Wednesday, March 28, 2012

day care disaster

When we moved to St. Louis I heard from other moms to get on the waiting list for day care ASAP. So in August I googled "Wash U daycare" and found their website. I filled out their wait list application, mailed them a check, and was waiting waiting waiting until Friday of last week.

They called to tell me they had a spot, I immediately agreed to take it, and Parker was going to start May 1st. I was so relieved. When I was writing the check my husband asked me to verify the cost, because it seemed to be more than other residents were paying. I emailed the director and she called me.

After a short conversation she informed me that I have been on the wrong wait list the entire time. I was on the wait list for attending physicians, fellows, and graduate students. There is a separate wait list for residents...and the two different day cares are not affiliated with one another. Therefore, my time did not transfer and they could not accept me. 7 months of thinking I was on top of the daycare situation, and THEN they drop this bomb on me. And they drop it a month before I need child care. But not to worry, she is very sorry and will refund me the $150 I already paid to hold my spot.

I was SO ANGRY on Friday I was shaking. I felt completely...victimized? Screwed? Someone should have caught this when I first mailed in my application. In addition, I called several times between them receiving my application and my being accepted and subsequently kicked off on Friday, and made it PERFECTLY clear that my husband and I were residents. No one said a thing.

I called the director back and, as calmly as I could, I informed her that I thought the fair thing for them to do was to make an exception for us and let us enroll until the correct daycare had a spot for my son. The director said she would call their Wash U liason and talk to them about it. On Monday I got called back with a big, fat no. No exception...they cannot take my son.

I then called the regional manager of the day care. I explained that this is no one person's fault, but someone should have informed me during one of several phone conversations that they don't take resident's children...someone should have caught the error. I told him that one problem is that their staff don't understand the difference between a medical student, a resident, a fellow, and an attending. I also told him that their website doesn't specify who they take and who they don't take. It says it's for "Wash U faculty and staff." The application is equally vague as it doesn't ask you to put down your occupation; it only asks you to put down your "company name" (which I put down as "Wash U surgery").

The regional director (and actually everyone I spoke with) was extremely nice and apologetic. The problem is that I'm still completely up a creek, if you will. The regional manager said he was going to talk to someone to see if maybe they can accept us, but it doesn't look promising. I am supposed to hear back from him on Monday.

In the meantime, I've been getting on wait lists left and right. I am calling around to home day cares also. The problem is that the day cares that have open spots for a 12 month old have serious problems. Stay tuned for an update about the centers I've visited...you won't be disappointed.

8 comments:

  1. Have you thought about a nanny?

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    1. yes that is definitely an option. I was trying to do daycare first but if it doesn't work out I'll have to get a nanny. It just makes me so nervous leaving my son with someone alone, even though I'm sure most nannies are very loving and patient. You never hear about those ones though...

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    2. Well if you do decide to go with a nanny, you can use care.com or sittercity.com. They do background checks. Also, it might be better to do a nanny if you have a hectic schedule AND you don't have to worry about finding alternative daycare if your child is sick. Good Luck!

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  2. Good luck. That is extremely stressful. You would think that someone would offer you some kind of "consolation prize" in this dire situation. I am sure that you can find a fabulous nanny. Get a rec from a friend or friend of a friend - someone trustworthy and then do your due diligence. I'm sure you will find someone terrific, perhaps even someone who will turn out to be like a member of the family. I know it is hard, and I don't want to sound Pollyannaish because that is so not me - if I could earn money from past complaining/feeling sorry for myself, I'd be a bajillionaire, but maybe this has happened for a reason.

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    1. haha It's realllly hard for me not to want to scream on the phone and point a finger. I figure it wouldn't do any good anyway. All I can do is hope that I can tactfully get what I want by being persistent but nice. So far, nice doesn't work though.

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  3. Wow that is ridiculous! I'm with you, it should have been caught early on if there was an issue and the fact that you not only submitted an application and paid to reserve your slot but you also called between the two is poor judgement on their behalf. I hope things get straightened out and that they make an exception because this was their error.

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