Child Care

Advice and discussions about all types of child care including daycare, nannies, babysitters, au pairs, share care, and parenting co-ops.

At-home kids activities while working from home

Working from home with (young) kids? Our friends at Guidepost Montessori share some tips and tricks on the Winnie blog to help you manage it all.

Emergency Child Care for Essential Workers

These are unprecedented times. As daycares and preschools temporarily close across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s critical that essential workers still have access to high quality child care. Starting today, parents who need emergency child care can visit to connect with the child care providers who have immediate availability.

Anonymous posted in Child Care Mar 24

Do you think it is right that daycares are charging Parents full price when the daycare has closed?

My child's daycare closed starting yesterday 3/23 but we have received a letter stating that we are still required to pay for tuition costs because they have utilities and the workers to pay. I know this is a tough time for everyone but why should I keep paying for services that I am actually not receiving. I love his current daycare but once this is all over, I may be switching because it ... More

  • Anonymous

    I’m in the same situation except even worse, not only am I not receiving tuition or partial tuition but I’m also an employee of this facility and only getting partial pay through March ... nevertheless I don’t see top leadership sacrificing their 6 figure salaries to pay their employees and/or help families whose lives have been financially upended. I’m in a weird spot where if I say something ... More

  • Anonymous

    So daycare opens back on Monday but my son won't be able to attend because I am not considered essential personnel but I won't have to pay anything while he isn't there. I am happy that he will be able to stay at his current daycare. I wouldn't had mind a partial fee but full price for no services is asking a lot. His daycare is a small intimate daycare & as a teacher, I oft... More

Anonymous posted in Child Care Mar 20

Coronavirus and babysitter

How are working parents dealing with the “stay at home” policy due to coronavirus? I am wondering if I need to have my babysitter still come to work or not. And if I were to ask her to stay home instead of coming in should I pay her for the days not worked?

Should we be sending our toddlers (3yr) to daycare now with COVID-19?

  • Laura
    Mar 20

    It's a tough decision and it's almost better when they make it for you and just close. Ours is pausing tuition and hopes to reopen by April 27th.

  • IV

    My daycare is still open, and I take her there so I can work from home. I am satisfied with the measures they are taking. Parents are no longer allowed inside, we do door drop-off now, etc. I also don't have anybody at-risk at home. So you would have to weigh your circumstances.

Sara posted in Child Care Mar 16

Parenting & Pregnancy during Coronavirus

Winnie and Startup Pregnant held a webinar to answer questions about parenting, childcare, pregnancy and birth in the age of Coronavirus. Video of the event here:

Are you thinking of closing your daycare due to coronavirus.

I have a daycare in SF. Right now all 90 parochial schools in the Bay Area have been closed for 2 weeks and some other preschools, elementary schools and probably some daycares are doing the same. If/when you decide to close how are you handling tuition? Should I reimburse for the days in March that I close? Prorate April?

  • Peggy L.
    check_circleChild Care Provider Thursday

    Here in Broward county, FL, the guidelines are a total of 10 maximum, that number includes staff. As for me, that will limit me to 8 students and 2 staff. I would recommend you going to your county's website and read the laws.

  • Matthew

    @Trina, didn't we just hear that MD child care is closing as of this evening? It sounds like home or center based needs a Covid-19 certificate?

Future Plans

Having a bit of a crisis. I don’t know what I want to do with my life! I currently take care of infants in a daycare setting, which I LOVE, but the money just isn’t there. I can’t support my family on minimum wage forever. Older kids overwhelm me WAY more than infants do. What could I possibly do that involves taking care of babies all day but pays more than minimum wage? I have no degree, so... More

  • B
    Mar 12

    Could you nanny for a family/two families? Still childcare but often pays better. At least where I live

How much is daycare for a newborn?

Curious if anyone has experience putting a newborn in a daycare, and how much it costs? I am in the Bay Area in California would love to hear how much is daycare for a newborn in various areas. Thanks!

  • Pianpian
    Mar 12

    Thanks both! How was your experience and your babies' experience in the daycares? Did you feel comfortable putting a newborn there?

Anonymous posted in Child Care Mar 09

How are you handling Coronavirus for your daycare?

