so exhausting and you run the risk of losing the spot.
For us, DS1 started kinder the day before DS2 was born and I was so glad he had his own thing during the day to have fun and stay busy while DW was at home able to focus on DS2 in those early weeks/months. She could rest during the day and then we could both be present for the kids when we all were home on evenings and weekends instead of being burnt out constantly. If money will be crazy tight, certainly there isn’t the option but I would do as much care for your older as you can afford because you will likely want that break and they will enjoy being out and about and socializing.
It’s certainly easier to not hibernate in your house with the second baby but having a whiny toddler needing attention and activity puts too much pressure on you when you’re trying to get your bearings, schedule, etc. imo.
pomegranate / 3355 posts
I'd keep lo1 at 2 days/the same as you are now. It's good for her and you! When I was on maternity leave with lo2 we kept lo1 in full time daycare. I obviously wasn't off for a whole year but we kept it consistent and it worked out perfectly. It gave me a break and allowed me to bond with lo2 one on one which won't ever really happen again and lo1 loved daycare.. she would have been utterly bored at home with me and a newborn
cherry / 108 posts
Thank you for all the advice, everyone! I had a lot of help from my mom when DD was a newborn, and imagine it will be the same this time. Should also have mentioned that I’m looking at other options for preschool for DD starting in January (for example, 3 mornings per week), instead of her two full days at daycare. However, it seems like it makes the most sense to keep things status quo for at least Nov/Dec and then see where we are/ how we feel.
pear / 1565 posts
I would keep thing status quo as well. DD1 was 2 when DD2 was born and I think I actually increased her days/hours!
honeydew / 7463 posts
Keep things the same. Better for everyone, if you can swing it financially.