In Fairfax County where I live, they have a public program for after school child care. It is much cheaper than the day care, and the programs are great (according to word of mouths), so it's very popular. As soon as Kyleigh turned 4, all my coworkers urged me to get on the waiting list. So I have been on the waiting list since July 2011 (yes, over a year ago), and I finally got the notification today that it is our turn to get in!
But now I am having second thoughts. The public program is cheap (about half price of what I am paying now), but they only open till 6:15 PM. This is not so bad for this year because her school is only a mile away and it would be less than 10 minutes to get there with a few traffic lights and slow neighborhood traffic. Next year, it will be a nightmare because the new school is 8 miles away in the traffic direction, and I don't think I can get there in less than 30 minutes.
The day care is double the price of the public program, but Kyleigh likes the people there (and so do I), and they open till 7:30 PM (used to be 8:30 PM). Not that it is a good thing to leave Kyleigh there for very long, but I do have the option to leave the office by 7:15 PM and still make it in time. Right now we are really busy at work and I have been picking her up around 7 PM frequently. But it won't work next year because they do not service the new school (too far).
So now I am torn. I don't know if I should accept the enrollment invitation for the public program or not. If I do, I will save some money but my work hours will be limited (by an hour a day now and 1.5 hours next year). But then of course I can spend this extra hour with Kyleigh instead of my computer.
Staying with the day care also gives me a little more bargaining power next year when I request to stay at the current school, but there is no guarantee they'll let me stay anyway.
What would you do?
Should I ask Kyleigh if she wants to switch? (Should she be given a choice?)