How do you afford daycare? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-25-2008, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm a WAHM and the company (family business) I work for is likely going out of business at the end of this year. In fact, I may be getting a pay cut in July. I've gone into overdrive now trying to get things together to open my own retail store.

But if that doesn't pan out, I need to get a WOH job. Daycare costs seem impossible to pay. As it is now, we live paycheck to paycheck. My husband could work nights at his job (3:30pm-12:00am) and I could get a job from around 6am-2pm so the kids wouldn't be in daycare. But then dh would never get enough sleep. Our kids are up by 6:30-7 every day.

Does anyone have any ideas?

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#2 of 11 Old 01-25-2008, 11:00 AM
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You have to do a cost/benefit analysis and since I don't know what you make or the going rates in your community it is hard to really access.

To *me* working is much more than just the paycheck. I carry all of our medical/dental/life insurance benefits. My company matches my 401K at 6%. I have a pension. So when we were looking at the possibility of me being a SAHM we had to factor those things in as well. Medical/dental/life for all 3 of us is $400 a month. It would cost my husband $900 for the same coverage. When I retire I will have a significant amount of $$ in my 401K. My husband does not have a 401K option. He has no pension.

Basically me quitting would cost us a hell of a lot more than just the cost of childcare. Once we did a cost/benefit it made sense to keep working.

However my closet freind did the same analysis after she had her 3rd child and found that even though she was making 75K her quiting translated to only a 10K loss off income since her husband carried all the benies. Her job included lots of travel and she had to constantly upgrade her wardrobe, etc combined with the cost of child care for 3 kids so her job acutally "cost" her a lot of $$. They figured they could live with 10K less a year.

A couple of things you might want to think about to save money on childcare costs is:

1) Is there anyone who can do a nanny share with you? The going rates for nannies around here is $10-$20 an hour depending on experience. Being able to split that cost helps a lot.

2) I missed how old your kids are but you can save money by getting someone younger/less experienced. Are there any colleges near you? Some early childhood programs give credit for childcare experience and so they are will take the low end of the going rate.

3) Instead of working outside the home what about taking care of someone else kids in yours? Of course you need to have the home, personality and patience to do that. I know I don't!

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#3 of 11 Old 01-25-2008, 12:55 PM
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It all depends on what you make, including benefits and how much daycare is. With 2 kids in daycare, half my check went to daycare. But I carry all the benefits, insurance, 401k, everything. I could probably quit, but my dh would have to come up with the money for insurance at the very least and we just can't afford that with his business at this point.

However, I live in an area with a low cost of living so daycare is fairly cheap. The nanny share idea is a great one if you could do that. When both my kids were infants, they stayed with Mennonite women. And that was perfect. You might look into not just daycare centers, but other moms who would want to watch a child. I know that can't work everywhere but it worked out really well for us.
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#4 of 11 Old 01-25-2008, 02:05 PM
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How do you afford daycare?
I work at it I get a deep discount (I still pay a little). I only work PT though (I'll be picking up more hours soon) and no benefits. But ds is in the big kid room and I'm 2 doors down in the infant room.

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#5 of 11 Old 01-25-2008, 02:44 PM
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I work for a company that has a daycare in the facility and only pay 1/2 price.
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#6 of 11 Old 01-25-2008, 02:50 PM
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If you worked opposite shifts you could pay someone to come into your for a couple of hours in the AM, so your DH could sleep until 8 or 9 am.

My DH and I work opposite shifts (though over shifts do overlap) so we do 3 half days at the sitters and 2 full days (those days gives my dh the opportunity to sleep in or work OT the nights before etc). We currently only have one in DC though....but #2 will be here in August. By then I will have received a 10K raise and just about all of that will be going to childcare! LOL
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#7 of 11 Old 01-25-2008, 04:24 PM
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We are both full time students and I work part-time. I take evening classes and work some weekends while my husband has daytime classes. When we overlap which happens sometimes my aunt, my friend, my sister and my mom have babysat for about 2 hours once a week.

Scheduling is a pain. But we haven't had to pay for childcare yet which is huge for us. It also means we don't see each other as much in the evenings.

Melissa- mom to a boy 9/06 and a new boy 11/10 and married to my best friend 7/02
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#8 of 11 Old 01-25-2008, 05:47 PM
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I make about $400 a month IF you count childcare, transportation, etc. all off my paycheque, so from that point of view... daycare eats up most of my salary, and I could make more on weekends fairly easily. In dark moments I do think about this... it actually gives me a nice feeling of freedom of choice sometimes.

However in actual budgeting we count childcare off both parents' salaries, and so from that perspective it's a manageable percentage of our combined income. The emotional reasons for that are numerous... we don't see childcare as the sole responsibility of the lower earner (which I am).

From a sheerly financial perspective though, if I were out of the workforce, in 3 years when my son is in school, I would re-enter at about my current salary. But by working in between, in 3 years I should be making about 15% more, even if I'm in the same position (and will have gained experience, so I might be making considerably more). So looking on a 5-year plan, once our daycare costs go down, which they inevitably do as kids get older, we'll be considerably better off. And that's not including that I continue to contribute to pension plans (company and gov't), etc.

So basically - obviously if working is going to cost you money you don't have, it will not be worth it. But if you are making only a little bit (and can still pay your bills) it MAY, depending on your field and age and experience and stuff, pay off quite a bit in the long run.

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#9 of 11 Old 01-25-2008, 05:51 PM
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You could have a regular 8-5 job and have the kids in part time care while your shifts overlap. Or you could have a sitter come into your home for that time.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#10 of 11 Old 01-25-2008, 09:04 PM
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Im a first year teacher.

After taxes - I bring home about 1000 every 2 weeks. 450 of that a week is childcare. We have a nanny who is grossly underpaid. If I was doing licensed home care - my daycare would be about 260-300 every 2 weeks.

I carry all of our benefits and have the most job security - and I make more money than DH. However -it isnt a choice - we need every penny to get by.

You just figure it out - you buy second hand clothes, you cook alot, you dont buy yourself crap - and you shop at evil walmart. We have to make it work for our family.

Former Special Ed Teacher  now SAHM mamma to 2 girls
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#11 of 11 Old 01-26-2008, 04:42 AM
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DD is at a day home rather than a daycare. My DCP is not licensed but I was really careful in screening. Most reputable day home providers around here have a police background check and are first aid certified, so that made me feel a bit better about using unlicensed care. Around here day homes are less expensive and much easier to get a space.
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