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Old 05-07-2019, 11:04 PM
Wesley Clark is offline
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What do couples that can't afford daycare end up doing


I know a working couple with kids, they spend more on daycare than I spend on all my bills.

Which begs the question, what do couples who have trouble affording daycare do?

I assume if you have differing shifts you can switch childcare. If one parent works a first shift and the other works 2nd or 3rd, you can shift who takes care of the kid.

You can ask family to watch kids.

I'm assuming some couples do co-op things with other parents where they maybe get a few other couples and one parent takes all the kids on one day, then another parent takes them all on a different day, etc.

Basically how do people who can't afford daycare do it?
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 05-07-2019 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:16 PM
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Some daycare places (meaning 0-5 years old) offer reduced prices to people in need, especially church- or publicly-run daycares. Public daycares are very cheap to begin with.

Once you get them into public school there are inexpensive aftercare programs, I assume everywhere, because often both parents gotta work as you describe.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:24 PM
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There's a Burger King near me, which I stop into from time to time. There's a young woman who works behind the counter, who clearly doesn't have other daycare options, because I will sometimes see her young daughter (probably around 3 years old) parked at one of the booths, with several toys, books, snacks, etc.

(And, yes, I know it's the woman's daughter, because one time, the little girl was upset over something, crying "Mama, Mama" until the woman came over and comforted her.)
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:54 PM
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:55 PM
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One option is for one of the parents to quit working. This not only eliminates the cost of daycare, it also eliminates the costs associated with the second job (clothes, noon lunches, transportation, taxes...). Eating out/take-out is replaced with home cooked meals. Maid service is no longer needed.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:13 AM
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There are government subsidies for daycare for the really poor in Arkansas. Headstart is a learning centered one. I think kids with disabilities get the first slots and then it's need based. The elementary school starts at age 3 with pre-K.
Or Grandma.
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:30 AM
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Yes as Beckdawrek said many states have income-based subsidies for childcare that will pay the majority of the cost. We have it in Illinois, and where we live in Chicago pretty much every daycare takes vouchers (it's like section 8 in that the family has to qualify but the provider also has get certified to be in the program). I honestly believe that if it weren't for this program there would not be *any* licensed daycare in our neighborhood because there simply are not enough families who are able and willing to pay the for full-fee licensed care, the entire industry would go under the table (i.e paying your SAHM neighbor to watch your kid).

Separate from that, many parents just have to live near or with grandparents who can babysit and help out in general .... even if grandma is not very reliable or easy to get along with, or not entirely physically capable of caring for a small child (toddlers are heavy). I hear a lot of upper-middle class parents say stuff like "I wish we had grandparents nearby to help!" not really realizing that the ability to move around for your job, and figure out childcare and household support once you get there, is in itself a luxury in the eyes of many.

It's a good question.

Last edited by sugar and spice; 05-08-2019 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:10 AM
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I was discussing this with my daughter - there are costs either way. It may be worth it to spend all of your earnings on daycare so that when your child hits school age, you haven't been out of the workforce for 5-6 years, and in the long run, you earn more. Then again, how do you balance that against having your child raised by strangers for those years? It's a tough situation...
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:22 AM
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We did it by the shift thing. My wife worked days and I worked nights (still do).
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:24 AM
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One option is for one of the parents to quit working. This not only eliminates the cost of daycare, it also eliminates the costs associated with the second job (clothes, noon lunches, transportation, taxes...). Eating out/take-out is replaced with home cooked meals. Maid service is no longer needed.
Throw into that, many stay at home Moms I know watch not only their kids, but a couple of others as well so also bringing in extra money.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:29 AM
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There's a Burger King near me, which I stop into from time to time. There's a young woman who works behind the counter, who clearly doesn't have other daycare options, because I will sometimes see her young daughter (probably around 3 years old) parked at one of the booths, with several toys, books, snacks, etc.

