When did you get on daycare wait lists?

posted 6 days ago in TTC
Post # 2
Member
2503 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

We secured our daycare early in the second trimester, which is apparently very late (I never got the memo). We had to give them a starting month, so I’m not sure how we could have gotten on before a positive test. We work for a university, and the daycare here has a few-year waiting list, but what they have you do is get on the list ASAP and then go somewhere else until your slot is called up.

Post # 3
Member
9116 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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@chrayray:  we called and got on lists as soon as we got pregnant. In my experience it’s all about timing – just keep contact with the one you like the best and be prepared to be a little flexible. Our top choice was where my niece went and so I had a kind-of in because I was recommended by an existing family. We started with a part-time spot before a full time opened up a few months later.

Also know if you plan on having 2+ kids in daycare at the same time that places prioritize siblings before the general waitlist so you’ll only have to deal with this crap once. My second child got an infant spot as soon as we needed it without any issues. However, in the 2-3 years pre-covid every infant spot in the school went to siblings of existing students and they didn’t have capacity to take people from the waitlist which is why it’s so hard for first time parents.

Post # 4
Member
431 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

We got on the list by the time I was in second trimester and a spot opened when I went back to work. We researched day homes as a backup in case we didn’t get in. 

Post # 5
Member
2676 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

Daycare is very competitive where I am… but I couldn’t imagine getting on a wait list (or even being accepted to a wait list?) when you aren’t even pregnant yet.  That’s so crazy.  Also, it took us 3 years to get pregnant – so you also never know how long it will take.  I would say the earliest I would get on a list is the time of a pregnancy ultrasound. 

Post # 7
Member
9116 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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@chrayray:  part of those long wait lists are that people never bother to call and take themselves off. I know of local moms who have told me they got a call saying “hey we have an infant spot available for you!” and their kids were in preschool already. Babies grow too fast for the lists to be actually that long. 

Post # 8
Member
2676 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

View original reply
@LilliV:  yes, people not taking themselves off lists is a big problem here.  There are only a handful of daycares that take 12m where I am in Canada, so everyone puts themselves on every list.  So in actuality you have no idea where you are on the lists and have to basically keep calling the closer it gets to see if there’s a spot.  

Post # 9
Member
82 posts
Worker bee

I think we called when I was in the second trimester. They luckily had one spot open so we put down a deposit and secured it. I agree the earliest would be when you have a positive test and estimated due date, but keep in mind due dates fluctuate from actual delivery. Once we had the deposit we didn’t need an exact start time, just a rough estimate say of January / February. 

Post # 10
Member
1377 posts
Bumble bee

I’m due in late October and we got on waitlists in July. We will need daycare beginning in April. Others will say to book daycare as soon as you find out you’re pregnant but I had two miscarriages and I can’t imagine having to call daycares and ask to be removed from the waitlist. 

Post # 11
Member
9873 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Pre-covid, we were on our daycare wait list when I was 4 or 5 months pregnant. We live in a high demand area though and the good schools book up very early.

Edited to add: If you pay the deposit and get on the list, you can always defer when your name comes up if you don’t need care yet!

Post # 12
Member
1413 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

We live in the suburbs of a competitive daycare urban area and all my city center friends warne dme to get on waitlists ASAP. Well when i called at 4 months pregnant to do tours and get on waitlists all the centers told me I was way too early as it was more than a year out (we were looking for care starting at 6 months). 

Well I ended up calling back right after having my son and suddnely nobody had space and waitlists were SO long. PANIC mode. Then COVID hit and nobody was sending to daycare anyway (and then it was panic mode to find a COVID-cautious nanny) and we got calls basically daily telling us spots had opened up lol.

In hindsight, I wish we had just got on the waitlist too early vs the panic of waiting and hearing there were no spots. So I woul say early second trimester is perfect.

Post # 13
Member
2307 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

We got on the list in my first trimester. However, Covid screwed everything up. We actually ended up doing a nanny the first couple of months since I was working from home and we were worried about getting infected. We kept our spot (we had put a down payment down) and moved it back a couple of times. We then found a small in home that only did 3 infants all the same age and decided to go that route (again trying to keep exposure down) that did not work out and we ended up at a different daycare that we absolutely love now, based on the recommendation of a mom from my mom’s facebook group. We like it way more than we did the one we had a spot for! 

All of this is to say, you never know what can happen, so wait until you get pregnant then get on as many lists as you can! 

Post # 14
Member
1513 posts
Bumble bee

When I was about 8 weeks pregnant. They (twins) weren’t going to start until 10 months old, so around 1.5yrs out. Still didn’t get my top choice. 

Post # 15
Member
8425 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

If the waiting lists are that long I’d just add yourself as soon as you’re trying. Worst case they call and you just say you don’t need care at the moment but would like to remain on the list.

I think we secured our spot right after the NT scan at 11ish weeks, but that was pre-covid. With our second we were basically guaranteed a spot since it was a sibling.

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