This is part of The Globe's in-depth series on daycare. Here are a few of the hundreds of responses to our online request for tales from the trenches.
I have to refuse shifts when my wife is travelling because we are unable to get drop-in early daycare for a shift that begins at 7 a.m. When she travels and I work the afternoon shift and arrive home at 11:30 p.m., there is no one to take care of them, pick them up from daycare, feed them. So we have to hire a babysitter – an extra $75 per day. Don't Quebec parents pay $7 per day per child? - - Steve Bushell Pitt Meadows, B.C.
Thereare a lot of nightmare stories about home daycares, but if you do your due diligence and really get to know the provider, it can be an excellent option, especially for a young baby. We are thrilled with our provider. We pay $1,200 a month, or $60 a day.
- Ariel Troster
Despite being on wait lists since before birth, we did not secure before- and after-school care, and have had to hire a nanny. We adore her, but now even more of our income goes to child care – and we fear that she will be poached on the school playground. It is a cutthroat market.
Tina Thomas, North Vancouver
My husband and I work full-time. We have to do two different daycares because my 5-year-old's daycare doesn't take 1-year-olds. A lunchtime pickup to bring her to kindergarten and a 3 p.m. pickup to bring her back to daycare, at which time she is crying because she doesn't want to go back. Crappy life when you have young children and try to work for a living.
- Cathy Scott, St. John's