(And, yes, I know it's the woman's daughter, because one time, the little girl was upset over something, crying "Mama, Mama" until the woman came over and comforted her.)
Most ethnic restaurants are like that where the owners kids practically grow up in the restaurant. I remember one Chinese place I used to visit and over several years I watched as their toddler son grew up and sometimes he would play in a booth, sometimes be riding his boke outside, and later on he was a waiter. All until he went on to college. I have a Korean neighbor who grew up like that in his parents restaurants but he went to college and left that. But hes still a damn good cook.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:42 AM
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Most states do have child care assistance, which allows you to pay a sliding fee for child care. Unfortunately, in many places the wait list is very long. Here in the Twin Cities it's at least 2-3 years, unless you meet certain rules.
When my daughter was little and I was waiting on the list, she was shuffled between one of my aunts and her paternal grandmother while I worked. When I was able to afford it, but still waiting on the list, she attended in-center care part time. After almost two years, I was approved for assistance and she was in-center full time. She was almost 4 years old by that time, so the cost wasn't as enormous as if she was a newborn or toddler, but it was still way more than I could've afforded on my own.
Many of my daughters' friends are in that position right now. One couple work split shifts, so they don't have daycare. Another purposely decided to work at a daycare center (not a place she thought she'd ever work) specifically for the reduced costs. Many go to grandma's house. None have become stay-at-home parents, simply because they cannot afford it.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:08 AM
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Most ethnic restaurants are like that where the owners kids practically grow up in the restaurant.
Some friends used to patronise a particular restaurant because their child was the same age as the owner's child and the two would play together.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by PastTense View Post
One option is for one of the parents to quit working. This not only eliminates the cost of daycare, it also eliminates the costs associated with the second job (clothes, noon lunches, transportation, taxes...). Eating out/take-out is replaced with home cooked meals. Maid service is no longer needed.
What a brilliant solution! If you're poor, cut your income! It's no wonder there are so many people stuck in the lower income strata since these simple solutions somehow elude them.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
There's a Burger King near me, which I stop into from time to time. There's a young woman who works behind the counter, who clearly doesn't have other daycare options, because I will sometimes see her young daughter (probably around 3 years old) parked at one of the booths, with several toys, books, snacks, etc.

(And, yes, I know it's the woman's daughter, because one time, the little girl was upset over something, crying "Mama, Mama" until the woman came over and comforted her.)
I've seen this a few times at the McDonald's nearest our home. Sometimes, the kids are older and they pass their time in the Playland.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:58 AM
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What a brilliant solution! If you're poor, cut your income! It's no wonder there are so many people stuck in the lower income strata since these simple solutions somehow elude them.
In the past, I've seen episodes of 20/20 or some similar program, where they visited a family where both parents worked and they used daycare. The program analyzed their finances, and found out they were actually losing money by the mother working. So, it can happen.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by PastTense View Post
One option is for one of the parents to quit working. This not only eliminates the cost of daycare, it also eliminates the costs associated with the second job (clothes, noon lunches, transportation, taxes...). Eating out/take-out is replaced with home cooked meals. Maid service is no longer needed.
I would expect that maid service is totally off the table for a couple that is making a decision for one parent to quit their job due to the cost of daycare. IOW, when both were working and daycare was straining the budget, extras like maid service were never countenanced. This might be a cultural thing that varies by region and/or nation.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:10 AM
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In the past, I've seen episodes of 20/20 or some similar program, where they visited a family where both parents worked and they used daycare. The program analyzed their finances, and found out they were actually losing money by the mother working. So, it can happen.
I'm sure there are cases like that, but for the most part if the 2nd income minus daycare is even $20 a month, they NEED that $20.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:17 AM
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When my daughter was in daycare (25 years ago) she came home and told us about a bad boy in her class, Joshua Sommers (an alias). Turns out Joshua bit a kid. The head of the daycare spoke with the kid's parents and warned them that biting was not acceptable.

After Joshua bit for the third time, he was expelled. I was picking up my daughter, and Joshua's dad was arguing about his son's expulsion. He had no idea what he was going to do the next morning, as he had no backup plan. I felt bad for him, but when he told me how unfair it was, I told him I could totally understand parents not wanting their kids bitten.

