What percentage of your income goes toward childcare? (for WOHMs) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 30 Old 02-08-2003, 01:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am thinking of going back to work FT in the fall. I found a wonderful AP mamma with a home daycare who would CD, and she has Montessori training. She would have 2 one year olds, her 2.5 yr old, and my 2 yr old. She would charge about $550 a month. I would be on a teacher's salary, so by my calculations, that would be roughly 20-22% of my gross monthly salary (not including DH's). Is this about the going rate for childcare where you live?
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#2 of 30 Old 02-08-2003, 01:25 AM
 
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Wow, that sounds like a deal! And a great setup! I live in the DC area, and daycare costs between 250-300 a week for an in-home daycare, up to 500 a week for a nanny. The percentages sound about right.

Does your work offer a childcare savings account, where you can use pretax dollars (up to 5000 a year at my job) to pay for childcare? Definitely worth looking into.

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#3 of 30 Old 02-08-2003, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Jane,
I am not sure if that program will be in place. It was with my former employer, but I am trying to get a job in public schools, so I am not sure what will be in place.

I know that this may not sound like a lot of $$$ to most of you, but for someone who has juggled childcare up to now with DH, it is sort of a shocking amount!!! How in the world do people afford to pay for more than one child in childcare? We may be in that boat in another year or so...

Lisa
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#4 of 30 Old 02-08-2003, 02:23 AM
 
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I am also on a teacher's salary, albeit a pretty good one because my district in Northern Cali needs to pay well so that teachers can afford to live here! (And I can just barely afford to, which is why we're outta here in June!) I pay what might seem outrageous to some: an average of $850 a month for 4 days a week at a home child care. Like Jane, we use pre-tax money for the first $5,000 of it each year. It's called a Flexible Benefits plan, and it's offered by many employers, so do look into it. I am purposely waiting until my son is in kindergarten before I have another child because I couldn't afford more than this per month! So I totally know what you mean. Well, 2.5 more years to go...
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#5 of 30 Old 02-14-2003, 08:19 PM
 
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Our daycare costs take up 10% of our take home pay...it would probably work out to 5-9% of our monthly pay before taxes. We have a good deal--daycare offered thru my dh's school district for teachers and staff only.
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#6 of 30 Old 02-14-2003, 11:15 PM
 
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Our childcare takes slightly less than 10% of our annual gross pay, together.
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#7 of 30 Old 02-15-2003, 08:06 AM
 
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I think we're around 10% of our annual after-tax pay (total for both of us). But I only work part-time, and I work hours where dh can do about half of our needed childcare (sometimes more).
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#8 of 30 Old 02-15-2003, 07:41 PM
 
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I don't really know our percentages, but wanted to say that this sounds like a really good deal, especially given her training and style. I pay slightly less than that in Colorado, and I feel like I am stealing the childcare. Seriously, I am almost embarrassed to pay my provider each week.
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#9 of 30 Old 02-15-2003, 07:57 PM
 
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I figured it out and roughly 18.5% of my monthly income goes to daycare. We pay $475 which is a downright steal in Pittsburgh. We have good care as well. When we were looking , and before we discovered this place, we found care in the area ranged from $525-800. Our first place was $525. Had we started at the place we are now we would have paid about $500-525 because they always charge more for infant care. They need more attention and the caregiver to child ratio requires more staff. No more than 3 or 4 per caregiver.

I don't do the flex plan, because it was a pain to set up at the university and if you budget too much money, you loose it. When the children progress through the various rooms in our daycare, the price has been known to change. For instance, moving from the baby room to young toddler (kids at least 1 1/2) the prices drops by about $50. When Sam goes to the young preschool this Summer, our rate should drop by about $25.
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#10 of 30 Old 02-20-2003, 04:55 PM
 
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bump

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#11 of 30 Old 03-10-2003, 02:20 PM
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We pay about 20% of my gross monthly salary. And we're definitely waiting to have a second child!

In Canada the parent who makes the least money can write off the child care expenses on their income taxes. It makes a huge difference!
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#12 of 30 Old 03-10-2003, 05:02 PM
 
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We are fortunate to rarely need child care. My dh works very part-time from home so he watches dd while I'm at work. DH is self-employed, so sometimes he doesn't have any paying work for months and sometimes he has full-time work for a couple weeks at a time. If dh gets very busy or if he needs to meet with a client during the day, we hire a babysittter. We pay her $10 per hour, which is about 20% of dh's gross pay for the time he can bill. So if he's going to a meeting to meet a prospective client, he can't bill any of it, making the real percentage somewhat higher. We looked into getting part-time daycare at the Kindercare in the building right next to where I work, but they wanted $450 per month for two afternoons a week! We decided to just stick with the $10 per hour babysitter and dh does most of his work after dd and I go to bed.
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#13 of 30 Old 03-10-2003, 07:09 PM
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Childcare (nanny who comes to our home) costs about 1/3 of my own salary. The setup described in the OP sounds like a great deal!
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#14 of 30 Old 03-10-2003, 07:35 PM
 
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I can't believe you found someone so inexpensive! Good for you! And I am very depressed that all of you pay so little! Right now working is a neccesity as I get excellent medical/dental benefits and even with paying out so much we still really need my income.

