Childcare Options for Twins

Finding good childcare can be tough for any parent. But finding childcare for your twins that fits your lifestyle and budget can sometimes feel impossible. What are the most popular childcare options for twins? Today our panelists share their specific experience when working with nannies, daycares, au pairs and babysitters. How practical are these options for you and your family?

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Episode Transcript

Twin Talks
Childcare Options for Twins


Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Finding quality child care is always a challenge whether you are planning for the delivery of your twins or you are an inexperience parent. We all know that we need help either full time or occasionally just to get out of the house.

But, how do you know what’s right for you? When comparing nannies, babysitters, day-care centres and au pairs – you might be surprised of the differences and affordability and flexibility.

I’m Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald here with our expert panellist discussing: “Child care options for twins.” This is Twin Talks Episode Number 17.”

[Theme Music/ Intro]

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Welcome to Twin Talks broadcasting from the Birth Education Centre of San Diego. Twin Talks is your weekly online on-the-go support group for expecting and new parents to twins. I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald.

Have you heard about The Twin Talks Club? Our members get bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts. Subscribe to our monthly Twin Talks Newsletter and learn about the latest episodes available.

Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Twin Talks App. It’s available in the Android and iTunes Marketplace. Before we get started, we’re going to go around and introduce our panellists here in the room. We’ll start with Kasey.

Kasey Haynes: My name is Kasey. I am a 30 almost 37 year old full time teacher. I have a five year old daughter and 20 month old twins; a boy and a girl.

Brenda Ruhl: I’m Brenda Ruhl: Ruhl. I’m 49 years old. I work full time as a corporate accountant. My oldest son Benjamin is 13 and my identical twin boys – Joshua and Jonathan are 11.

Dawn Lancaster: Hi. My name is Dawn Lancaster. I am 32 years old. I am a business analyst for a children’s hospital here in San Diego. I have fraternal twin boys – Jackson and Alexander and they are 14 months.

Shelly Steely: I’m Shelly Steely. I’m the producer here at Twin Talks and I’m also a high school history teacher. I have two children. They are identical twin boys – Greyson and Sawyer. Before we get started, I wanted to talk to you guys about our Virtual Panellists Program. So, you can become part of our conversation from home.

You can log on to our Facebook Page and follow along there or you can follow us on Twitter. Use the hash tag #TwinTalksVP to stay connected with our show.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: As your host, I’m Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald. I have twin identical girls who are 4 ½ and I have a singleton girl who is 15 months old; so lots of fun.

Today, we’re doing a special segment called: “The annoying and crazy questions that you hear from strangers along the way as twin parents.” So, we have one of our panellists joining us today. She’s got a story to share.

Shannon: Hi I am Shannon. I have an 11 month fraternal boys and first of all, you do get silly questions all the time. I have people say: “Are they twins?” Yes. Are they yours? Yes. Are they both yours?

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: No.

Shannon: I just rented one out. One of them is mine. So, mine don’t look alike but still really? I just picked one up off the street. But, I was actually in Balboa Park. I have an older daughter who takes ballet there and I was chased down by a bunch of tourists with their cameras. These are tourist from another country with their cameras who started taking pictures of my boys – of my twins. We’re like

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: A novelty of it.

Shannon: What are you doing? What? You can’t just take pictures of someone else’s kids. This doesn’t work like that. Of course, they didn’t speak any English and they were so excited and they were all like: “Come on. Look. Look.” They’re just clicking away.

John Rielh: That’s so cute.

Shannon: This is crazy. Let’s just go and we’re like try and run away.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So, you didn’t know like being harassed by tourists with cameras was going to be a part of the package?

Shannon: I did not.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So, if you got a funny story you’d like to share about your twins and being out and about hearing some crazy questions, give us a call on our hotline 619-866-4775 or you can leave us a comment on our Facebook page as well.

[Theme Music]

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So, Today’s topic is: “Child care options for twins.” Today, we have a slightly different format and we’re featuring our panellists as our expert parents who can give us an inside view of the pros and cons of using nannies versus day-care or babysitters or au pairs. So, they’re here to cut through all the hype and help us understand why using each type of service may or may not be a good fit based on your family’s needs.