I'm writing a letter to parents about my sick policy / Coronavirus at my daycare (6 kids total). I'm wondering should I state if a parent is sick, the child must stay home, so they can not spread the illness. I have parents that will have the flu and still drop off their kids. What did you say in your letters regarding the virus and illness policies?

  • Shirin K.
    check_circleChild Care Provider Mar 12

    In my letter I asked families to notify me if anyone in their household had come in contact with anyone who tested positive. I would then ask that child to self quarantine for 14 days before returning. I posted this question just recently but have You thought of what a temp. daycare closure would look like? I’m in SF and I think we might be close to closing schools/daycares. I’m just not sure ... More

  • Charlene
    check_circleChild Care Provider Mar 12

    Well I looked at it like this, if we has to closed down daycares for a month I am guessing I would have to wave the fees, it going to break me have you called around other daycares that has more kids than you ? you gave me something to think about, if I find out anything I let you know

Rebekah posted in Behavior Mar 06

Is this normal?

I’m at my wit’s end with my youngest. She’s 4, 5 in June. She’s been super aggressive, screaming at the top of her lungs at us, her teachers, and anyone who doesn’t give her her way. Saying she hates us, biting herself or her clothes. She flips out when someone takes her stuff and when her routine is changed. We set boundaries at home, she just started at her new daycare 3 weeks ago because her... More

  • Joni
    Mar 07

    I hope the behavioral assessment helps. It has with my son already, and ours just happened this past Monday. He was diagnosed with autism. Some of what you mention is consistent with that diagnosis, but I’m no psychologist, so it could be any number of things. I just hope you can get a glimpse at what’s motivating the behavior somehow. That’s really what’s going to help give you the tools to mo... More

Anonymous posted in Child Care Mar 06

How to enforce child’s medications with your daycare?

My daycare has not been administering my toddler’s medications to him. They are topical creams that are prescribed for his face to help heal a potentially disfiguring injury. Per doctor’s orders, he’s supposed to get them daily for a year or else it will scar and heal improperly. If it heals improperly, the doctors say my child would need surgery to correct it. I’ve discussed my concerns with ... More

  • Jenny
    Mar 12

    Legally, the daycare does not have to apply the cream. If it was medically necessary (i.e. insulin or epi-pen) they would have to administer it. Did you filled out a medical permission form for them to apply the cream? How often does the cream need to be applied? Depending on how often, would it be possible for you to do it when you drop him off and pick him up, as well as the times you are doi... More

  • Caitie
    Mar 19

    From a daycare workers point of view, I am so sorry that this has happened to you. There is no excuse. That’s like saying that can’t put on diaper cream during a diaper change because it’s too much. Honestly, I would change daycares.

C posted in Behavior Mar 04

How to handle kids bullying your kid?

My son recently aged out of the infant program of his daycare. At 1.5 years of age, he recently started at a new daycare’s toddler program. He’s the youngest of this class by one month, but he’s much younger developmentally. The other toddlers can walk, run, jump, speak a few words or sentences, count, feed themselves with spoons - mine cannot. He’s also the smallest physically. Something I’ve... More

  • Anonymous
    Mar 05

    This is normal, and I'm sure it seems like your child is "good" at sharing. But he probably just hasn't developmentally gotten to that "mine,mine, mine" stage yet. They don't call it terrible 2's for nothing. No matter how much you teach him or any other kid to share, or not take things, or not hit, their little brains impulsive drive to get what they want ov... More

  • Ashleigh
    Mar 12

    I agree that it sounds like relatively normal toddler behavior, however, it does not sound like normal adult response to me. Toddlers need adult guidance when they are doing something we don't want them to repeat, ie snatching toys or hitting. They have to be taught how to be good citizens, and they won't learn anything they aren't being taught. It sounds like this lesson is &quo... More

Sara posted in Child Care Mar 04

Do you have a child care plan for Coronavirus?

What you can be doing now to prepare for possible daycare and preschool closures:

  • Pianpian
    Mar 13

    Check if your city is providing any emergency child care service like San Francisco:

  • Oscar T.
    check_circleChild Care Provider Mar 15

    The emergency child care are primarily for healthcare workers, city & county of san francisco employees who have been activated as disaster service workers, and to families that are on the sf recreation & parks department’s scholarship list.

Anonymous posted in Child Care Feb 22


What questions should I ask a potential babysitter?