Fast forward 20 years, I happened to meet a Joshua Sommers, the right age to be the biting boy. Although I was curious, I could not think of a way to ask if he had a biting problem when he was 4.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:27 AM
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I'm sure there are cases like that, but for the most part if the 2nd income minus daycare is even $20 a month, they NEED that $20.
Fair enough, but I don't know if working 160 hours a month for $20 is worth it.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:35 AM
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Fair enough, but I don't know if working 160 hours a month for $20 is worth it.
For some people their benefits make it worthwhile.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:45 AM
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I was discussing this with my daughter - there are costs either way. It may be worth it to spend all of your earnings on daycare so that when your child hits school age, you haven't been out of the workforce for 5-6 years, and in the long run, you earn more. Then again, how do you balance that against having your child raised by strangers for those years? It's a tough situation...
This is a good point. If one spouse stays out of the workforce, their retirement savings aren't growing, they're not accumulating credits towards Social Security, their work skills are getting rusty and so forth. It's not just a simple matter of the cost of day care versus the income coming in.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:55 AM
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What a brilliant solution! If you're poor, cut your income! It's no wonder there are so many people stuck in the lower income strata since these simple solutions somehow elude them.
It works for a lot of families, many of whom you wouldn't necessarily consider poor, so it's pretty ignorant to take such a sarcastic tone. In cities like where I live having a single kid in daycare is literally like paying for a second mortgage. I'd say around half of my college-educated, white-collar friends made the choice to have one parent drop out of the workforce when they started a family.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:59 AM
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For some people their benefits make it worthwhile.
True, but I think the point being made is, having two jobs and sending your kids to daycare may not be the best solution. Perhaps one person quitting their job and staying home to take care of the kid is better. An analysis of the specific situation is needed, not snap "Yeah, like losing a job is going to help poor people!" judgements.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:13 AM
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We had just one kid so we bit the bullet and went the private daycare route. Minnesota is one of the more expensive states and it ran around $12,000/yr.
From observing other people we knew who made less than us and had more kids a lot of them, or almost all of them, leaned heavily on family members. Grandparents were the most common. Or larger families had one aunt or uncle watch all the kids while the rest of all the adults went to work.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:44 AM
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True, but I think the point being made is, having two jobs and sending your kids to daycare may not be the best solution. Perhaps one person quitting their job and staying home to take care of the kid is better. An analysis of the specific situation is needed, not snap "Yeah, like losing a job is going to help poor people!" judgements.
There is a subtext I think you are missing. Working mothers often have well-meaning people tell them 'You know, after childcare you might almost save money by staying home". it's annoying because 1) it's condescending as fuck to assume someone doesn't understand the financial implications of their own lifestyle 2) it's a very common sentiment from a section of the population that only approves of mothers working when they "have to" -- that the ethical choice is ALWAYS for the mother to stay home, and that anything else is only acceptable if dire financial need demands it.

Language like "give up the housekeeper and make home-cooked meals instead of going out all the time" is especially hackle-raising because it seems to suggest that the mom is only working because she's not womanly enough to take over the traditional wifely duties--she's either too lazy or too incompetent and so is looking for an out from what she's honor-bound to do, shipping her children off to strangers and outsourcing her "real" job.

I don't think you mean any of that subtext. But it's absolutely attached to the "staying home may be cheaper" lecture many working parents receive, and it's irritating as hell. And I say this as a member of a family where we DID decide it made sense for my husband to quit his job and stay home.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:49 AM
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But it's absolutely attached to the "staying home may be cheaper" lecture many working parents receive, and it's irritating as hell. And I say this as a member of a family where we DID decide it made sense for my husband to quit his job and stay home.
Yes, I can see how that would be irritating. And I definitely didn't mean to attach any stigma to staying at home instead of working.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:49 AM
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This is why I get SO MAD when people from the older generation talk about how having a baby isn't as expensive as you think because "you don't need to by all that stuff. Babies don't need much". And it's true. They don't. But the stuff is a fucking rounding error lost in 1) the costs of the medical care/delivery 2) the cost in insurance premiums 3) the cost in lost income for maternity leave and 4) the cost of childcare. THOSE are the costs that practically price middle-class couples out of having children. It's not because they insist on a fucking diaper genie.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:09 PM
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It is really difficult. My girlfriend/fiancee makes about 100K as a priest which sounds great until you find out that about half of that goes to child care. I have my own two daughters to support and they are expensive as hell. We are making about 300K a year and can barely afford it. Don't break out the worlds smallest violin but I have no idea how whole families that make a fraction of that can afford it.

Their finances must be a mess. Nannies here run 20+ dollars an hour in affluent towns in Massachusetts. You sometimes lose money by going to work. I try to help her by taking care of the childcare as soon as I get off work.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:13 PM
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It is really difficult. My girlfriend/fiancee makes about 100K as a priest which sounds great until you find out that about half of that goes to child care.
She pays 50K a year for child care?
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:16 PM
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Yes, literally. She lives in expensive town and nannies are very difficult to find. They have to live there too. Her adopted son has special needs so that limits the pool of people that can do it.