So, welcome everyone. Let’s take a look at each type of care. Well, first of all – let’s look at nannies. So, what are the advantages of hiring a full time nanny?

Brenda Ruhl: I found a nanny was very convenient because I wasn’t restricted to the specific hours of day-care facility. Because I was working full time and so is my husband, if I was running late, I didn’t have that stress. I’ve done both.

I did quite an extensive time with child care outside the home and that was probably one of the most difficult things about that is: “It’s five minutes to six and I’m going to get charged a dollar a minute per child after hours and all of that.” So, that flexibility was a huge plus for me.

Dawn Lancaster: I enjoyed the one-on-one interaction. My full time nanny has a few kids of her own which have become kind of sisters for my boys. I can work with her and say: “Hey, this is what happened last night. Can we try to do this today in today’s schedule?” She follows the schedule that we have a home to a T.

She feeds them exactly what I tell her to feed them if that’s what I choose. We have a weekly learning schedule that we follow and she does art projects every day with them to follow the weekly learning schedule.

So, the flexibility of what I believe I want my boys to be learning or eating or schedule is: “She follows exactly what we want her to do.”

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That’s great. I would think now with nannies, I mean this is their full time job. So, they’re an expert in their field of child care. I know I’m getting these visions of sort of The Mary Poppins or Super Nanny.

I would expect that some of them – they’ve been doing this for quite a long time and probably have some suggestions and recommendations for parents and especially maybe new parents might benefit from that too.

Kasey Haynes: Mine, was a little bit driven in that because she was more grandmotherly. She was older and was a friend of the family. So, she was more providing a nurturing role because she watched my twins for the first two years. So, it was really just taking on that sort of grandmother role during the day.

One wonderful thing about it is: “Again, with her being there all day long and because the twins were so young.” During nap time, she did everything else around the house. I remember the greatest day ever was coming home one night exhausted from work, exhausted from the kids and all of that.

I’m thinking: “I can’t do laundry.” I open my laundry basket and it was empty because she did the whole job all of it. So, she would do cleaning; a little bit of cooking here and there – things like that. So, she has a slightly different role than some of the typical nannies.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Okay and is that common or what are some of the typical duties for nannies? Obviously, taking care of the kids but what else do they often do?

Dawn Lancaster: I drop my boys off at the nanny’s house. So, that was one of the options that worked best for us. So, unfortunately my cleaning piles up and my laundry piles up. I have to come home and cook and that’s definitely worse schedule comes into apply but mainly, her taking care of the boys is something that we were looking for.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That’s great. Also, as far as the schedule, if you’re working and full time in regular hours, are they available in mornings and public extended hours?

Brenda Ruhl: When needed, we didn’t try – we didn’t really take advantage of take advantage of her at that respect. There were certainly times when situations came up and we say: “We have this and this after work, can you stay longer?” She was: “Absolutely, open to that whenever necessary.” But, we’ve figured she was already putting in such a long day as it was because it’s not just her 8 to 5 your work hours. Excuse me.

You’ve also got commute time to add on top of there and your own prep time. You got to get your own shower in the morning and all of that. So, I would pick my nanny up very early because she didn’t drive. Bring her home practically in the dark of the morning and then, someone was already there to take care of the babies once they started waking up while I was taking my shower. I didn’t have to worry about that.

So, we didn’t go too far in the evenings but that when we needed to though she was always available for that.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So, it sounds like you have to do some driving and a little bit of providing some support as well?

Brenda Ruhl: It was but that was some of my favourite times of the day because it was dawn and she and I would first thing in the morning, we would have our little conversations in the car and then way back to the house after we pick her up.

I cherished those times at this point of just being able to do that and that was how I started my every day. It was such a routine and sort of got both of us to sort of catch up on things and go over what we needed to do for that upcoming day. So, it was difficult but it was actually. It was nice plus.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Are there any downsides to having a nanny, a single child care provider?

Kasey Haynes: I haven’t found one. I feel like I’ve been fairly lucky finding the right person, the right fit for us. It makes it very enjoyable.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: How did you find your nanny?

