Weighing the Costs

Does daycare make sense? I had to answer this question. And the obvious point where it costs more to pay for daycare than you make while your kids are in daycare. This is a shocker, at least it was for me.

I don’t know if kids raised in daycare turn out any better or worse than kids raised at home. I needed to go back to work, I love that my child is in daycare.

If I keep working fulltime it’s like I would only be working so that I could afford to pay for daycare, which seems totally backwards to me. I just don’t want to keep working if it would be less expensive to NOT work, if that makes sense. You should continue to work on your career through working at your job, and try to move up where possible.

daycare. No reason to add “I don’t actually need to work at all” to those reasons when making a hiring decision. Keep working and start looking for a new job with a ladder to climb that does interest you. She wakes up at 6ish, I take her to daycare at 7am, and my wife picks her up at 5pm. The cost of daycare decreasing as the kid get’s older is definitely something to consider here.

I think everyone here has pretty much convinced me that at no point does the cost of daycare outweigh the benefit of working, so I guess I’ll have to keep my job even if I end up losing money in the short term. I think I only brought home like $40/week after daycare costs, but we needed that extra $40 at the time! You could also watch another kid or two to offset the cost and introduce some socialization to your kid. I don’t have any advice, but just wanted to say that I empathize and wish there was a better way. But we make enough that daycare is more affordable than one of us not working. They were great parents, and they both worked and my siblings and I did the daycare thing and whatnot. As a working mother of a two year old, I can honestly tell you that neither option is easy. You’re going to pass out from exhaustion no matter if you stay at home or are a working parent. Theres some quantifiable benefit to raising your kid of course, assuming you want such a thing, thats for you to decide. The pay scales may be less, but they would be vastly better than the current job – daycare costs. I don’t see myself ever not working in one way or another. Have you considered a compromise of some sort, such as working during the school year or some other scenario? You could watch another kid at your house for some extra money, daycare also gets cheaper when they are 2-3 years old. I haven’t discussed anything with my boss/HR yet but I suspect they would let me come back if I wanted to.

Otherwise, I think you should stay with your job while searching for other more flexible job or higher paying job. My wife and I manage to have our kids not in daycare because we leveraged timeframes a bit. Even if all of that is too hard to quantify, consider working just for the 401k contributions. I’m pregnant with my first and planning to go back to work because I don’t want to be in that position.

You’ve got lots of good comments – just pointing out something that I don’t think I see here.

The costs of daycare will decrease , but you’re missing out on years of 401 contributions and making yourself less marketable. When your kids start school, you will be earning a lot more than you would have been if you stopped working to avoid daycare costs. As someone with TWO young children I know the pain of daycare cost very well. If I were in the financial position to give that to my kids, I would. At 3 months my wife and I put our daughter in daycare. That said, I would not quit working if you don’t want to.

I know this isn’t personal finance related, but for a while I was making just enough to cover daycare, and work related expenses. I have seen people do both and it comes down to really what works best for you and your situation. But on the other hand, children benefit immensely from a stay at home mom, I’m sure. Even if “net” zero dollars after child care, were you able to put money away pre-tax in retirement or HSA? First off, go meander through care. com or your local craigslist and see if there are any in-home daycare facebook groups. You should consider a situation in which one of you stayed at home and the other spouse suddenly lost their job.

I have a sneaking suspiscion that you are looking at big daycare centers only, if you’re being quoted 500 a week. You don’t do that by not working.

I could take her out of daycare during the summer but instead, I teach an extra class to make the money to send her. If I work fulltime, I’d be out of the house from 7:30am to 6:00pm, including commuting time. I was a stay at home mom with twins and even with a degree CANNOT get back into the workforce. A part time job or working from home might be a better fit for you.

I know daycare in some areas can be as little as $200 a week then $500 a week in areas like yours.

But I made it down a ton of comments and no one talked about the emotional cost. I was also working at a job that had no advancement opportunities, so if I wanted more pay or responsibility, I would need a different job. At that point, you will benefit from going back to work. It was really a hard decision in the number of kids we wanted and whether to stay home or not.

