Having trouble finding a daycare for our infant

We had originally planned to have a family member watch our infant, but due to last minute circumstances, those plans did not work out. I am due in 3 weeks and trying to secure a spot at a daycare around the Albany/Berkeley/El Cerrito area, starting October 1st. I've emailed and left several voicemails at various locations , without receiving any responses. Is this typical? Am I too late in the game? Any other recommendations for finding care by that date? Thanks in advance!

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Daycare centers in the area have waiting lists of 8-18 months. (I called in May and the earliest I found was Spring 2019.) Infant care is difficult because the staff to baby ratio has to be so low (I think 3:1 or 4:1) so there are only a few spots at any given location.  It usually costs $50-$100 to get on wait lists. Home-based daycare is likely your best bet for short notice. BPN is a great resource - lots of options, most of which have a few reviews, and you can always look up their licenses on the Dept of Social Services for inspection reports and violations. You can search by minimum age, location, etc.

Contact Ligia Alvarez at Little Blue House Preschool on Arlington in Richmond. I don't know if she has openings or not. She only takes 14 kids at a time and only a few can be infants. Her whole family is wonderful. Our son thrived there (after failing at a bigger, fancier preschool in El Cerrito). 

(510) 234-8332

5834 Arlington Blvd
Richmond, CA 94805

I've been looking at places for March 2019, and have had a similar experience so I would consider it typical. Some places I've contacted up to 4 times before receiving a response. Other resources to find places (besides BPN, which is amazing) are Yelp, and Bananas https://bananasbunch.org/ . BPN frequently has nanny share openings posted too. Good luck in your search, I know it is stressful but I am sure you will find something soon!

Hi! There is hope. I’m in a similar situation, looking for September openings. I’m very close to securing something using these 3 sources- BPN (see Preschools & Daycares with Current Openings), Yelp (not so much for openings but for reviews), Nextdoor (actually great for lesser known/reviewed daycares). I HIGHLY recommend, after you have a list, to go on CA Social Services (https://secure.dss.ca.gov/CareFacilitySearch/Search/ChildCare)to look up the inspections and reports for those daycares.

I maybe called 7 places, heard back from 3 or 4. So I’m batting 50/50. My other piece of advice is- don’t judge a place by its website. Do the homework wth the Social Services thing. I had some daycares that had crappy websites, but good reviews and clean inspections. I visited them and were totally ok with them. Hope that helps! Feel free to PM me if you want to know which places I looked at- I was looking from Richmond down to Albany so similar to you. Good luck!