Monday, April 12, 2010

Child Care Conundrum

So, today's blog will be another one full of math.  It will also be a lot of rambling, but I really need your opinion, so if you can, bear with me...

Unfortunately, when you have multiples, life seems to require a lot more math.  You might even say it requires more math exponentially.

Today's math is the sum total of childcare expenses.

This year, since I went back to work in October, I have been blessed to be able to work only part-time, 3 days a week.  I LOVE it and would love to be able to do it for another year or two, but unfortunately, we are blowing through our savings pretty quickly as we are not making enough to pay all of our expenses.

So, that being said, I've been bracing myself to go back to work full-time in July.

Our babysitters (and wonderful friends) Kimberly and Tad have agreed to continue with the twins for 3 days a week. Another wonderful friend, Amber, has agreed to take the other 2 days. Great.  All set.

Then there's Seth.

We have been so blessed this year as Seth is attending the preschool where two more of my wonderful friends, Faith and Ada, teach. He goes there for half of the day and then my Aunt Gwen and Uncle Mike generously and out of the kindness of their hearts, watch him the other half.

Well, as of right now, we don't have a daycare option for him for next year that would be willing to drop him off and pick him up at preschool four days a week and watch him all day on Friday. So, we are looking at having him switch to the full-time preschool at the elementary school where I work.

This would be nice in that he'd be right here on campus with me, but we've been so happy with his current preschool, I would hate to switch.  Also, honestly, I don't know how he'd do in an all-day environment.  Plus, it's A LOT more expensive.

So, here's where the math comes in:

(by the way, check my numbers as math was NEVER my strong suit)

Full-time child care for all 3 kids next year:

$365 per WEEK
($240 for the twins and $125 for Seth)
$1,460 per month

That is more than double what we are paying right now.

So for me to go back to work 2 more days a week, and after taxes and these childcare expenses, I will bring home a little over $900 a month.

Obviously, $900 is $900 and we need $900.  So I will have to work.  Not working is not an option.

So, my conundrum is this (and this is where I need your opinion), should I continue with my plans to go back to work full-time and just suck-it-up and pay $1,460 for child care. Or, should I try something else.

I was thinking about maybe starting my own in-home daycare.

I did some more math and figured out how many kids I would need to take on to make up the difference of $900.

3 kids at $25/kid = $75/day
$75/day x 4 days/week = $300/week
$300/week x 4 weeks a month = $1200/month

3 kids for 4 days a week would net me $300 more than working full-time as a teacher AFTER childcare expenses.

Now, I realize that there are a LOT of things I am not taking into account here:

My numbers are a mix of post-taxes (teaching salary) and pre-taxes (daycare salary).

There's insurance to think of.

There's the inherent costs of running a day care to think of.

There's the 9 weeks of vacation that I would lose to think of.

There's the loss of adult conversation with great friends and co-workers to think of.

There's the fact that I love my job and helping kids learn to read to think of.

There's the fear of not being able to get back into a job in teaching (at least the job I want) to think of.

There's my husband's obvious reluctance to think of.

But, I gotta tell ya, the idea of being home with my kiddos and not just working to pay childcare really has its appeal...

I don't know.

What do you think?


  1. Oh BeeJai, I feel your pain. It really is a conundrum! It seems like the daycare option should be a good one. I'd look into it further if I were you. I've often thought the same thing....then again, I often think of lots of things I never follow through with!

  2. Wow. That is a hard one. It is amazing how much childcare costs. It is frustrating to see so much of your paycheck go to it. Running a childcare of your own seems like a good idea, especially since you could be with your kids. I don't know anything about actually doing it though, so I am really no help. Sorry! I hope you get it all figured out!

  3. I don't even know you- I found your blog through the bunchkins... But I have twins and I just made the decision to leave the classroom. YIKES!! I took a job teaching for a University on-line. I can work in the evenings and weekends so we don't have to pay for childcare. As teachers, we can have so much more flexibility than a traditional "district" job can offer. It's scary, but totally worth it!!! You go girl!!

  4. If you do the home childcare thing, have you thought of how much you would spend on groceries for the kiddos? Or woud the parents have to supply food? We pay $30 and that includes 2 meals plus snacks. Just something else to think about. You have lots of stay-at-home mom friends who would supply the adult conversation, plus you can still use your teaching skills with the daycare kids.