Of course, I don’t mean this to say that no one should ever take time out of the work force to raise their kids. Our kids have absolutely thrived being in a daycare setting that is loving and supportive but also structured. I made around 60k a year as a hairstylist/manager and had hours that were all over the place which made daycare hard. Your in the area where it’s a toss up either way on what will benefit you the most in the long run. OP I realize I’m basically quoting this entire comment, but there is a huge value in keeping steady employment. I know that where I work even some of the males took off upwards of 4-5 month’s paternity. If you were to return to the workforce, I don’t imagine you’d start that high. You’re still contributing to your 401k and it isn’t only your income paying for daycare, it’s your husbands too. If you stop working for several years, what kind of hit are you going to take to your career? I break it down into what I earn per day and what I pay for care per day. His job is very secure BUT if he did lose his job I think he would have a very tough time finding a similar one. Yes I’ll be joining his plan whether I keep working or not.

Just because someone leaves the work force to tend to their children does not make them any less of a strong individual.

Even if you bring home zero dollars after paying for the child care your job has value. I work from home and am just about at that point. 8-15hrs won’t pay for the daycare but you will be in a much better position in 5 years! If you don’t have the shared commute, time with your husband will always be spent with your child too. Stay on leave a little longer if you feel right, or go back to work if you feel cabin fever. Just curious, why wouldn’t your husband do any of the transport to/from daycare or make dinner? Life has got to be more than just working for a few hours with our children. If you stop working you may also be losing one on one time with your husband. Many people do the “whole paycheck goes towards daycare” not because they love to work, but because they also rely on the benefits. Othewise, your working just keeps you there with all the others, accumulating benefits and logging hours/years of experience. I read an article somewhere stating children raised and educated properly by a daycare are almost identical academically to those raised by a stay at home parent. As someone with a 1 year old, you have no idea what motherhood will be like until you have the baby. you wouldn’t be the first mother that could never get a foothold in their old career after taking 5 years away. I hadn’t met my baby yet, didn’t know if I would want to stay home with her or go back to work. Forgive me if this has already been mentioned, but won’t you and your husband be essentially sharing/splitting the cost of childcare? So that cost goes UP.

Just something to be aware of, everyone is talking about how costs go down. I can’t remember the exact amount, but things they did bring up that some people didn’t take into consideration.

If it’s important, I’ve been at my job for 10 years and there’s literally no career ladder to climb. I have “enough” work and outside interaction, I’m off nightshift, I’m not paying for daycare anymore, and I get a lot more time with my little man. Technology has changed a lot in the last 15 years and it will change even more in the next 15. I think it might be nice for Mom to spend time with baby a little more 😜 I wouldn’t factor in baby’s outcome. No amount of rewording will make up for the fact that you haven’t worked a job since Bill Clinton was president. Businesses will assume you have no idea what business is like in 2017 and they will be right, because you don’t. It gives me the adult time I need and then I can be a better mom. What I mean is that a former SAHM is more likely to quit a job if it doesn’t work for her personal schedule? I think the reason an employer would pass up a SAHM would be fact that they put their kids first not their job. Getting a part time job seems much more reasonable What kind of benefits are you receiving from your current job? Some people see their job as a respite from child care, which can be quite draining. But once I started forming actual memories, I remember doing lots of stuff with my mom and dad. I think it’s just the time you lose working in your profession/career/job that counts the most. You can stay up to date on the industry without working in it and if you got an interview you would have a chance to demonstrate that. My baby is 7 months and I went back to work at 4, with husband back at w7ork at 6 and baby in daycare since then.

I am only thinking about taking a year off when daycare costs are especially high. Babies don’t care if you’re on a call and your coworkers probably don’t want a baby screaming in the background. Everyone here says yes it is worth it while everyone I’ve asked in “mommy” groups says it’s not worth it. You don’t have to jump back into work full time right away. Not to mention that daycare helps a child to socialize with other children their age. I’m exhausted when I’m home with her all day alone and don’t appreciate my time with her as much. how much do you remember your childhood from when you were an infant to when you started going to school? We also took care of ourselves once we were old enough, and we saw the fruits of our parents’ labor.