  • Anonymous
    Feb 22

    How much they’re expected to be paid, how flexible they are if you’re running late, what their availability is, how they want to be paid (our sitter prefers Venmo), what experience they have with kids and what age, if they have reliable transportation, are they cpr and first aid certified for children, how much they charge for each additional child (if you’re pregnant or planning to have more),... More

  • Amanda
    Feb 24

    I am going to flip it and offer some insight on the babysitter's perspective (I was a professional nanny for 10 years & still babysit for several of the families with whom I have relationships.) When I meet new families, the questions I usually ask are: "Have you ever had a babysitter leave on bad terms? Do you still have relationships with your former caregivers?" Obviously... More

Crying non stop

Here is a topic how many days or weeks do you keep a littleone who is crying non stop all day long have done everything you can think of to make the littleone happy and i mean everything and still they are crying and it is at the point that it is affecting the other children in your care what do you do???

Deciding on the right type of childcare for your family

How were you able to decide which type of childcare was right for you? There seem to be so many choices, from private nannies to nanny shares to in-home daycares to daycare centers to co-working spaces that have childcare. What factors did your family take into consideration when deciding on the type of childcare to choose?

  • Laura
    Feb 07

    Logistics of travel was my main criteria. We only considered daycares near my work or near our home. Also logistics and guarantee of a spot. With the big institutional daycares near my work, as long as you signed up a year in advance, you'd get a spot. Nanny shares tend to come together last minute, require more legwork to find another family and a nanny you like, and all that sounded stre... More

  • William Hopson
    Feb 08

    I think For some families, the most convenient option is having the caregiver come to your own home. In some cases, caregivers may even live in the family home. The advantages to this approach include the potential for your child to receive more individual attention, limited exposure to seasonal ailments such as colds and the flu, and your child’s comfort level with a familiar place.this has al... More

Anonymous posted in Child Care Feb 07

Family expectations from daycare

I work/study from home and needed some time during the week to focus on my work. So we found a 2 day a week home-based daycare situation with a 1:2 to 1:3 ratio that we pay $16/hr. Baby (9 months old) is a challenge to feed and doesn't nap on a schedule, but if you put finger food on the tray, he will eat the food by himself but it will take time and if you just let him play he will end up... More

  • Beverly
    Mar 21

    In the past 20 of my 30+ years. that's when I started working on and off with infants. I am a witness that you can get all babies on the same sleeping schedule. I'm not talking about newborns but, 6 mons. and up if you feed and dry them. We had to figure it out operating on a skeleton staff.

Staff Development Days in Child Care Facilities

My family lives in Washington, DC where our 2-year old son attends a licensed child care center/daycare. The facility is in the process of getting accreditation. As of last week, they informed parents that the daycare will be closed 12 days of the year for staff development days (in addition to all standard federal holidays, stipulated vacations, etc.). I consider staff development days import... More

  • Anonymous
    Feb 12

    Professional development is much needed. It's a time when staff is being trained on new things, it's a time when new ideas ate being bought up. It's a time where teachers update their principal/director on what they're doing. It may seem like a lot if days but it's all for the benefit of the children and parents. They also have to keep up with the required training hours per year.

  • Anonymous

    I am a provider in NC, we have 15 days a year, this includes holidays, vacations, and professional development. We get 5 days for sickness. I feel for Family home daycare workers it is not enough for our mental and physical wellness.

Anonymous posted in Child Care Jan 23

This is not going to sound good.

This is so inappropriate, prejudicial, and likely sexist of me but I am having a really hard time. My daughters preschool (she’s 2.5) has hired a male teacher. They’ve done this before but the male teachers have always ended up in the older wing. They’ve hired one now for my daughters age group and I just don’t feel okay about it. I know, I know. I KNOW. but I’m still having a hard time. I gues... More

  • Anonymous
    Feb 10

    Hi all, thanks again for everyone’s kind words and support. I ended up not having to talk to anyone because the day after the teacher was hired he quit, citing familial issues. I hope everything is okay with him. My daughter is more verbal daily and I will trust the people I leave her with more once she transitions up to preschool. If before then a male teacher is hired for her room I’ll reques... More

  • Cheri Castleman
    Mar 10

    I feel the same way,it happen at the Day care I have been taking my daughter 2 now I'm looking for something different

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