Our nannys gross pay is 40% of my gross pay, though only 20% of both of our gross. She gets $540 a week/$2160 a month. The 3 day cares in my area get around $1800 a month so to me it was a no brainer to have someone come to the house. To me it is worth the extra $$ to know my son was getting one/one care especially since I had to go back at 3 months. Not one of the in-home day cares or centers in my area except cloth and I had a hard time beleiveing (no matter what they said) that they could really be AP when there were "2.5 infants to 1 caregiver".

One thing- no matter the hassle we LOVE the child care spending account. Obviously we use up the $5000 in in just over 2 months so we never lose out at the end of the year. But even if we didn't use it up is a huge savings. I basically "get back" 20% via the tax reduction. It is really worth to calculate out your min. yearly requirement. Even just a few $100 dollars is worth it.

T Same goes with the health care spending account. You can use this for so much:chiropractic care, massage therapy, eyeglasses/contacts, contact lense solution as well as office co-pays, dental work etc

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#15 of 30 Old 03-10-2003, 08:00 PM
 
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Having worked childcare/preschools in Kansas at several places, I would say that is just about average price for 2 year olds there.

I don't know about percetages of salary, I haven't worked since being a mom.

HollyBearsMom at one school I taught we had a family who had recently moved from Boston. In Janurary we always raised tuition, and I hated handing out those letters, but the mom from Boston was so nice about it , having paid some crazy amount like $1500 for part time. So from the few areas I know about I would have to agree that Boston has some of the highest child care rates.

mirlee at all of the places I have worked at tuition decreases as you get older. It takes so many less teachers for a room of toddlers than infants and even less for preschoolers. For Lawrence,KS infant care (by kansas law until they are at least 1 and walking well) is usually in the $600's, toddler care (until at least 2 1/2 and often potty trained too) in the $500's, and preschool in the $400's (of course then sometimes you run into more expensive private schools).
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#16 of 30 Old 03-10-2003, 08:08 PM
 
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Quote:
I don't do the flex plan, because it was a pain to set up at the university and if you budget too much money, you loose it.
that is quite a racket, but i heard someone say that if they hadn't used it all, they'd have their mom babysit on new years eve and pay her $1000... i don't know how well this would work, but you should be able to use the account for other than day care expenses, I believe...
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#17 of 30 Old 03-11-2003, 12:34 AM
 
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I pay $162 per week for my son (or $600 per month), he's potty trained and that made it a little cheaper.

Its ROUGHLY 20% of my gross monthly pay.......SHEESH - thats HORRIBLE!

Chelly
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#18 of 30 Old 03-11-2003, 05:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by MysticHealerMom
that is quite a racket, but i heard someone say that if they hadn't used it all, they'd have their mom babysit on new years eve and pay her $1000... i don't know how well this would work, but you should be able to use the account for other than day care expenses, I believe...

Unfortunatley since it it a govt plan their mom would have to have all the requirements that you need for a nanny/day care provider like federal and state tax ID #'s and she would have to declare the amount on her taxes. Not a bad idea if you really have NO idea how much you will be spending in year. But you can put in any amount you want up to $5000. The savings are really worth it. So unless your work circumstances changes greatly during the year, you should be able to low ball an amount.

Also, I know that there has been lobbying to raise the amount (I mean, really, $5000 a year is low, just $417 a month!) and also lobbying to to have the requirements changed so you could include things like when you have to pay a fee for transportation to and from a center, additional fees not inclluded in tuition, etc.

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#19 of 30 Old 03-11-2003, 10:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by HollyBearsMom

Also, I know that there has been lobbying to raise the amount (I mean, really, $5000 a year is low, just $417 a month!) and also lobbying to to have the requirements changed so you could include things like when you have to pay a fee for transportation to and from a center, additional fees not inclluded in tuition, etc.
Depends on your place of work too - my work will only allow $1500 for dep. care, and $2500 for medical. I wish it was the other way round.....
Then I just opted out actually because our HR lady said that we can't use it if DS is LEARNING anything at day care (?) he's 3 1/2 of course he is learning....... I was very confused to say the least - so I opted out.

Chelly
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#20 of 30 Old 03-11-2003, 11:39 PM
 
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I am not working right now, but I just applied for a job. I am freaking out about getting it even though I really, really want it. I'm tired of being broke all the time. But, I also plan on homeschooling/unschooling so finding child care is going to be a little different than it would be for preschoolers, I think. My oldest is 4 and youngest is 18 months. I'm hoping to work something out with my sister who is on maternity leave (one year in Canada and she still has 9 months left). Maybe hire someone to work at her place as a helper, that way she is there, too. I am so paranoid. And, so is she, which works out well for me cause she doesn't want me to put her neices in child care. Luckily, the job I applied for is only 4 days a week since they work on a 'condensed' week.