I wish someone had impressed these considerations more deeply on me before my wife and I had this discussion. I can’t say we would have been able to provide that, despite the cost and time savings. I’ve even applied for jobs I’m way past qualified for and would only pay $10/hr just to stop the work gap. Did the math and found out after taxes and daycare, I’d only be bringing home $100/week. 2) Don’t panic about daycare decision and feel like whatever you choose is set in stone. It’s much more likely that the SAH parent will need a vehicle during the course of the day. Presumably the cost would fall as the child ages and then gets much much cheaper in 4 years when the child goes to school.

If your job sucks and there is no upward mobility, that means you need a new job. You can find that daycare provider, if you’re willing to go the non-traditional big center. My mom was a substitute teacher for a few years at my elementary school, and she hadn’t worked since I was born. From an employer’s standpoint, people leave jobs for a myriad of reasons: salary, schedule, interpersonal conflict, they don’t like the commute/office/cafeteria, whatever. Ours benefitted and we continued it even when the cost took my whole unemployment insurance pay while I retrained and got a new job. I could pay that in my area, but that’s a top teir or downtown daycare.

I don’t know what the tax numbers would actually be, but people I know with kids definitely have told me they’ve lowered their tax bill pretty significantly. Daycare always costs more than working, if you value things outside money. like actually raising your children.

Some companies offer flex spending which is taken out pretax for daycare as well. Yeah, in the end it comes down to how important working is to you. If you ask me, it’s worth it to keep working, pretty much without reservation. 10 years in the job and after 6 years went back to make less than I had made when I originally started. First of all I know plenty of moms who end up hating staying home all day with their kids.

I played around with it to see how much we’d save and what costs we’d cut to make the options work. For an infant $40 per day is about average where I live and it’s what I’m currently paying. You may find you adore your time with your kid and can’t wait to be home all day. There are lots of options like a nanny share, split working schedule with spouse, stay at home mom who watches your baby for you, etc. Keep in mind that a pay cut will usually follow you your whole life, so the long-run financial loss is considerable. I get what you’re saying but I think there is no better role model than a great parent. You should make the decision based on what you and your husband want, first and foremost. I just quit my sleep tech job and am teaching from home in the morning while my little guy sleeps and I’m thrilled. He also didn’t care if he has to find a new career when/if he decides to go back to work. Now that they’re about 2, starting to look into part time day cares and babysitters so she can work some.

I’m pregnant too, and daycare in my area for infants is $1,300 a month on average. Weekend days with her are a marathon of trying to make memories, get housework done and play play play. But obviously once they are going to school and doing things, that’s when you can start forming them into a person. I don’t know why but when I brake it down to a daily amount it seems like a lot less daunting than like $800 per month. Keep the job even if reduced hours OP. It will keep your mind active and prolong your stay in the workforce. Would it have made sense to have the other person stay at their job? I heard from many people that working from home with a kid is impossible. My mom stayed at home for around 17 years before she started working. I don’t know. I’ve never met anyone who was a SAHM for more than a year and didn’t have serious identity loss issues. Assume a 5-10% decrease from your current salary to you workforce re-entry salary for every year out of the workforce. Person A would still be making $70k, 8 years from now, whereas person B reentering the workforce may not start anywhere near $70k. I made a formula so I could play with my income at X amount of hours per week.

In that case just leave the kid in a closet all day while you’re at work and save on childcare too. You need to consider what you are getting with the 401k, not just what you are contributing but any employer match. The reason to keep working is to not lose your career track, if that isn’t really a concern than opt right out & save yourself the stress. I am STILL held to all the restrictions and regulations of a licensed daycare. Food – research has reported that households with a stay-at-home parent eat out less and/or eat less processed stuff. It was great because she only worked part time, had summers off, and had the same hours as me and my sister. On the other side of it, if the person decides to return to the workforce they now have a large gap there. And too, splitting time – 10 hours is a long time to leave a kid in daycare, if you find a place open that long. If you think you’ll enjoy the SAHM lifestyle and aren’t concerned about working again, then staying home might be a good option for you.

