How to Choose Childcare

So you’ve just gotten a positive pregnancy test and you're considering telling your parents and close friends. What else should you do?

Sign up for childcare, of course!

You're likely staring at the screen saying: "What? I just took a pregnancy test. I haven't even been to my doctor/midwife yet. You want me to think about childcare?"

In response, I offer this passage a woman posted on a listserve I subscribe to:

"So, after three years on the waitlist (literally since I was six weeks pregnant) for the daycare at my office, our two and a half year old finally got a spot! Woohoo!"

And that is far from the first time I've heard of that happening. Several years on a waitlist for childcare. I wish I were joking.

When I was pregnant with our first child, we started looking into daycares and found the same thing: years long waitlists.

It’s likely more common in more urban areas, but even if you don’t have years long waitlist, you still have to sort out the different options for childcare. Obviously this requires some planning.

Looking for childcare assumes you are returning to work. We'll talk about that in another blog. But - assuming you are returning to work, you'll need someone to look after your baby.

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Did you negotiate your salary?

“We’ve all heard it before: By not negotiating, women sacrifice thousands of dollars by the end of their professional lives. Recent research has revealed, however, that the number is closer to half a million.”[1]

This quote comes from an article on the Glass Hammer which cites that 52% of male MBA graduates surveyed negotiate their salaries, compared with 12% of female MBA graduates. And when the researcher had people evaluate those negotiations (on video) the women were perceived as demanding, while the men were not.

Should you still negotiate your salary and risk being perceived as demanding? How? And what do you leave on the table if you don’t negotiate?

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