Having rambled there for a minute: local in-home daycare is $25/day per child. So, for 2 kids it would be $250/week or $1000/month. So, to get a job that starts at $24000/year (which is about $10000 over minimum wage a year!!!) means I would be paying out 50% of my income. The job I applied for should start around $36000. 1/3 is still pretty scary when you think about the fact that I'm still paying bills (RENT!!!) on top of that. It makes me sad that for a lot of people they make less money working and lose 40+ hours/week with their children. There has to be a better system
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#21 of 30 Old 03-12-2003, 05:31 AM
 
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I pay a nanny about $250 a week. After taxes, i bring home about $350 a week. hardly seems worth it. But in 6 months or so, we'll probably look at a group care situation, and then it will cost less. At least dd loves her nanny!

Hey teach ma--do you work for SFUSD? Mty dp does and I'm wondering if we could do childcare pre-tax like you do.
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#22 of 30 Old 03-12-2003, 10:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chelly2003
Depends on your place of work too - my work will only allow $1500 for dep. care, and $2500 for medical. I wish it was the other way round.....
Then I just opted out actually because our HR lady said that we can't use it if DS is LEARNING anything at day care (?) he's 3 1/2 of course he is learning....... I was very confused to say the least - so I opted out.

Chelly
The dependent care account is federally mandated so your company should not be able to put any secondary limits on the account. It won't cover any schooling (public/private/montessori etc.) or "kindergartens" even if they are in a daycare center. So maybe that is where you company is getting the no learning thing???

If it is worth it you might want to pursue it. Here is the general wording:

"The Dependent Care Spending Account can be used to reimburse yourself for certain dependent child and/or dependent adult care expenses, which allow you and your spouse to work.

DAY CARE ELIGIBLE EXPENSES: In general, the following rules apply to day care expenses:
No participant shall be allowed to defer more than $5,000, if married filing jointly, or
$2,500 if married filing separately. The maximum that can be deferred under this program shall be the lesser of $5,000 or the earned income of the participant's spouse. The expenses must be employment related expenses for the care of a dependent of the
employee who’s entitled to a dependent deduction under the Internal Revenue Code section 151(e) or a dependent who is physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself.
Payments cannot be made to a person who is claimed as a dependent by the employee. If the services are provided by a day care center which provides care for more than six individuals, the center must comply with state and local laws."

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#23 of 30 Old 03-12-2003, 11:38 AM
 
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Hollybearsmom,
WOW - you know your stuff, thank you - I wonder why my work is putting a limit on the amount like that.
I pay $163 per week for daycare and can only claim $57 - kinda stupid..... well I cna't claim now, cause I opted out.

Thanks for all the info!!
Chelly
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#24 of 30 Old 03-12-2003, 12:26 PM
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Oncewerewise - don't forget you can write that $10,000 off on your taxes! I write off $7500 and usually get a big tax refund. If you do arrange for a helper for your sister I think it would really be worth while to do it properly and pay her as an employee (rather than under the table) so you can get the tax write off. Maybe you can even "pay" your sister . . . I'm not sure but she might have to be a registered caregiver or something. Anyway, it's worth looking into.
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#25 of 30 Old 03-28-2003, 01:55 PM
 
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About 12.5% of my gross pay goes to daycare.
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#26 of 30 Old 03-28-2003, 10:53 PM
 
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Oh the BRIGHT side, I'm preg again!! Come December I'll be paying for two children, a nice neat sum of $1700 per month.....

MORE THAN HALF I EARN!!!!! (Like 70%)

I got to figure out SOMETHING.............

Chelly
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#27 of 30 Old 03-29-2003, 02:42 PM
 
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Congrats Chelly!!





I hope you work something out!!

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#28 of 30 Old 04-01-2003, 02:20 PM
 
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I pay about 70% of my income for childcare (of course it's a smaller percentage if you include DP's income). I have infant twins in a child care center at the campus where I work part-time, and we've decided that a 7-8 hour day is stressful for them so I'm working 4 5-hour days, but we have to pay for a full day for all of those days. In fact, I am paying for an extra hour per day so I can get a 5% sibling discount, which actually saves a couple of hundred dollars. It's crazy. I think about quitting ALL the time. However, this is a really great, totally flexible job and it pays well. It's very hard to find good jobs in this area and this is where we want to stay, so I don't want to give this job up. So tempted, though! It's definitely the right thing to do in the long term, it's just living with it in the short term that's hard. And turning my check over to the daycare center every month doesn't help!

Cate
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#29 of 30 Old 04-01-2003, 11:23 PM
 
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I pay $240 a week for 24 hours a week (3 days, 8 hours each). I pull in about 1000 a week or so. So 25%. I pay for nanny out of my earnings, so even though my husband earns a lot more for me, he pays for just about everything else.

I live in NYC....and it's expensive here for EVERYTHING. AAAAH!!!!
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#30 of 30 Old 04-05-2003, 11:54 PM
 
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We pay about 20% of our income in in-home childcare
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