The Youngling has been in daycare for a little more than two years now with that time roughly split between two places. The first place was a shiny new facility located in a retail box store zone between a large boulevard and the Trans-Canada. The current place is in our new neighbourhood and sits across from the commuter train station. In September he’ll move to a new place as his spot in one of Quebec $7 day a day spots finally opened up for him.
Fortunately, the new daycare is actually a part of the current one as its effectively one place with the privately funded facility upstairs and the public subsidized daycare downstairs so he won’t be going far.
So, for a year at least, we’ll get to enjoy the benefits of public daycare. It’s actually $9 per day as there is an extra $2 per day for breakfast. We eat at home in the mornings but it’s nice to have the option.
Them, a year after that, he starts kindergarten. Beyond wrapping my head around just where the time went, we’ll have to figure out what to do with him in the summertime when school is out.
This was not a problem for me when I was growing up. When school ended in June, with the exception of our annual PEI vacation for two weeks in July, the days were largely free. My mother worked part-time during my younger years, our grandmother lived with us, we had stay at home moms for neighbours and I hung around their kids, and as the youngest of four children, there was always an older person around to make sure I was ok. We never did summer camp (couldn’t afford it) but there were a few short-term stints at YWCA day camps and (*sigh*) Vacation Bible School (our next door neighbours were Baptist missionaries).
It’s different today. We live where we have no immediate family and few neighbours whom we consider friends. For a lot of families, this is the case. People immigrate from other countries or move to larger centres for employment and, by and large, they’re on their own. So childcare becomes an issue when both parents work.
I don’t know how we’ll manage it but I’m sure we’ll find something. It’s still over a year away. But I do know this: He’s totally going to Robotics Camp.
Edited to add: And just like that, here’s the New York Times on this very topic.