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April 27, 2015 8:52 PM   Subscribe

My four year old daughter and I will be moving to Davis, California this summer. She will miss the September 1 birthday cut off to enroll in kindergarten and so I am looking into my options for school or day care for her. I will be attending UC Davis and will need around 40 hours of care for her per week so I can go to class, study, etc. I have a few questions about arranging care for her.

She is able to go to transitional kindergarten but the TK programs are half day. In talking to other parents where I live now (San Jose) a lot of TK programs will have before or after care available. I haven't been able to find any information about if these services exist in Davis and if so how much they cost.

I have 2 main questions:

1. Does anyone have any additional information or personal experience with the TK programs in Davis? Is there before/after care, and if so how much does it cost? Who can I contact to get more information? When I had called before the woman at the district office said I couldn't get any additional information until I had a piece of mail addressed to me at an address in Davis (wut).

2. Since TK is a half day program, does it make more sense to just find a full time day care program? I am a broke student so TK seems like a good option (read: free) but obviously I have my daughter's best interests in mind. It seems like Head Start might be an option as their regulations say that she must not be "older than compulsory school age". Since she is too young for kindergarten could that apply to her? Any suggestions on day care providers in Davis?

Any general information about education for young children in Davis would be greatly appreciated! I'm not sure how to navigate this situation!
posted by sacrifix to Education (4 answers total)
I can't help with specifics related to Davis, but I can say that TK was an awesome experience for my daughter. My sons will be in TK this coming year as well. In talking with kindergarten teachers at our (SoCal) school, they say that you can spot the TK kids a mile away; they are familiar with the structure/flow of the day, are used to saying goodbye to their parent(s), and just overall seem to be well prepared for kinder. It is a program that looks like a lot of play/not much formal teaching from the outside, but it has been well researched by the districts and they have created it from the ground up with the most experienced educators. I've also found that the TK teachers WANT that job - since TK is a new program they put the best and most experienced teachers in those spots. I feel lucky my kids have the chance to experience it. Best of luck.
posted by sealee at 9:53 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Start on this page. In a university environment, there are typically various efforts out there that try to help student parents (and/or single parents) with child care. You may be able to access some child care grants, etc.
posted by St. Hubbins at 8:31 AM on April 28, 2015

Best answer: UC Davis employee here. Contact the UCD WorkLife and Wellness Center. Helping faculty, staff, and students with this stuff is their reason for being.

(Wish I could offer you more specific advice, but I don't have kids.)
posted by mudpuppie at 9:41 AM on April 28, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks for your comments. After doing a ton of research I called a bunch of places yesterday and I think what I will do is have my daughter go to TK and use the before/after care on site. There is an $1100 per quarter subsidy provided through the WorkLife people that will not quite cover the before/after care (ends up being about $500/mo for care from 7-3ish) but it's close enough that it will be manageable. There are many other options for daycare but I think I'll go this route because she would go to kindergarten at the same location and I don't want to switch schools twice. And also the lesser expense. If we used one of the on campus CDCs or Head Start or the local free daycare then she would have to switch schools after a year because she would age out of them. If anyone in the future reads this feel free to MeMail me if you have additional questions since I called like... everywhere.
posted by sacrifix at 2:25 PM on May 9, 2015

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