Daycare thread (and some data about cost) — The Bump
April 2017 Moms

Daycare thread (and some data about cost)

catem07catem07 member
edited September 2016 in April 2017 Moms
New America just came out with a report on the cost of childcare. Really interesting stuff. Note that by home-based care they mean a nanny or other private service, not a home daycare. 
https://www.newamerica.org/in-depth/care-report/explore-care-index/?linkId=29303160#CareInAmerica
DD #1: April 2017
DD #2: May 2020
Baby #3: EDD May 2023; MC October 2022

KirstinH88LittleChick2
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Re: Daycare thread (and some data about cost)

  • Crazy!  Well I do agree with the Donald on one thing...we should be able to fully deduct the cost of childcare.
    mylittleirvzpinkshades05
  • I was going to start a post on daycare soon. But maybe we can combine it into this one. I was planning on touring/interviewing daycares starting in my 2nd tri (still have a few more weeks). My previous kids have all been watched by my amazing MIL, but I feel like it's time to give her a break. She's been watching grandkids for 18 years! We are financially able to pay for daycare. But I'm not sure if we will do a home daycare or out of home daycare. Also, what questions do I ask? What things should I be looking for? For those of you who have used daycare previously, or are planning to use daycare now, where is your daycare located? I have three options: near home, near kids schools, near work. And I'm not sure which would be best. 
    Me: 29 DH: 33
    Married: 5/30/2013
    DSS #1: 5/25/2007
    DSS #2: 1/22/2011
    DS #3: 7/8/2012
    BFP: 3/14/2016 ~ MC: 3/19/2016
    DS #4: 4/21/17
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  • @KirstinH88 renamed the thread for you!
    DD #1: April 2017
    DD #2: May 2020
    Baby #3: EDD May 2023; MC October 2022

    KirstinH88
  • @KirstinH88

    When my son was a newbie, he actually stayed home with Grandpa until he was about 8 mths old.  Then we decided to put him in daycare.  I had a horrible experience with the 1st one because:

    1) One of the workers there, was trying to force him down for a nap. I was watching on camera, and she was carrying/rocking her own baby and pinning down my son with her foot trying to get him to stay down for a nap.  When I talked to the director, all she said was "well, i'll have a talk with her".  I immediately pulled him out. I would definitely ask, "do any teachers have their own babies in the same room?"  "what is your policy on nap times?"  "what if my baby doesn't want to take a nap?'
    2) This one is more towards toddlers.  I once visited a school where they supplied the sippy cups and all the kids shared.  The problem was that there were only 4 colors of cups, so 2 or 3 kids would end up with the same color, confuse the cups and well you know....end up swapping spit.  I didn't like this, because I didn't want my kid getting sick all the time.
    3) Follow your gut.  If it doesn't seem right, its probably not.

    As far as location, we put him in close to home.  I'm about 25 minutes away from him from work, BUT if I ever call in sick I know he's right down the street from home.
    KirstinH88mylittleirvzCook3133cafedisco
  • I think the biggest thing is getting to now their teachers too and being clear with your expectations to see if they align with their policies. Once you build a trust by getting to know the people who will be there everyday, it makes it much easier to drop them off, especially when they are infants. And if you feel something is off, say something. When DS moved to the 18month+ room, we had a huge issue with a teacher for 2 days (she wasn't normally in the room, filling in for someone) who refused to play with him bc he arrives during their nap time (because DH works 2nd shift and I work first). So he's there from like 2-5pm. She expected him to just sit on the cot by himself at 18m and not make a sound and they wouldn't give him a snack for some reason either. I had to talk with the director, who was astonished but in a way that showed she believed us, and immediately addressed it with the woman. For us, while we understand that he is dropped off during the end of their naptime and that is usually when the teachers can relax, he is a quiet kid in general and I expect them to at least quietly read a book with him (which is his go to thing anyway) for the last 20min. the kids are asleep. Once we addressed the issue, we haven't had any problems and that was 6 months ago. For location, he's 15min out of the way, but it works for us because of their prices and flexibility. We only pay for the hours he is there bc they have a 'drop-off' option along with daily/weekly rates, which works for our schedule.