Last edited by Shagnasty; 05-08-2019 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:18 PM
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This is why I get SO MAD when people from the older generation talk about how having a baby isn't as expensive as you think because "you don't need to by all that stuff. Babies don't need much". And it's true. They don't. But the stuff is a fucking rounding error lost in 1) the costs of the medical care/delivery 2) the cost in insurance premiums 3) the cost in lost income for maternity leave and 4) the cost of childcare. THOSE are the costs that practically price middle-class couples out of having children. It's not because they insist on a fucking diaper genie.
There is also the future cost of lost wages. Women (and it is usually women taking time off) who took off just one year between 2001 and 2015 earned 39% less than women who worked the entire time. To make it even worse, probably the perception that mothers aren't devoted to their careers, means that women who took time off often never catch up back to where they would have been if they hadn't taken time off. For example, a women with 10 years of experience over 14 years is still earning less than a woman with 10 years of experience over 10 years. Anyway, that is getting into the gender wage gap, which is only somewhat related to this thread's original question.

Another thing that families may do is push the lower bounds of latchkey kids (do people still use that term?) I don't think anybody would care about a responsible 12 year old coming home from school to an empty house, but what about an 8 or 7 year old? Another option is to press older siblings into child care responsibilities.

The thread title is "what do couples..." but it is also important to remember that childcare is a big driving force towards poverty for single parents. Earning barely enough to cover child care is bad for couples, but can be devastating for a single parent household.

In part to help this situation, a few years ago Colorado passed a law, which allows small home daycares to operate without a license, as long as it involves no more than 4 children (and some other exceptions). In practice this is legalizing many arrangements that already existed under the logic that small providers will be more willing to seek training and assistance if they won't be penalized.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:27 PM
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Yes, literally. She lives in expensive town and nannies are very difficult to find. They have to live there too. Her adopted son has special needs so that limits the pool of people that can do it.
But that is a nanny. When people say "child care" are they normally talking about nannies?

It seems similar to if I said "I spend 80K a year on food costs!" when I really mean "I employ a personal chef that costs 80K"
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:28 PM
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Sometimes they leave the kids with neighbors, relatives, and/or friends --- or just alone. And pray nothing bad happens.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:37 PM
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Yes, I can see how that would be irritating. And I definitely didn't mean to attach any stigma to staying at home instead of working.
The stigma goes the other way: I think your comments came off more like, "these people are too irresponsible / dumb / "modern" to consider the proper solution of a full-time homemaker." Not saying you meant that, but THAT'S the comment that gets under my skin more.

My partner and I are actually in a similar headache. Right now, with two kids in daycare and both of us working full time, we essentially break even. Based purely on tuition vs salary, we MIGHT actually come out ahead a little if I quit my job and stayed home, but we'd have to reevaluate things like FSA savings and increases to benefits costs.

But it's also not that simple. My partner makes substantially more than me, but I'm on a career trajectory with MUCH higher growth potential. She COULDN'T afford to quit, because living solely on my income would be extremely difficult AND she would also lose tenure at her job and have to start over at a much lower payscale when she returned to work. We could technically afford to live on her income alone if our kids were pulled from daycare, but losing 3-5 years of career growth will stunt our finances more in the long run (and possibly result in me having to spend money on education to catch back up to the industry).

Further, our kids are in an education-focused daycare that we consider an investment in their future education. The work they do is much more likely to help our kids get spots in selective placement schools. We can teach and reinforce readin' and writin' at home, but we aren't early childhood education experts and teaching things like play-based learning and social dynamics really isn't something we are prepared for.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:42 PM
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This is why I get SO MAD when people from the older generation talk about how having a baby isn't as expensive as you think because "you don't need to by all that stuff. Babies don't need much". And it's true. They don't. But the stuff is a fucking rounding error lost in 1) the costs of the medical care/delivery 2) the cost in insurance premiums 3) the cost in lost income for maternity leave and 4) the cost of childcare. THOSE are the costs that practically price middle-class couples out of having children. It's not because they insist on a fucking diaper genie.
This 100%. I cannot tell you how many people were shocked that I didn't quit my job when my first came along. Then my second came along and it was, "OMG, you're farming out both your children now! You never see them and it would be oh, so much cheaper to just stay at home."

I don't think people realize how short-sighted and outright hurtful some of these comments can be. The reality is that my husband isn't eligible for medical insurance where he works; I am. I'm one seizure away from brain damage, so one of us better be able to provide it. My husband isn't eligible for a retirement account; I am. And heaven forbid I ever choose to leave the workforce for a few years. My earning potential is substantially cut. It isn't as easy as, "Oh, just TRY!"

