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MP Dunleavy on MSN writes about women and money.  I was tooling around that website and found this short article on childcare costs and how to offset them.

But what started this whole soul search on childcare costs was this article from MSN all about "the childcare crisis." Take a look- what do you think?

Are you feeling this?  They're saying that the cost of childcare is now outpacing the cost of food.  The cost of FOOD!  This is a choice I don't want to be facing.  And I'm not just yet, but it's on the horizon.  

P isn't in childcare right now-- we decided that  we would live with my parents and sock away every penny that would have been spent on childcare and rent.  And that I would earn what I could working from home.

Believe me when I say this arrangement has its ups and downs.  Living with your parents is not an easy proposition.  But the cost savings is significant.  And my work-at-home career has taken some surprisingly interesting and positive turns.  

But I can see there will be a time in the near future when we may enroll P in childcare.  There's a center at D's workplace that's excellent.  It's also around $1000/month for her to be full-time, and there's really no part-time option there.  The big plus is, of course, that she's near him.  The minus is obvious-- $1000 a month is a lot for us.  It'd be a huge dent in our savings toward a house (housing crisis aside).  I respect that quality childcare is going to cost me, and I recognize that others pay a lot more, but I'm feeling the pinch at $1000.    

Would I be earning enough for it to be "worth it"?  Well, right now I don't feel like I am.  But I'm looking ahead about two years down the line, when we want to have another kid.  Childcare costs are only going up.  Maybe I should set up a separate savings account just for that.

Has anyone done this, or tackled the cost of childcare somehow?  I'd love to hear how others make this work, or work around the need for childcare.

Originally posted to Rolling on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 05:51 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Check out Headstart/Early Headstart (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, kyril

    Free care for 6 hours a day and a comprehensive health services program.  (I teach in Early Headstart.)  Most programs also have an extended day program where fees are adjusted.  I agree that it is scary the way childcare fees are accelerating, but we childcare workers subsidize childcare with our low wages.  This is the other side of this issue.  I think the only answer is to provide paid parental leave for infants and government subsidized care for those who need it.

    "The map is not the territory" Alfred Korzybski

    by historys mysteries on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 06:02:46 PM PST

  •  It sounds like you are doing the right thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    On top of childcare, you'd have extra expenses for clothing, meals out, car and gas expenses.  And its so stressful to get yourself ready and roust a little child in the morning.  

    Where do you live?  I live in New Jersey and I see lots of childcare places going up around here and I wonder what they cost.  (Godard, Kindercare, etc.)  I am sure they are nice places but it must be so stressful for parents to get out to work in the morning.  I was very lucky that my mother looked after my daughter but I also had a sales job that let me mostly work from home and only go to the office a couple hours a day and not every day.

    Good luck to you.

  •  We pay $1050 /month for 1 child. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17, historys mysteries, kyril

    Yeah, it is outrageous.

    Oh and you can only deduct $5000/child per year.

    How did I live without him?

    by Pumpkinlove on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 06:10:00 PM PST

  •  With two or more children, a nanny may (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries, kyril

    be the cheaper option.

    Or you could find another Mom who works part time and share with her.. you take her kid in the morning and she has yours in the afternoon.

    How did I live without him?

    by Pumpkinlove on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 06:11:58 PM PST

  •  if i didn't live near my parents (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17, historys mysteries

    and didn't get a lot of help from them with hiring babysitters, i'd be really stuck.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 07:02:31 PM PST

    •  I know... I think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      the family/"community"/"village" aspect of raising kids is so important and undervalued in our culture.  I have a friend who calls the free babysitting, passed on clothes, used toys, etc., that we get from our parents and friends "the underground economy of parenting."  

      Expecting folks to do this all alone (or to struggle to pay someone to do it) is not easy for most people. Maybe not healthy either.

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