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  • When we were looking, we specifically asked to talk with his infant teacher.  We instantly loved her - she's been at that school for over 15 years and will only work with infants.  She had 4 kids I believe in the class and handled every single one of them without a problem all the while talking with us and walking us through all of the different centers, etc.  The other big thing I looked for was cleanliness - big daycares are regulated by the gov't so that does help some but some places were certainly nicer than others.  In general, it's just gut feel to be honest.  We toured 5-6 with DS and haven't ever left the daycare we initially chose.  His daycare is amazing and every single teacher has been so easy to work with. 
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  • @catem07 You didn't have to change the thread name. And sorry if I kind of hijacked the post.  :)
    @shaunessa @ashleym112 @M&Max Thank you all for the words of advice.

    Me: 29 DH: 33
    Married: 5/30/2013
    DSS #1: 5/25/2007
    DSS #2: 1/22/2011
    DS #3: 7/8/2012
    BFP: 3/14/2016 ~ MC: 3/19/2016
    DS #4: 4/21/17
    M&Max
  • @Kristinh88 it's okay, it makes sense to have a bigger conversation about daycare and the name change makes it easier for people to find
    DD #1: April 2017
    DD #2: May 2020
    Baby #3: EDD May 2023; MC October 2022

    KirstinH88
  • With a home daycare, ask about holidays, vacations, and sick time.  For example, if the owner is sick, do they have a backup or are you out of luck?  Do you pay for holidays?  How many vacations do they take?

    With a center, check out the infant room, but also meet the other teachers because your kid may be travelling through the school as they age.  Also, where my kids are teachers rotate between classes so my kids are in different rooms with overlapping teachers.

    Always ask what's provided - diapers, snacks, milk, etc and what the parent provides.  Ask where they nap, the kid to adult ratio, and sick kid policy.

    Try to visit more than once (or at least do a drive by) and see how busy it is at different points in the day.  I found out the owner of my home daycare was leaving her assistant alone with the younger kids several times a day while she did errands and brought the older kids to/from school.  The only reason I knew was because I stopped by unannounced to drop off something I had forgotten.
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    shaunessaKirstinH88ashleym112cafedisco
  • @pammasu0909 Such great questions and information to think about! Thank you!
    Me: 29 DH: 33
    Married: 5/30/2013
    DSS #1: 5/25/2007
    DSS #2: 1/22/2011
    DS #3: 7/8/2012
    BFP: 3/14/2016 ~ MC: 3/19/2016
    DS #4: 4/21/17
  • VirginialeighVirginialeigh member
    edited September 2016
    I was a preschool teacher for 10 years before having DS. It made me terrified to leave him at a daycare. I've seen things, terrible things. However, it helped me a lot when looking for a daycare, because I knew the regulations. A couple of places we looked were violating more than one and it seemed like common practice. I will not leave my child somewhere there are two babies asleep on the floor with bottles in their mouths. So if you are looking at a state licensed daycare look up the regs for your state. And if you live in a state that makes the state evaluations public look those up too. I know Indiana does but Kentucky doesn't. Definitely go more than once and try "popping in". A lot can change when they know you are coming. We were lucky enough that my BIL had his kids at an in home daycare run by a wonderful woman that is super affordable. We love her and she loves my son like he was her own.   

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    KirstinH88shaunessaMissa0830cafedisco
  • @shaunessa holy sh*t. I would have been livid. What a scary thing to witness.
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  • @shaunessa That made me want to go there and pin that woman underneath my foot.  