With respect to how people do it, a lot of the parents in my neighborhood have had their kids come home alone from school since kindergarten to avoid the cost of childcare. I'm fortunate that together my husband and I make enough we can afford some place for our youngest to go to. Back when my kids were in preschool, though, and I was pregnant with #3 (which was devastating b/c it was ectopic), we were seriously considering having me exit the workforce because we were already paying $25,000/year in childcare and didn't think we could afford another. I imagine that the older ones often have to watch the younger ones or childcare is cobbled together from family and friends and other kids.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:44 PM
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The stigma goes the other way: I think your comments came off more like, "these people are too irresponsible / dumb / "modern" to consider the proper solution of a full-time homemaker." Not saying you meant that, but THAT'S the comment that gets under my skin more
Well, which ever way. I didn't mean it either way. Just that people should analyze what they are doing to see if staying at home or both people working is the best solution. I personally don't think one or the other is "better".

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My partner and I are actually in a similar headache. Right now, with two kids in daycare and both of us working full time, we essentially break even. Based purely on tuition vs salary, we MIGHT actually come out ahead a little if I quit my job and stayed home, but we'd have to reevaluate things like FSA savings and increases to benefits costs.

But it's also not that simple. My partner makes substantially more than me, but I'm on a career trajectory with MUCH higher growth potential. She COULDN'T afford to quit, because living solely on my income would be extremely difficult AND she would also lose tenure at her job and have to start over at a much lower payscale when she returned to work. We could technically afford to live on her income alone if our kids were pulled from daycare, but losing 3-5 years of career growth will stunt our finances more in the long run (and possibly result in me having to spend money on education to catch back up to the industry).

Further, our kids are in an education-focused daycare that we consider an investment in their future education. The work they do is much more likely to help our kids get spots in selective placement schools. We can teach and reinforce readin' and writin' at home, but we aren't early childhood education experts and teaching things like play-based learning and social dynamics really isn't something we are prepared for.
Yes, analysis like that.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:45 PM
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She pays 50K a year for child care?
That doesn't sound at all implausible. In Chicago, the minimum price we found for two kids in bottom-of-the-barrel, large-group, lets-them-watch-TV-for-several-hours, mostly-caters-to-government-subsidized-families daycare for our two kids would been pushing $30k annually. The daycare we selected, which is the absolute cheapest education-focused, small-class daycare we found, is about $45k annually. It's a very solid school, but is only that cheap because they're in an inconvenient, underdeveloped location. It would be easy to spend nearly twice that if we wanted a school closer to home.

And that's for two kids with no special needs in a group setting. If a child needs something like 1:1 care or special needs assistance, that price is much higher -- you're essentially paying a professional person's entire salary.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:52 PM
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I agree certain women in certain careers, it would be almost devastating to take a few years off to raise kids. My cousins wife was like that so she chose daycare. Other people have so-so jobs and leaving for a few years makes sense. Every persons situation is different.

Now I knew one woman who was a top engineer and was going to quit to be at home for the kids. The company didnt want her to leave so they paid for a home nanny and a home office so she could work at home.
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:15 PM
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There is also the future cost of lost wages. Women (and it is usually women taking time off) who took off just one year between 2001 and 2015 earned 39% less than women who worked the entire time.
I note that your link doesn't mention how much men were penalised in the highlights. The actual report itself looks interesting and bears closer reading. I can speak from personal experience that the penalty for men is much the same. Probably for the same reason - if you've taken one break from work for family, you're more likely to take another. Plus I was asked to prove I hadn't been in prison.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:11 PM
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But that is a nanny. When people say "child care" are they normally talking about nannies?