I can’t tell you what is right for you, but I can tell you that you don’t have to decide right this second. Medical wouldn’t matter because we’d be adding the baby to his insurance anyway and there’s no difference in cost to him if adds 1 person or 2. But since that is not practical for most people , daycare is the next best thing.

In our hunter-gatherer past, children were taken care of by an extended family of siblings, aunts, grandparents, and so on.

The ideal way to raise children in the modern world would be to live in a commune or multigenerational home. Working from home during the time you are also supposed to be caring for the infant will most likely not work. So I can’t offer any solution, but perhaps another discussion point to consider. As a working mom of 1 soon to be 2 it killed me. I wouldn’t include 401k in your deductions because that’s money you’re earning that you will have access to someday. Don’t forget that their after tax take home will be higher too, d/t child tax credits, deducting daycare expenses, the extra exemption you’ll get with a child, etc. Anyways I’d say if you can afford it quit or work very little part time at least until your child is 3-5. So I went on maternity leave and decided to decide once I knew baby a little better. Also, your taxes would change because you will now be claiming a dependent so you wouldn’t be paying that much for taxes. Then I saw the writing on the wall, got divorced, and turned jobs over for massive salary increases and similar flexibility. If they didn’t, I’m confident that I could find a similar position with another company.

But we couldn’t stomach her working 40 hours and only getting a couple hundred bucks. People work for more than money though, so you have to consider if you would go insane at home. “If it’s important, I’ve been at my job for 10 years and there’s literally no career ladder to climb. I’d also add , that having a child will increase your spending by a shit ton–and not just the childcare. If it were a $110 question for us, we would absolutely choose for one of us to stay home.

I don’t know your state or your city, prices vary depending on state and city. For me it was worth it for my mental health to get out of the house and be with adults. And because I just feel better leaving baby with my husband than with someone who’s not as vested in baby’s interests.

I’m not a parent, but I do think that staying at home is some cases makes more sense.

You may find that it drives you stark raving mad and you can’t WAIT to get back to work and talk to an adult.

I didn’t carry my kids 9 months to see them for an hour a day. I know this sounds bad, but I welcome the break that the workday gives me.

What about health insurance, would that be more expensive if you switched the whole family to your husband’s plan? Left alone, that could grow to ~$250,000 after 35 years to retirement at ~ age 65. Also, full-time infant care can be just as exhausting as many jobs and requires longer hours. People here are talking about hidden cost savings, but you are missing the extra hidden costs. But, the days I stay home with him are even more exhausting. I don’t think work from home is a good solution. So your take-home after daycare is $33K – $27. 3K = $5,700 per year. Also if it’s important, we could survive on my husband’s salary , but it would be very tight. That’s about 52. 5 hours of childcare per week, which runs about $525 around here for an infant. So those costs dont go away when you stop working. After 3 years not working, it’s been VERY difficult to find a new job even though I have a lot of education and good work experience and skills. If it’s 6 months or more, that may be long enough to delay the most expensive age for daycare This is such a difficult choice. I compared all three and calculated the part-time hours it would take for me to feel comfortable financially. You can survive on your husband’s salary, but salary isn’t the only compensation you need to think about. 3) Maybe finding an in home daycare with reduced cost? If your work lets you do part time, try that our for 6 months or so.

I would not be missing out on any promotions by quitting or taking an extended leave, because there are no promotions to be had.

How difficult would it be for you to get back into a $55k /year job if either he lost his job or you changed your mind? Also, it’s way easier to deal with life if you’re taking care of things in the home, while your husband works. If you do go the part time route, make sure it’s in a field you can go reasonably full time later. If you stop your 401k contributions, will you be able to survive on your husband’s retirement alone/for the bulk? I wouldn’t fall behind in skills at all, but do worry about finding a new job.

