Monday, June 23, 2008

Daycare, ugh

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.


Kat said...

In my union if you job gets deleted you get to bump someone out of their job if they have lower seniority than you. Can't you just bump someone out with the type of job you are looking for? Maybe it's different with you guys and they actually try to do it nicely instead of forcing you to steal someone else's job.

I am so happy there will be some options available to you even if you don't know which one to pick.

Anonymous said...

...yeah. It's cool that part time care is available in your area. I didn't expect that to be an option anywhere due to costs on the daycare's part.

Anyway, I find it odd that the centres ask you to sign up for certain days already at this point. I would have expected you to be able to go on a blanket list, and then when/if a spot becomes available and you are at the top of the list, they contact you, to offer you a space.

In centres that I know that offer part or full time spaces (usually for older children) families will accept a part time space while working full time, because that's all that's offered at the time, and it then puts them ahead of others wanting to get in full time because they are already enrolled.

Glad to hear you're getting out there with your planning, and I wish you the best!

Amberism said...

Is it weird that my stomach was in knots reading this post? I truly, truly feel for you. I hope it all works out perfectly in the end, good luck!


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