Seeking part-time/occasional daycare

I am hoping anyone has experience or knows of a daycare/preschool that takes children once per week, sometimes twice. Something where you can be flexible. I do not need to put my son in daycare all the time yet and also he is with his Dad half of the time. I've noticed that very few places offer a 2-day per week schedule, but have found nothing that's a more "as needed" basis. Is that not done?

My limitations are: must be in North Berkeley, and hopefully not too pricey as I'm on a super tight budget. 

Does anyone have any ideas? I appreciate it, thank you!!

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Due to limiting the mixing of students and teachers to minimize Covid spread, daycares that previously offered partial schedules (Model School, Cornerstone), do not anymore, at least until Covid stable cohort requirements change. Further - if you're looking for something cheap, the one or two day a week thing is typically far more expensive per day than five days a week.  They also require firm commitments on days, typically, like every Monday, Tuesday - they need to be able to schedule staffing. Home daycares almost always offer more flexibility and are often cheaper and I suspect would be the only type of daycare that could accommodate your needs.

You didn't mention your son's age - I think there are generally much more options for kids once they are two or three. I can't think of a daycare center that takes kids under 2 in North Berkeley, but there are a bunch of preschools that take older kids in North Berkeley.

If you're really looking more for childcare than school, I'd guess that you are best off getting a nanny or babysitter, both in terms of price and availability of options that will meet your needs.

I have also been looking for this without much luck. The 2-day per week prices that I have been quoted are all >$1000 which doesn't make sense for me to spend.

Kidsland Channing provided this type of care for my daughter last year and we were so happy with it! It is a Spanish immersion program and the care is wonderful and flexible. They have a page on BPN, so just use the search field to find them. Best of luck!

This is definitely something that is difficult to find in a more traditional daycare setting, but with some luck you might be able to find something. While I totally get the desire, the ask for a flexible schedule is generally too big of a lift for daycare centers and staff that need to manage scheduling, supplies, and legal limits on the max number of kids that can be in care at once, not to mention the staff that depends on consistent work.

This home daycare: https://www.berkeleyparentsnetwork.org/recommend/preschool/manar might be able to help. It ended up not being right for us in the long term, and I have no idea how she has handled covid, but Manar is extremely kind, warm, and flexible and affordable, and genuinely cares about the kids in her care.

I imagine you might have better luck with a nanny type situation, or some sort of unique situation where you have a part-time student or another person who doesn't need/want full time work, but who does need/want a bit of extra income on the side. I ended up finding something similar to this with a nanny share, but again it's the flexibility aspect that will likely be difficult. Have you tried posting your need/requests for care on BPN, or care.com, or even nextdoor? Best of luck with your search!