But if you get out of the work force in 5 years when school starts, you will be sitting from square one. Secondly your dynamic with your spouse will change when you don’t have your own money, it just will. Sounds like you are in a position to start a new job, at the bottom rung, less pay and possibly less hours. I’m not quite sure I understand why all of that responsibility should fall on one partner. Unless you are part of the folks who can work from home or have flexible hours. There are a lot of hidden costs with being a stay at home mom. I don’t know your financial situation or how you and your husband handle things. Working part time is a good balance, and it would let you figure out what you want. But if you opt to pay for preschool you will only really have a 3 year break. Being out of the game sets you so far back that you just plain lose too much. But you can find an in-home daycare for much less than a big center.

I went back part time and then in January I added in teaching online. I am not saying what you should do, but be very careful about the consequences of either actions. Both have long term consequences that go long, long past when the child no longer needs that care. What about staying home with your baby and possibly taking care of someone else’s baby in your home while they work for extra money? Plus, and I say this with a bit of a feminist bent – I think women should always have options independent of their husband. Being out of the workforce for 4 or 5 years and then trying to come back in is challenging.

8 hours was max at ours and one if us flexed late to drop off and one early to pick up. Easier, perhaps, but in the long run, it would greatly hurt your chances at being able to enter the workforce again. Losing years on your resume, years of retirement contributions, years of experience, it won’t end up well. Parents say they are staying home for the kids but they are really doing it for themselves. Is the cost of a nanny comparable to daycare? You can run the numbers on your tax liability on the irs. gov with holding calculator. How do you responsibly ditch a car if you are a stay at home parent? You are going to interview, message and ask prices, ask to see their space, their credentials – ASK TO SEE CERTIFICATES. No certificates? Yes, I’m sure they would let me work 2-3 days a week if I want to. I will have to first use all of my vacation and sick time and then I can go on disability for 60% pay. If the spouse’s job-security is solid, then you could consider the option of staying home.

The longterm difference, considering retirement and lost wage growth, could easily be hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time you retire.

Having the baby is a life event so you can make all the changes then. A huge factor people don’t take into account is time out of the work force that can be a hard hurdle to overcome. That said, you could run a budget of your expenses now with work and run a budget of your anticipated expenses without work. The stress of trying to make both work may take its toll on my relationship with my husband, child, and my own health.

My husband can’t take any time except for his regular accrued vacation days, but FMLA does allow him to take 12 weeks of UNpaid leave. It sounds to me like family may be higher on the priority list for you than a career, so why not stay home? I did two things: 1) I chose not to make up my mind right away.

You don’t get breaks, you don’t get to ‘clock out’. I spend $215/week for a place that takes 3 month olds and up and they are great. We get to maximize the quality time we spend together because I organize our lives from home.

I saw that u/blues65 mentioned this, but I’m surprised it isn’t in one of the top comments. Her going back would be more for her to do something else outside of the house.

I would like to negotiate some kind of work-from-home situation so that I could keep my income without giving 83% of it to a daycare center, but I don’t think they’ll go for it. Staying at home with the child is great for the child, but horrible on your career.

It’s just so hard to get back working once you’ve stopped.

None of us can tell you what will work best for you in your situation. Might be good to stay at home so you can concentrate on fighting medical bills. But, if it were me, I would stay home and raise my child. Third you act like the money you will be making working is ‘nothing’. Sure, our daycare lady basically raised us during those early years, but we 100% appreciated what our parents worked for and the role models that they gave us. I’ll have to pay around with the numbers but this may be what I end up doing. This sounds like a great opportunity to find something you love, while spending time with your new one. If your employer offers it, you can use a dependent care flex savings account to pay for a portion of childcare pretax. Those two hours drain me more than the 10 I spend out of the house. The one thing I didn’t account for; I didn’t go “back to work”. are almost identical academically to those raised by a stay at home parent. There are long-term advantages to working including earning potential, SS, and self preservation. I did not want to bust my ass, lose qt with my kid, just to break even / save a couple hundred a month. You get the socialization, a good care taker to kid ratio, and they aren’t just sitting in front of a TV all day.

After doing so I decided part time work was best and if my boss said no, I’d suck it up and remain full time. Just that the effects are bigger than just take home pay – daycare. I have to have a fire extinguisher, keep meticiulous records, have first aid, mandatory reporting, etc etc. I’d hire someone willing to put their kids over their job anyday.

