Good questions!! :-)
I live in Canada, so my answer might not help you much....but here goes anyway.
I'm due on January 19 and planning on working up to January 13 - the last 2 weeks of work, I plan to work 3 days from home and then take the remainder of each week as vacation. This will only work, of course, if the baby doesn't come early.
I will have a year off, on EI, starting on January 18, 2010. My company tops up for the first 6 weeks of mat leave, in lump sum form once you've been off work for 6 weeks. I plan on taking 3 weeks of vacation at the tail end of my mat leave so that I can return to work in February 2011 - this will depend on whether the baby comes early or not, how much time I can take off at the end.
We don't have family in town, so daycare is our only option. Our son is 3 and has been in daycare since he was 13 months old when I returned to work following my last mat leave. We did a home-based daycare for 2 years and he's recently moved to a daycare centre - and loves it. He'll be starting kindergarten in September, so we'll have to move him back into our neighbourhood at that time as someone will have to drop him off and pick him up from school (well, when I'm home from mat leave, I can do this sometimes myself).
As for baby, we'll need to find daycare for him/her starting in February 2011. Waiting lists at daycare centres can be long, so we're already on a couple. Ideally, it would be great to have both kids at the same place.....we'll have to see if that can work out or not. There are pros and cons to both home daycare and formalized daycare centres - we've seen DS grow so much since he started at the centre in October....we probably should have moved him sooner.
where you work? my day care is great
I work in Lansdale, PA, but I am looking for day care in Voorhees.
Limonada- it must be tough without family living close by. But wonderful that you are able to take off work for 13 months! I am debating between home daycare and more formal arrangements. There are benefits to both and I change my mind often. I plan on using daycare when I work from home (2 days a week).
I work full time from home so once the baby is born I will take a week off and then back to work I go. It is stressful at times working from home but then again it is nice that my kids do not have to go into daycare at all.
I am going out of work on Jan 22nd (C-section is Jan28th). I will taking 3 months off so returning in April! I cannot wait to have that time with the baby. Unfortunately, I work for the state of NY and their benefits are not as great from Maternity leave as you would think. Because we don't pay into disability, I cannot use disability for c-section. So I have to use ALL of the time I have accrued and then I can get half pay after that. I will be left working like three weeks FMLA w/out pay! Because I have to use all of my time in order to get even half pay, I will have no time left when I get back to work in April. It really stinks!!! It will be worth it in the long run so I can spend time with the baby and get ready for day care.
Im stopping working Jan. 1st and due and Jan. 17th...it is my boyfriends christmas present to me so I can have some time to myself. I wont go back to work until April or May depending on how i feel about it, and will only go part time then. My boyfriend and I will do most of the watching with family members and family friends filling in for an hour here an there!