In a city where daycare spots can be difficult to find, some Vancouver parents are paying thousands of dollars to hold unused spots for their children.

Mother of two Ingrid Irani is on maternity leave from her job as a registered nurse, and is already paying for daycare for her son Alexander though the six-month-old still spends his days at home.

Irani and her husband had saved some emergency money before she went on maternity leave and decided to use the funds to ensure her son has a daycare spot when she goes back to work.

“This is considered an emergency because it’s either we stress out later in January and try to scramble to find a full-time spot, or we just pay for it now, get it done and over with,” she said.

The family will end up paying about $6,000 for unused child care on top of the $900 they pay every month for their older son who is going to the daycare centre.

“I wish I could use the money for RESP or something more worthwhile but I don’t think my husband and I really have a choice,” Irani said. “It’s so hard to find infant daycares. It’s extremely hard.”