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American childcare - any experiences?

(7 Posts)
Millbrook Thu 26-Oct-17 09:51:03

My son and daughter in law live in the US, and I am horrified by the lack of maternity leave. 3 months max, which means 2 of my grandchildren will be in full time nursery (8 til 6) from 3 months old. The eldest was in nursery in the U.K. for 3 days a week (9-4) from 9 months. The UK nursery was very high quality, but the US option seems to be much less regulated, staffed with unqualified carers etc. Obviously the kids 'can't afford' the more expensive options. There is zero free childcare in the US, unlike here.
I worry constantly about the impact this will have on all of them. There's nothing I can do, but I wondered if anyone in here has any experience of US childcare and can reassure me a bit?!

Bluegal Thu 26-Oct-17 15:22:20

I don't have any first hand knowledge of American Nursery provision, only that there must be a LOT of nurseries to choose from, for parents who continue to work.

I am sure your Son and DIL will do their homework and visit several nurseries, asking the appropriate questions. Engaging with staff and seeing things for themselves should give them some peace of mind (or not).

This used to be the case over here remember? where childcare wasn't regulated like it is today and anyone could become a paid child minder. My friend was one and she networked with other child minders who were all excellent also. Non of them were registered. I am not saying there weren't any bad ones but getting it into perspective there were more good than bad.

If your son or DIL have no option to care for their baby themselves (i.e. take a career break) then they will just have to pick one they have faith in (and remain vigilant at all times). If there is any doubt about anything then they should look elsewhere.

I do, however, understand how you feel as I wasn't happy about my GC going to 'registered' nurseries at such a young age. I felt apprehensive too (all turned out o.k. have to say).

I am sure they will all be fine and I think what you are experiencing is very normal 'Grandma' worries especially as you are so far away. Try to keep your own council though otherwise your Son and DIL may feel you are adding to their worries by voicing yours. Good luck Millbrook

Millbrook Tue 31-Oct-17 10:33:08

Thanks for that really helpful reply Bluegal. I am sure you are right about things being better than I think.
Sadly neither of them feel able to have a career break. But I would certainly never say anything to them about my they bring up their children is their choice, and it's not appropriate to voice an opinion; I just feel sad that there is nothing I can do to help.

Hopefully it will all work out ok and the kids (and marriage) will survive and thrive!

SueDonim Tue 31-Oct-17 12:53:07

My son lives in the US with his American wife and two children. The children have been in day care since they were small and seem to have emerged unscathed! They're now 4 & 7yo.

When babies, they went to what we in Britain would call a childminder - I forget what term they used. She was absolutely lovely, you could just tell as you walked in the door that she adored these little ones.

When they got older, they went to daycare and 'kindie', which gave them full, rich lives and lots of little friends.

I'm a great believer in instinct and if somewhere feels right, then go for it. Conversely, if it doesn't feel good, even if it ticks all the boxes on paper, walk away.

I hope your GC are happy in their care settings!

Millbrook Sun 12-Nov-17 09:33:16

Well it sounds like your family have had a positive experience with US childcare, so fingers crossed it will be the same for mine. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Hilltopgran Sun 12-Nov-17 14:54:23

My daughter had to return to work after 4 months in Spain, so I think we are used to a very different system in the UK. Curently one grandchild is in nursery in US and he loves it. Children spend longer in nursery in the states because they start school the year in which they are 6. All the US nurserys my DD looked at had great facilities with lots of outside space and the children encouraged to explore. One country my DD lived in women only had 1 month for maternity leave.

Millbrook Sat 18-Nov-17 11:25:55

They don't start school til they are 6?! I had no idea. Maybe I should start researching the American education system, although that might tip me over the edge!
Coming round to the fact that they live in a different country and that, while I think it's sad that they are bringing them up the way they are, at least I won't have to be around to cope with the fallout, if there is any.
One month sounds pretty harsh. We're so lucky to have half decent maternity rights in this country (so far anyway!)