Cost of Childcare Almost More than I Can Earn

Updated on October 15, 2009
S.S. asks from San Anselmo, CA
6 answers

Hi. I'm looking at going back to work to help with growing household costs. I have been offered a job 20 hours a week, which I thought would be perfect since I can work while my 2 older children are in school. Now, however, I realize that the cost of putting my 3 year old in care will eat all but $300 a month of what I will make post tax. In addition, when my other kids are on break (winter, presidents and spring breaks) I won't be able to work and thus my take home will be gone. What do I do? Creative ideas needed.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the input!! My background is in Early Childhood Education but I was trying to get into something new. I'm going to pass on the job and look for something in my field - so I can take my daughter to work with me and save that
expense. Even if I'm making less per hour it should work out to our benefit. Thanks again!!

More Answers



answers from San Francisco on

hi S.,

I don't know, all I can say is welcome to the real world of the cost of child care. Depending on your background and capabilities, consider working from home..setting up an office from home (phone, fax, computer,printing capability)...and take it from there.


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answers from Salinas on

Hi- I bet if you add in all the true costs of working outside the home plus the childcare your profit will be even less than $300. Gas, clothes, food (you may eat out more or spend more at the store due to time constraints). If you do decide to go for it you should try to find a relative or neighbor to "trade" with for the childcare. There may be something you could do for them, watch their child a few hours a week or pay them a lower fee than regular daycare. Another idea is to care for another child in your home. I'm not sure of the laws but you could make more than $300 per month taking on a child or two part time during the week for another working Mom and still stay home with your kid. Also, as other posters have said, if you haven't already, really try to reduce your expenses. Buy things you need secondhand (it's really kind of fun, Craigslist, Ebay, Goodwill) try to reduce food bills, drop the cable, cell phone etc. You should be able to shave a couple hundred off your monthly costs. Remember it's only for a couple more years, soon your youngest will be in school and you can work without the horrible drain of paying someone else to care for your child!



answers from Sacramento on

do you have neighbors, friends, or family that are stay at home moms/dads that would be willing to watch the kids for pay? When my son was little i watched my niece when my sister went back to work full time. I think i charged her 50 bucks a week which included meals. childcare costs was one of the reasons i didnt go back to work until my son was in 1st grade and i had enough time to work part time. when he was sick my mom would watch him. good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

I have the same problem, but I found a way to do some work from home, after realizing I was actually LOSING money each month last year!
It can be important to stay in the workforce, over the long term, but when you consider the $300 profit, make sure you subtract the cost of gasoline, if you have to drive there, clothes and other supplies for the job.
It may not be worth it. To spend less time with your child for just a couple of hundred dollars profit...

Try to find someone to help you out---another parent, friend, relative. Also consider other work options, and cut corners at home---shop at your local Goodwill store, spend less on groceries, cut the kids' hair yourself...



answers from Sacramento on

Child care can be very expensive. Have you looked at both centers and home-based providers? I've found home-based providers to have more reasonable rates than the centers. You're not paying for the additional staffing, the entertainers visiting, etc.



answers from Stockton on

You did not mention what your profession is but this is a suggestion I have given to other Mamasource moms because it works so well for us; I was a medical biller for 15 years prior to us starting a family. We decided that I would be a full-time stay-at-home mom as neither of us was comfortable with someone us raising our baby. When my son was almost 3 and our daughter was almost 8 months I looked into working part-time at different companies. I chose to work at Starbucks because I could work in the evening when my husband was home and I only had to work 20 hours per week for full benefits! Granted, you don't make alot per hour but it is so worth it!! It works fabulous for us!!!
We do have a sitter we call on an as-needed basis (if my husband won't be home when I have to leave) and she is here no more than a couple of hours maybe once per week. We really are not out-of-pocket more than $30.00 per week for childcare. You can't beat that!
Just a suggestion I like to share because, like I said, it has worked so great for us! Good luck!!

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