Chances are, you’ve got this whole childcare-in-the-city thing down to a science. Whether that childcare is 100% you, you’ve got a full-time live-in nanny or fall somewhere in between, your family’s no doubt found their groove – and families who are totally in-sync.
But now you’re moving to suburbia and starting to think about what your day-to-day’s going to look like once you’re out of city limits – and that includes childcare. The difference, though, between the childcare landscape in the city versus the ‘burbs? It’s way more important to find a town that aligns with your grand plans than it is to find a block or a building. And that means you and your family need to start thinking about childcare before you start scouting towns. Because that one detail could make a huge difference in your search and, ultimately, how quickly you get in the swing of things in suburbia. Here’s why…
In Suburbia, Childcare Choices Define Towns
Picture this: you’re a working mom who wants to enroll your kids in activities. But the “must-enrolls” in your town? They’re all during the week – and during the day. Your kids can’t go because they’re in daycare. And on the weekend? Sports, art, music, dance, cooking and, really, everything else seems to drop off completely. Not ideal.
Or flip the tables – you are that SAHM in a sea of nannies and au pairs. Sure, you can shuttle your kids to and from anything and everything, but how do you feel when you get there? Even if those nannies and sitters are friendly, you probably won’t feel so in the mix if you’re The Mom.
Understanding the Childcare “Norm” in a Town
Many suburbs have a pervasive childcare scenario – SAHMs versus working moms, daycare versus nannies versus au pairs, family arrangements… the list goes on and on. While there’s no right or wrong, if your family’s childcare plans don’t align with the “norm,” you could wind up feeling like there’s a good and a bad – and, worse, could wind up feeling like you’re on the less-than-great side of things. Activities center around those prevailing schedules and teams, and groups are anchored in the highest demand days and times, and things just seem to “work” if you’re on The Schedule. And if you’re not? You might not love it.
How To Take a Childcare Pulse-Check
Before zeroing in on a suburb, get a sense for the parent scene as well as a the childcare scene. If your childcare plans don’t seem to align with the bulk of the town, really think about what that could mean for you and your family. There’s nothing worse than your child missing out on all the after school play dates because they’re being whisked away to daycare while the other kids are heading home with nannies or moms and dads. It’s also tricky to navigate the kiddie social scene if that scene is dominated by 19-year-old German-speaking au pairs – and you, well, aren’t.
Check out towns during the week, if possible, and see what you see. Who’s hanging with the kids at the parks and playgrounds? Who’s at school pick ups and drop offs? Who’s waiting at the bus stop? Who’s filling the 16 Handles and children’s museums and swimming pools after school lets out? Is the vibe what you’re looking for? And, more importantly, could you see yourself (or your spouse, your sitter, your nanny…) and your kids there? Because that’s what makes a town – and that’s what’s going to make or break it for you and your family.
The Suburban Jungle is an award-winning firm that specializes in moving families from urban to suburban. The company’s innovative “town first” approach helps buyers find the right suburb for their family based on personality and lifestyle, not just the house. Services are FREE and fully customized to each family and their unique journey. To learn more and to connect with a Suburbs Strategist, and find the place your family truly fits in…visit www.suburbanjunglerealty.com and click GET STARTED.
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