Thanks Weissbier, you have made a very important point that fancy is not always better. I have decided against the fancy nursery and will be waiting for a spot to open up for DD that is closer to home.
Hunting for nursery is often stressful because it involves what is most precious in the world to you. Equally, there is no such thing as a perfect nursery - if you want one where your child will be happy, but which is also at the end of your street, lets you register and cancel when you like, serves exactly the food you want, etc, it probably doesn't exist. Living abroad the search can also be stressful because there are different cultural expectations - I got very worked up about the ratios here in Germany as they are lower than in Britain, but a nursery with British ratios just doesn't exist so you either have to accept it or get a nanny.
I would decide what your priorities are and then go for the best compromise, or change your childcare concept if you can't find a good enough compromise. Both DH (who is German) and I concluded that German nurseries aren't really geared to very small babies (it is also always mixed age groups, no baby rooms). So we binned the plan we had of putting the baby in nursery from three months (that was a plan we made before we had kids... ). DD1 was looked after at home until she was 1, and as that was stressful work-wise as we couldn't afford enough hours and had to make the work up at night, for DD2 we've organized longer parental leave shared between us until the same age. From 1 we are happy with German nursery.
It's about striking a balance between not choosing something your gut feeling is really not happy with - that's important - and recognizing if/where your expectations are exaggerated. For example, maybe not having any back-up pick-up would really worry you, and maybe the nursery round the corner is just as loving (fancy doesn't matter btw, all that stuff is for the parents. The children need safe, loving care from a stable team). Or maybe the nearby nursery isn't really good enough, but you would be able to find a friend with a car who could be back-up at the other one.
It gets a lot easier once they have settled in and start telling you how much they love nursery Good luck!
Hi all. Have to make a decision about daycare and I am not sure what is not feeling right so hope you can help me by sharing your stories. Essentially I wanted a daycare that was closer to home - don't mind a small drive (over here it will be too cold to walk in about 2 weeks time, there were already some snowflakes coming down this morning). Have viewed a daycare which is quite upmarket but is a drive from my home and not near public transport. I am having trouble committing as I had to read the brochure - which took about half an hour. It emphasizes LONG TERM commitment, that you must be on 2 calendar months notice, but they can drop you either with 2 weeks notice (I assume this would be if you turned out to be late all the time) or 6 weeks notice if they decide they don't have the space to accommodate you anymore. Everything seems in order with the daycare, although it sounds pretty serious for a DD that's 18 months. We would have to enrol in January which is not ideal as we have to be away for half of February which would mean paying in effect of $800 for being away - they will not do later dates. I do not yet have a job so we would have to absorb the huge cost of the monthly fees until I can get working again. (will be the first time I will be working in this country) I was hoping that the daycare would be close to public transport in the event that DH and I got stuck in the bad traffic and had to make other arrangements , one of us could just hop on the train to be there. Traffic seems fine normally. I just feel that we are leaving no margin for error with this place being nowhere near public transport. I am seeing a more modest daycare around the corner from my house on Tuesday morning. Although this would not be as fancy as the one mentioned before, it would be in my neighbourhood so no driving and if we were stuck we could get a neighbour friend to collect DD. They are unable to tell me when they have availability, I may have a few months to wait. Am I being too cautious about the first place or did making the commitment to a daycare scare anyone else too? Help!