Kasey Haynes: I found my nanny on the internet. So, when my boys were first born, I had a part-time nanny to kind of help around the house about 2 to 3 times a week. That gave me the option to sleep and also give me the option to go grocery shopping without trying to take two little infants.

Going in, I used really was beneficial the first time. So, we tried it again and we found a wonderful nanny who was willing to accept what we were willing to pay.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Speaking of pay, so what is the going rate for nanny, for twins specifically? I guess Brenda, you’ve had total of three.

Brenda Ruhl: Yes.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: What would you expect to pay a nanny?

Brenda Ruhl: Mine is tough because it was 11 years ago. So, I don’t know if that’s comparable at all in today’s dollars. I try to remember what it was. I know it was several hundred dollars a week. But, I don’t really recall what it was at this point.

Dawn Lancaster: We were on a budget. So, I know that some nannies are paid or expecting to be paid anywhere between $15 and $20 an hour. We want to define somebody who was willing to fit into our budget. So, we were willing to pay $10 and $11 an hour. We ended up finding a wonderful nanny for that price.

So, I think that if you go the right avenues that you can find the nanny that’s willing to work for what you’re willing to pay.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That’s great to hear and it sounds like it also that regardless of where you’re located – if you’re in a large metropolitan area or if you’re in a more rural environment, the paying skills can be slightly different but you can probably find someone who’s willing to work with your budget.

Speaking of nannies, I think I’ve heard as their employee, how does that work with paying them and are they expecting they have a vacation time, time off? How does that work?

Kasey Haynes: Ours didn’t really. She wasn’t really in a because again, her circumstances being a little bit older and she had lots of other close family in town, she wasn’t expecting a two-week vacation or a one-week vacation. When we took time-off, she got that time-off obviously. But, ours that wasn’t really a consideration that we had to work with.

Dawn Lancaster: I think that’s definitely plus with having a nanny as you get to kind of come to that in your own terms together. I have a cordially beating with my nanny to discuss vacations and certain time that’s needed off.

For instance, my parents are coming into town and she doesn’t get three days worth of pay. Do I think that’s fair for her because my parents are coming to town, no. So, I feel like I’m going to be generous and pay her for that time even though she’s not watching the boys kind of up the bonus to her.

So definitely, flexibility there and what their willing to work with you on and then another thing is the taxes. That’s definitely a conversation that you want to have with that employee because they are considered an employee on how they and you want to work with that situation.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So, probably talk to your tax consultant and say: “The domestic worker – I don’t know what the term is.” Okay, we’re going to change gears here and talk about some day-care centres. So, how do you find a good day-care centre and also, why would that be a good choice compared to other types of services?

Kasey Haynes: Both of my – from my five year old and my twins; it was both through referrals. The first day-care provider; I don’t know if I want to say. I learned a lesson per say. But, our first day-care provider was not licensed. It was an in-home day-care.

It was good but now that I do have a licensed in-home day-care, I do see the differences and I would highly suggest going with a licensed day-care versus an unlicensed. I think licensed daycares are more cautious of situations around the home and what they’re providing for the children versus an unlicensed who doesn’t have to worry about that.

But, both were through word of mouth. The twins, I have to admit was a lot harder and took a lot more time to find a provider just because there’s two of them trying to find a place for two because of licensing and ages was difficult. Also the second time around which we didn’t have to worry about the first time around was a retainer fee.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Did you need to pay upfront just to hold a place?

Kasey Haynes: Yes.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Wow.

Kasey Haynes: They were fantastic and they let us kind of give a month type thing but we did have to pay several months in advance to hold the spot for the two. It wasn’t a discounted rate but it was kind of the reality is: “We have to hold the spot for two.”

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Was it tough? Seriously, it’s hard to find a place for two. Have anyone else have trouble with that?

Brenda Ruhl: We didn’t because I had done the nanny for the first two years with the boys but with my older child, he was at an in-home day-care with a licensed care provider for about his first eight months because I went back to work after a couple of months – but only because he was on a waiting list.

I had researched day-care centres and had gone to a quite number of them within the community. Found one that I absolutely loved, got on the waiting list but because again, in a newborn cares very difficult to find. He was on a waiting list for there because he was already there for a year and a half or so.

