Today I am being a responsible parent and calling some daycares in the area. It's sad but true, if I want a space available for Miss Gwen come next April then I need to be getting on waitlists now. I'm gratified to learn that many centres in Nanaimo offer part-time spaces, both half-weeks and half-days.
Naturally, because this is me we're talking about, things have to be more complicated than they would be for the average bear. Because when I go back to work next April, I have no idea what kind of job I'll be going back to. For the past 2.5 years I have been working as a Data Entry Clerk. This summer, while I'm on leave, the department I work for is implementing a new software program that will allow clinicians to enter their own data, thus eliminating my position. Now, because I work for the Health Authority and am in a union, when I return they have to provide me with a job, and I believe it has to be at the same pay level as my previous work. But I have no idea what that job will be, where it will take place, and so on.
Further complicating this is the part-time issue. When I go back, I want to only work part-time, and were I to be returning to the same job, this would be no problem. But with Mystery Position, no such guarantee. Of course, I am welcome to apply for any position that comes up within the Health Authority, with no loss of seniority, but that just adds more questions to the mix.
So here I go, looking for daycare. Do I want a full-time space or a part-time space? If I reserve a part-time space, that limits my availability for work, so that when I am returning and potentially interviewing for upcoming positions, I have to tell them I am only available for certain days and hours. I'm sure I don't need to mention that this reduces my ability to land a new position. On the other hand, if I reserve a full-time space and then end up working part-time, I will have to pay the full-time rate unless the daycare centre can find someone else to take the other half of the part-time space. See what I mean about being complicated?
This doesn't even take into account the usual stuff a parent has to deal with, such as actually liking the daycare staff and their care philosophy. Oh, and affording the costs.
Argh. This is why I wanted to wait until next March to deal with this stuff, but unfortunately if I do so then we won't be able to get a space anywhere. So like I said, I'm being responsible and trying my best to ensure that my childcare needs will be met, despite the fact that I have absoutely no idea what those needs will be. Gah.