It seems similar to if I said "I spend 80K a year on food costs!" when I really mean "I employ a personal chef that costs 80K"
It isn't the same thing at all. It just means a babysitter that works full time. A Priest's schedule has to include late night meetings, many hours on Sunday morning and the occasional trip into Boston to give last rites. It is incredibly expensive. I had a medical procedure done a couple of months ago and I offered to pay for the nanny/babysitter. It was $200 cash. She has to pay a lot of that every single day and I also have to pay for my daughter's care. There are very few people that responsibly afford more than two children these days.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:32 PM
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It isn't the same thing at all. It just means a babysitter that works full time. A Priest's schedule has to include late night meetings, many hours on Sunday morning and the occasional trip into Boston to give last rites. It is incredibly expensive. I had a medical procedure done a couple of months ago and I offered to pay for the nanny/babysitter. It was $200 cash. She has to pay a lot of that every single day and I also have to pay for my daughter's care. There are very few people that responsibly afford more than two children these days.
I'm sure it's expensive. Just seems strange to me to go into a thread about people who are poor and cannot afford daycare and say "I know right? My girlfriend has to pay her nanny an outrageous sum of money!"
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:37 PM
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The daycare we selected, which is the absolute cheapest education-focused, small-class daycare we found, is about $45k annually. It's a very solid school, but is only that cheap because they're in an inconvenient, underdeveloped location. It would be easy to spend nearly twice that if we wanted a school closer to home.
I'm sorry, but you are paying $1000 a week for daycare? I just did a quick search for Chicago daycare, and there are numerous places for around $250 a week. Am I missing something?
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:53 PM
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A lot of parents hire "nannies"...but they aren't exactly Mary Poppins. My parents left me and my twin in the care of a woman who was very low skilled. A poor woman who probably was working under the table so she could continue getting her welfare checks. My parents probably paid her just enough to make it worth her while to catch the bus over to our house. And in exchange, my parents looked the other way on certain things. Things that will forever be burned into my memory...

Though that was 40 years ago, I gotta imagine a lot of parents today still do what my parents did: Find someone who is fine with meager pay for watching your baby as long as you provide them a working TV and air conditioning. There are big risks with this strategy but it often works for people who have few choices.

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Old 05-08-2019, 04:08 PM
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Not everyone with kids is a couple, lest we forget. Nor does maternity/paternity leave last forever. Solutions I am familiar with are, bring the kid to work, and/or get a relative to look after the kid. It's only for a few years...
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:37 PM
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There are very few people that responsibly afford more than two children these days.
Yeah. I mean it depends. If you can do what Urbanredneck did and have different work schedules it can work. But outside of manufacturing and health care, a lot of jobs don't offer 2nd or 3rd shift work that aren't low wage (retail work). Plus the person working 2nd or 3rd shift gets the shit end of the stick in that situation since they have to do 8-10 hours of child care and work full time while the parent who works first shift really only has the kids 2-4 hours a day.

But I agree. Unless you have family willing to babysit for free, or differing shifts, or one party makes a huge income and can support a stay at home parent, it sounds pretty hard to afford daycare without subsidies.
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:50 PM
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Just want to add to this that even when the kids are in school finding care doesnt end. You wouldnt believe how many days the school is closed for things like holidays and teacher workdays PLUS what about summer.

Oh and add onto that, what happens if your kid is sick and you need to work to go pick them up.

Oh and another, some people work evenings, nights and weekends and just try finding care thats not 6 am to around 7 pm.
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:54 PM
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A lot of parents hire "nannies"...but they aren't exactly Mary Poppins. My parents left me and my twin in the care of a woman who was very low skilled. A poor woman who probably was working under the table so she could continue getting her welfare checks. My parents probably paid her just enough to make it worth her while to catch the bus over to our house. And in exchange, my parents looked the other way on certain things. Things that will forever be burned into my memory...

Though that was 40 years ago, I gotta imagine a lot of parents today still do what my parents did: Find someone who is fine with meager pay for watching your baby as long as you provide them a working TV and air conditioning. There are big risks with this strategy but it often works for people who have few choices.

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And others are quite good.

Frankly they are cheaper and more reliable than a daycare where the staff are paid minimum wage and are always changing. You know where the kids are at all times and what they are doing. Add to that you dont have to take extra time to pick them up or drop them off plus they can work odd hours daycares are closed. If you have say 3 kids its cheaper than daycare.

I knew a woman who ran a nanny service. One of her clients was a female over the road truck driver who was sometimes gone for a week.
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:25 PM
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If you can't find subsidized day care. . .

1) leave the baby with grandma/sister/other relative. Of course many people prefer this to day care, anyway.

2) work out some sort of arrangement with neighbors. This works better if everyone only works part-time, but maybe you'll find a neighbor who really needs a break from her kids on weekends.

3) find a stay at home mom who's willing to babysit your kid for less money than a daycare center, and don't ask questions.

4) take the kid to work with you. Maybe a very understanding boss will let you do it more often than just "my babysitter got sick."

5) quit, because it just isn't worth the hassle.

Last edited by Kent Clark; 05-08-2019 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:29 PM
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It doesn't help that, for example, Washington State's Home Childcare Licensing Guide is 388 pages long. Regulation has put a lot of in-home care out of business.
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