When I got pregnant with the twins, I told them first that I was pregnant again. They immediately got me on the waiting list for my supposedly single baby and then a few weeks in, found out that they were two. I remember about halfway through my pregnancy asking them at one point: “My gosh. I forgot it’s two and the end days.”

They said: “No-no-no. We changed it to two as soon as you told us because we need the spots.” So, that wasn’t an issue. I ended up keeping them at home for two years more for health issues because I ended up being preemies and I saw how many illnesses my son had picked up the first couple of years which is just its inevitable. It’s just a part of day-care centres.

I wanted to try and avoid that as much as possible with them. Eventually, got to the point where I thing the day-care facility was the best option for them after a couple of years just to get them in two. Some other things that we’re going to probably touched on later.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: It sounds like then you decided that for health reasons, you wanted to keep your twins at a day-care from the beginning?

Brenda Ruhl: Correct.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Did you guys found out as well – was that maybe a part of your decision to use a nanny? Was that a concern for you?

Kasey Haynes: The first option that we looked into was military day-care. We had a problem with the wait list. Of course, there’s a running wait list and in San Diego – we noticed that one boy would get accepted and the other boy was still on the wait list.

So, juggling that was not going to work for us. We did use the day-care. They had an hourly program and the third time that our boys were in that program for hourly care. We were unpacking our boxes when we moved here. They got sick. So, I’m like: “Maybe this option was not really going to work for us.”

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: If you find out that you were having twins and you are concerned day-care then you probably have to picture your name on the list like when you first find out you’re having twins.

Kasey Haynes: You do, yes.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: What are some of the average, the cost of a day-care thing?

Dawn Lancaster: I’ve hold up in San Diego so that we could just kind of look at comparison and even in just one city, it’s going to vary widely by the area of town you’re in. But, it looks like infant day-care; you’re looking at between 2 and $300 a week.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: A week?

Dawn Lancaster: Per baby. A toddler gets a little bit lower. It’s more on the $200 side maybe a little bit more and then preschool is about probably similar to that. So, you’re definitely looking at some high numbers $ 9 - $1200 a month per kid. Usually, I can tell discounts only 5% which is

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That’s it?

Dawn Lancaster: You think it’s a buy one get one or something but no. So, here in San Diego Day-Care Centres are going to be on the pricier side. The in-home ones are a little bit more affordable usually. They tend to be on that lower side. More like 150 to 200 a week depending on which part of the town that you’re in.

Kasey Haynes: Those day-care centres rights are consistent with what we paid 11 years ago. So, it sounds like they haven’t really changed all that much. With having once my twins were two – my oldest was four so at one point, we had all three in a day-care centre. I was paying college tuition prices at that time.

I always – my friends who had their kids at home and all of that ended up send in their kids to private school for kindergarten and elementary and all of that. We sort of switch financial roles – I was paying those dollars when they were babies and then I ended up getting them public school and that’s when they took over and started paying this incredible dollars.

As we say: “We pay for a while we’re paying a third mortgage but its ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. Preschool with an employee discount was running us with care about $600 a month and then the twins, depending on the amount of days and the month. It’s anywhere from 1100 to 1400 a month. That’s what the sibling discounts.

I wanted to say: “It’s $2.75 a week with the sibling discount which I think ours is 15% was for the second.”

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: It does add up with two.

Kasey Haynes: Yes.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: When we come back, we’re going to take a break and we’re going to come back and look at some other options that maybe some parents haven’t considered.

[Theme Music]

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Welcome back. Today we’re talking about: “Child care options for twins.”

Our discussion continues as we look at some of the little learned facts that may make different childcare services right for your family.

So, we’re going to talk about au pairs. Now, I actually had the privilege of having an au pair in my home. We had actually two au pair. One a year and that’s day, they go home. So, an au pair just to give a little bit of background; it’s an International Student Exchanged Program. So, you would have a college-age student somewhere between 19 and 25 come to your home.

They come for – they work 45 hours a week and the cost is actually fixed so you would go through an agency to get the whole background check and find the au pair for you and usually pay an agency fee of about let’s say average of $ 7,000 and then you would pay your au pair just that the current rate is $ 200 a week.