I quit to be a stay at home mom and have kind of regretted it.

Yet you say your spouse’s 80k a year is more than enough to support a family of 3. If your husbands income can support the family, then going part time for a year or two could be the perfect solution! And to take the non-financial angle, you will never get those childhood years back, and they go by so, so, so fast. Staying home makes everything easier when its so tight, 110 a week just isn’t enough for the kind of juggling you will be doing. She is now struggling to find a good position as a 38 year old teacher with about five years of professional experience. I’m thinking maybe I could work 1-2 days per week in office and maybe see if I could also work some additional weekend hours at home.

I have been a SAHM for 15 years; our youngest started school this past school year and I started sending out resumes. haven’t gotten even an interview. If you get divorced, you won’t have an option and will have to go back to work. THEN take your unpaid FMLA. Yes, it’s unpaid but you get a job back at the end. Do they use any technology to keep you up to date on what your child is doing/diapers/bottle? Personally, I thought having my mom as a para in the school system was great because then we had her home when us kids were home. On top of that, she’s concerned about pricing herself out of the market by finishing her Masters degree before she finds that job. Depending on proximity, I would say it could make more sense for the stay at home parent to keep the vehicle and drop off the breadwinner at work. Your career will more than likely take a hit in some way if you stay at home, even if it is “only” for a year. If you decide you’d prefer to be at home, then figure out if you can truly afford it. 1) Have you considered rearranging the bills with your husband so you are left with more per month? I’m a single mom so childcare options and other factors limit the variety and location of positions available that would fit my family life.

Some people are okay with that – and if you are, make sure you have a rock solid insurance policy on your husband. If there was a match for those funds, you’d miss out on about 74k or 88k if you reinvested the tax savings. If you can easily re-enter the workforce for the same amount of money This can’t be emphasized enough. I’m not sure if that would make me a strong individual and a positive role model. You’re already underpaid in aggregate and you have the whole preganncy thing against you as well.

We tried to get into one of those. but we were lucky they had such a long wait list. You’ll want to buy every “educational” toy and give your baby every opportunity you can. and good for you! I think if I had known, I would have done things differently. Is working full-time worth the extra $5,700 you take home? Decided to go with daycare. though we were weighing costs for two kids vs spouses job. You just work to sustain life and trade it for minimal time.

I am still subject to “so and so complained and we’re here to check on the complaint” surprise visits from CPS. All cool. So really the question is, how much monetary value do you place on having your child cared by you, and not by “strangers. ” On the other side of that blade, though, you are weighing your career against spending time with the first years of your child. Back on the other side again, if your child is exposed to other children , there is greater potential to develop better social skills. Or maybe trying to be the working mother will make you miserable.

For me, it came down to 3 small children for 14 hours a day makes me crazy and I need some adult and intellectual interactions. Where I live daycare can easily be 2k/month.

Luckily my job has super flexible scheduling and we decided as a family we could afford for me to drop a day in my schedule. Inflation is another subject entirely, my comment above holds true, inflation or no inflation. My sister works less than 20 hrs/week as an accountant at a small non-profit, which pays for her and baby’s healthcare, daycare, plus a little left over. I feel like this is especially true in this day and age when children can be influenced by an enormous amount of outside sources.

You can’t use an HSA to pay for daycare. Some kids do well with the one-on-one of constantly being with their parents, and some get just as much cabin fever as parents would.

Not enough to make up the costs if raising kids, but every bit helps. I see a lot of people saying you should keep your job.

The most recent date his successor was president was 6 years closer to now so it wouldn’t really do to be truthful in this respect. My sister became a SAHM mom and it was the best thing for the family. Free daycare from the grandparents is not an option. My kids are handling daycare just fine. I haven’t read all the responses yet but is part-time an option? You’re right that I might have to take a pay cut, though. Personally, I think the math has to strongly favor staying home for it to be worthwhile.

And that’s discounting all of the things that come with your job. Another option is to try to find another job with higher pay. You dont have to limit yourself to just what you are doing. You can use an agency and pay fees or hire privately and pay household employer taxes.


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