Daycare Dilemma

jackie daycare

For the love of God, why are daycares so expensive? And if I hear “you get what you pay for” one more time, I’m going to have a fit! We are at that totally awesome phase of beginning to think about daycares…totally awesome was definitely sarcasm. We have been lucky enough to have 2 working parents and still be able to keep our son. However, my son will be 2 years old in 5 very short weeks and I feel 2 years old is a good age to introduce kids to daycare.

I have read that waiting until 3 is a good time also if you as the parent are willing and able to step up the social interaction and playtime activities. There is so much that happens developmentally between 2 and 3 and it can really set the stage for Pre K.  Also, if we put our son in daycare then my husband can work normal daytime hours and we can have a bit more of a normal schedule than we do now. It’s been 2 years of him working midnights and myself working during the day. It’s been really difficult at times but the perk of having my son home was worth it.

One thing I was not expecting was how utterly awed at the cost of daycares. We have a daycare right down the street from us that is very good and very clean and seems great but for a baby it’s $312 per week, full discloser this is the most expensive in the area but also the best. So basically every month were spending a rent payment for daycare. For over $1200 a month, are they feeding the kids liquid gold? Are they diapering them with silk diapers and teaching them how to be geniuses? The amount just baffles me.

I know there are factors which change the amount, like the older the child is the less the weekly amount for daycare. Some others are the number of children in a program, the ratio of staff members to children, teaching certifications and licenses (of course we would like it to be fully certified), meals and early/late drop-off and pick-up fees. There are tons more but this is small sample.

I am so fearful that putting our son in daycare is literally going to break the bank every month and make it impossible to make ends meet. I actually thought about getting a part time night job once or twice a week just to help with the cost of daycare. Our family doesn’t go without and we live fairly well but that doesn’t mean that an extra $800 – $1000 every month wouldn’t totally kill us.

Another thing to consider is the different kinds of daycares. I have thought about traditional daycares, the ones who are licensed out of their homes, Care.com, and even the churches that have daycare programs. Sometimes I just want to go with whichever is cheaper but then if it’s too cheap, it makes you wonder. I wish so badly that we had some nice retired grandma living next door that misses her grandkids and wants nothing more than to babysit a toddler 3-5 days a week.

I think the best way to cure my dilemma is to price out the difference between the 2 year olds and the 3 year olds and see if maybe it’s worth it to keep him home another year. If that’s the case then I will have to plan out a schedule for weekly activities for my husband to take him to so he can get used to the social interaction more.

I’d love to hear if any mama’s out there have gone through something similar and what the outcome was….thanks!!

The Hot Mess Mom

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