You get the benefit of having someone in your home full time and much like a nanny, you’re setting the rules as the parent and you can be as strict as you want too and very specific as far as scheduling and diet and activity – that sort of thing.

So, the way my husband and I went to it is that: “My mother in law – she’s originally from Germany and she came for the United States as an au pair.” So, that was sort of the little thought in our heads: “Well, this might be an option for us.”

We were looking at some different options and we found it to be really four about to say: “I think the affordability – over all it comes out to be about $ 18,000 a year for two. So, we felt that was a good way for us.

Kasey Haynes: Are there special considerations with an au pair situation for providing living facilities and then also privacy issues?

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Yes. Now, the requirements of the program are that you have a bedroom for the au pair. They don’t have to have their own bathroom or anything but they must have a private bedroom. I think for privacy issues – yes, you do have someone living in your home and I don’t know.

I personally think: “During those twin years, we had mother in laws and visitors.” We had a lot of people coming through so I felt like I had given up a lot of privacy in any way to having someone live there. But I understand there are some say: “My gosh. I couldn’t imagine having someone in my house.” So, that’s definitely a consideration there.

Kasey Haynes: Going the other direction for the au pair privacy, did they feel that they were given their own space and their own time when they were off the clock?

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Yes. I think I’ve found in our case, our au pairs. When they were done working, we have traditional sort of 8 to 5 schedule. When they already done at five, they would go into their room and get on their computer and Facebook. They’d be going out the door, going to the gym, going to see their other au pair friends.

So, we would pretty much either be on the clock with the girls or we’d have dinner together and sometimes it’s a family or they’d be just off on their own. So, we didn’t feel like we’re stepping on toes too much. Yes, I think that helps. I will say: “There are some down sides to having an au pair.”

Yes, you have someone in your house and they are college student. So, they are not a professional. They have some training when they come to the United States. It’s like a week-long training of CPR and general child care. They do have usually some baby-sitting experience.

But, also from a charity level, they’re college students. There’s a little bit of parenting involved. I will say that. We set up rules and I think it is manageable. We set up rules in our home like we set up curfews. If they were going to be working at 8 AM then, their curfew was 12 midnight, the night before. They had to be home.

We said that: “We just spelled out rules and said: “Okay, no alcohol consumption in the home. Of course, no illegal drugs, no smoking – that sort of thing.” But, we just laid it all out and said: “This is what we expect.”

They’re college students. So, sometimes they’re kind of pushing the limits and I know how of some incidences where they don’t always have driving experience and backing into other cars. But it’s manageable. So, I can say – we had a really great positive experience out of that.

Brenda Ruhl: Were there cultural differences?

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: It’s a great opportunity. We, our both of our au pairs came from Austria. Part of that, we wanted to have German influence and expose our girls to another language. So, it’s great. Our second au pair decided in all on her own that she would only speak German for the first half of the day.

Then, when the girls went down for the nap, she would speak English for the second half of the day. So, it’s cute. My girls to this day – when they go playing: “We’re going to go the [inaudible].” It’s very cute. We know we really having an influence. I think I would say if you’re open to having some cultural exchange, it’s a great option.

We’re looking at full-time child care. But, I think even for those of us who don’t always have a need for full-time care we all need babysitters from time-to-time. So, how do you guys work with babysitters? How did they fit into your needs and what do you look for in finding a good babysitter?

Dawn Lancaster: Definitely experience with twins. Twins can definitely be a handful. I know some of the other panellists have twins and another sibling. But, for me, I’m looking for experience with twins and babysitters are really important to us because we like our date nights.

They come a little bit more few hours for betweens since I started full time work because we spend a lot of family time together. But, definitely liked to get out every once in a while and have a date. It’s very important for our relationship.

Brenda Ruhl: We didn’t a lot of outside babysitters when the boys were younger. It’s usually family members. One of the two grandmothers or our nanny – when she was no longer our nanny, that’s who we use as our babysitter. So, that was terrific once the boys were in the full time day-care centre.

