My husband and I had been told that care would be difficult to secure so I started looking when I was pregnant. I was on contract work and when our daughter was 6 weeks old I had to start working again, for 12 hours a week. We were on every waitlist around the city. We kept waiting and waiting and nothing came up.
We realized there wasn’t going to be child care available when I went to work, so we pieced together different arrangements.
At first, we hired a local woman to come and look after her. But as my hours increased this no longer worked because we were not in a position to pay for a full-time nanny.
Then, my husband stayed home with her. It made sense at the time because we couldn’t find outside care and the industry he was in was struggling. But as our daughter neared a year old, my husband needed to go back to work.
Finally, I called my parents in Australia and offered them an all expense paid trip to Vancouver for 6 months. This didn’t come out of nowhere. My husband and I did the math: it was cheaper to fly them out to us for 6 months than it would be to have our daughter in any other care arrangement.
They arrived one month later and stayed until our daughter was 19 months old.
They loved it. They took her on adventures every day. They cooked together. I knew that there was great value in the educational experience of child care and didn’t want my daughter home for her entire childhood, but it was also great for her to have this time with her grandparents while they were here.
Still, this whole time we were trying to figure out child care. Once we realized that the time that my parents were here was coming to an end, we finally started just calling child care centres. And calling and calling.
Before my parents left, we secured a space. The care was fantastic and finally we didn’t have to piece together solutions.