When they became school-aged, we use babysitters more for after school when they weren’t to the after school program. We have someone with a late teen, early 20’s, college student who we hire to pick up the boys up after school and take them home. Help them get their homework done and just really take care of them until we got home from work – so a couple of different situations there.

But a lot of it – it was usually with us word of mouth friends. We didn’t have to go through some of the different ways to find a non babysitter. So, it’s a little bit easier for us that way.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That’s great that you have consistency too. Sometimes it’s so hard to get a baby-sitter. In life, they change and they move on. So, I think that also helps for the kids to get to know maybe one or two people.

Shelly Steely: With babysitters, for our date night, the real challenge is – dinner and bed time. So, my mom is only the babysitter that they’ve had unless you count one my dad comes over too. But, just getting two kids to bed is a struggle for me as an inexperienced twin mom.

Making sure that they go to like when they were little, I wouldn’t even had anybody because they didn’t even sleep for me. So, they’re certainly not sleeping for somebody else. But, even now, are they were in their right jimmies? Are they were in the right diaper? Did they brush their teeth? Did they eat anything? Are they in the right cribs kind of thing?

So, it’s just kind of I think a comfort level. I know some of the other moms have used babysitters. One of them waits till the kids go to sleep. But, one of the moms in my group has used babysitters pretty regularly now. But she took the time and then they would come over during like nap time first just to watch the routine and then come at night time and be there.

So, I think it’s really building a relationship because it is infinitely harder. I guess you would say twice as hard. But I would say four times as hard to get two kids to bed as soon to get one.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Then option of having your babysitter not start until the kid’s go to bed is actually a great thing. You did that on the few times early on instead of late dinner.

Dawn Lancaster: I had my babysitter come and walk through and in our time routine, she actually came for the play date and then she came and walks through the night time routine. Then when she came, I had a piece of paper step-by-step exactly how the boys were used to their night time routine.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That’s a great idea so that and then again, if you have other babysitters or other people, family included, everybody’s on the same page. Now, I think I’ve heard a lot of you have/had family close by in helping out which is: “My gosh. That’s such a blessing.”

But, if you do have to go and find an outside babysitter, where’s your go to? Where are your best resources?

Dawn Lancaster: I went to like I said: “It’s been very good to me.” I did a couple of interviews. I definitely have to feel comfortable with the person that’s baby-sitting. Unfortunately, we’ve never have family close-by.

I think the closest family that we have when the boys were born were 2 ½ hours away. But now, everybody’s on the east coast than more on the west coast.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: I used a website myself. I’ve used Sitter City and I think there’s also there’s Urban Sitter and I think those can be a great resources kind of like dating there refined.

Shelly Steely: I think so too. Word of mouth with twin groups would be a good place to start. If I was ever looking for a babysitter, I probably ask my friends first because if they have somebody who’s good with twins and it’s not their week in to go out then that might be a good idea.

I know when I was babysitting, I was always happy to have them a couple of families to keep some more money in my pocket. So, definitely reaching out for your twin groups and finding out: “Do you know someone who’s good with twins?”

Are you willing to share? I think we sometimes are worried without stepping on toes. But, twin moms are willing to share pretty much everything.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Excellent point. What’s the going rate for babysitters for twins, an hourly rate? What would you guys

Shelly Steely: We pay $12 an hour.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Okay.

Dawn Lancaster: That sounds about right in the few times when we – I don’t pay my mom. When she watches the boys or didn’t back in the day

Kasey Haynes: Don’t tell my mom, she should be getting thought.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: When we use babysitters, it’s usually they kind of have a $10 maybe $11 dollars for 1 and $12 for 2 and $14 for 3. It goes up from there. I think that kind of helps.

Lastly, what would you recommend to twin parents when they’re trying to figure out: “Okay, which option should I take?” Nannies, day-care, child care – I mean how do you go through the process? What recommendations can you get?

Shelly Steely: Well, I’ll start because I didn’t use any of those. So, we looked at budget and it wasn’t in – I mean it just wasn’t in the cards for us Day-Care times two. It wasn’t something we were able to swing and so what we did actually when I was pregnant is: “I’m a teacher. But my husband was kind of in a job that wasn’t going anywhere really.”

So, he looked for a job that had evening hours and flexibility and we were able to kind of connect it so that I teach during the day and then he works at night – three week nights like three school nights. Then, he works in the weekends when I’m home.

So, we kind of just traded off and then when our schedules overlapped, we have someone come over to fill in my dad or my mom or my sister-in-law to do the overlapped care. So, we’re definitely starting to look at maybe preschool options in the future.

But I think just to know that it is one option so that you can both work and schedule it around but even the most affordable day-care for us, we were living in a one bedroom and driving a civic. So, we already had the upgrade enough when we found out we were having twins.

Brenda Ruhl: I would say really big things just to keep your options open and be flexible but also plan ahead. We did literally everything. We did the family member, the in-home day-care, at someone else’s house, the nanny, the preschool – all of it and your circumstances change.

We did different ones for different reasons and recognized their pluses and minuses to all of those situations. Depending on what was going on with our lives, with our children, what ages they were out and what developmental needs they have at the time.

We were flexible enough to say: “We want to switch to this now. That’s a better environment for our children.”

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Maybe that’s when they reach different developmental stages that something maybe more appropriate or maybe you’re looking to have more interaction with other children. So, that’s maybe putting them in day-care when they’re older and they can have more socialization. That might be a desire.

Brenda Ruhl: That was a big driver for our decision after two years, after again keeping the twins home for health reasons that they were really, really ready for that interaction. That it was a big benefit to them to switch to that environment both academically. I know that sounds crazy – two years old but it was a child learning centre.

It wasn’t just a child baby-sitting centre and there were lots of great activities and educational activities that they did for the next three years before starting kindergarten that and all the socialize aspect. They were split up. I forgot to touch on that aspect of it. I assume they were in the same quest – the day-care or the centre director said: “No, we really prefer to keep twins separate and they flourished.”

I was terrified and they did great. We’re talking earlier about one twin being more dominant over the other and they reversed roles because the one who have always been the kind of the underside of that got the opportunity to not have to be with his brother and he got to serve just open up and gain his own independence and confidence.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That’s a great thing to consider. Well, we’re going to wrap this up and I just want to say: “Thank you so much to our panellists for joining us today.” For more information about: “Child care options” and for more information about any of our experts or panellists, visit the episode page on our website.

This conversation continues for members of our Twin Talks Club. After the show, our panellists are going to share with us some crazy stories about their childhood – the good, the bad and the ugly.

So, for more information about The Twin Talks Club, visit our website – .

[Theme Music]

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Here’s a question from one of our listeners.

This comes from Stephanie of Virginia.

I recently downloaded The Twin Talks App. I travel a lot for my job and I don’t always get a clear internet signal. Is there a way to download episodes and listen to them later?


Sunny Gault: Hey Stephanie, this is Sunny. I’m one of the producers on Twin Talks and thank you so much for downloading our Twin Talks App. We are big fans of our apps because we all listen to apps and it’s a great way to listen to the show on-the-go when you’re out with your little ones. Yes, so downloading the episodes.

This is really easy to do because I know at least personally with me, I don’t always get great reception with my phone either. So, when you logged into the app, you’re going to go to the episodes page which is the main page on the app. You’ll notice next to each episode, there’s a little star.

Well, when you do have good reception, if you click on that little star, you’re going to see this little ring – it turns yellow and its little ring starts to form around the episode. When that ring is complete, so forms the circle around the star – that means that the episode is downloaded to your app.

So, regardless of what kind of internet signal you’re getting, that’s actually on your app. You can listen to it whenever you want. So, if you’re going to be travelling or you know you’re not going to get great reception you may want to do this ahead of time to be able to listen to the episodes whenever you want. Thanks so much for your question.

[Theme Music]

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So, that wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks. Join in on the discussion by posting your comments on The Twin Talks Facebook Page or call our voice mail at 619-866-4775.

Don’t forget to check our sister shows:

• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies and
• Parent Savers; an online support group for the new parents.

Next week, we’ll be discussing: “Sibling rivalry between twins.” This is Twin Talks, parenting times two.

This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series or if you’re a business or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit .


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