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    KirstinH88
  • @KirstinH88 Something to think about when considering location, who will do pick up and drop off? 
    My mom is going to watch the baby for us and lives on our way to and from home, but I'll be doing drop off and H will be doing pick up. I would think that something close to home would generally be most convenient as the last person to leave home and first to return home would be providing transport and it's not always the same person.
    KirstinH88Missa0830
  • @LittleChick2 That is a good point. Here is more of my conundrum when it comes to location: I would be doing drop off and it is never certain who would do pick up. Mostly it COULD be DH. But he often works OT, and so it is never a guarantee. Also, I work for a government agency in the downtown area of my city, and so many of the daycares near my work will discount the cost for government workers. In this case, I would do pick up and drop off. I would LOVE to be minutes away from baby instead of 45 minutes away (if the daycare was closer to home). But then again, I don't want to cut DH out of time with the baby if he has the potential to pick him/her up earlier than me (although, he will have the other kids to pick up, so maybe he won't mind..???)
    Me: 29 DH: 33
    Married: 5/30/2013
    DSS #1: 5/25/2007
    DSS #2: 1/22/2011
    DS #3: 7/8/2012
    BFP: 3/14/2016 ~ MC: 3/19/2016
    DS #4: 4/21/17
  • I have to admit that the childcare situation stresses me out, because we're moving when LO is 2-3 months old (back to Texas, but I'm not sure exactly where yet).  I'll check in with our old church's childcare center as it's very well-reviewed and I've already met much of the staff that works there, but of course if we don't end up moving there (or even to the part of the city where it's located) that won't be of much use.  Depending on whether I'm working part-time or not, we may also be able to have my parents watch LO for part of the time.  Just not sure yet, and I haven't breached the subject with them.

    It's good to read what others experiences are and what good questions to ask would be! Thanks for getting this started!
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    KirstinH88shaunessa
  • This post comes at a perfect timing. My mom currently watches DS and his cousin (15 and 13 months respectively). My mom is in her 60's and by the time my #2 comes along, I think 3 kids will be just too much for her. So, my plan is to put DS in daycare and have my mom watch #2. Luckily, I do plan to take off one year off work.

    I started looking into daycares already (mainly on-line) and haven't toured any yet. I totally agree by going with your gut feeling. My older sister worked at a pre-school and she would also tell me some stories about some of the teachers. It is true, some will act a certain way or have everything polished if they know you are coming.

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    KirstinH88cafedisco
  • @allybadry I know a friend of mine's daycare has an app similar to what you are talking about and I think that is so cool! I would definitely love to have that feature in a daycare.
    Me: 29 DH: 33
    Married: 5/30/2013
    DSS #1: 5/25/2007
    DSS #2: 1/22/2011
    DS #3: 7/8/2012
    BFP: 3/14/2016 ~ MC: 3/19/2016
    DS #4: 4/21/17
  • I started DS in a big daycare (Bright Horizons) at 4.5 months but we pulled him out a month later in favor of a private nanny.  I had worked so hard on his naps and such at home and he was not adjusting to the bright loud room with no swaddling allowed.  We sucked it up for a year cost-wise then put him back in s (different, cheaper, smaller) daycare at 15 months once he was walking and down to one nap.  It was good timing and I plan on doing nanny first then daycare with #2.
    KirstinH88cafedisco
  • Oh, and yes to looking early (now).  I'm stil not off some wait lists from 3 years ago.  
    KirstinH88ladameperdue
  • So many good things to think about!  I would ask about training and turn over of staff.  DD's first place had great teachers but the "aides" were in and out every 3 weeks it felt like.  I didn't like that.

    Also ask about parent communication.  Do they have a form to let you know how baby is doing?  We've found (at 2 places), that with a typical work day you may not be picking up from someone who was with your kiddo all day.  Also something to ask about.  Is the lead teacher for the room there from 8-4? 6-2?  At her first place it was 8-4 so we literally never saw the lead teacher and only saw "swings".  It was very frustrating for us to not really know how she was doing (especially before she could tell us herself).

    The sick policy is a big one. We used to have to go pick her up for a 99 degree temp.  And then we would show up and she's have a jacket on and we're like, uhhhhhh, what?!  We lost a lot of time off work for stupid stuff like that. 

    I would also ask how the transition kids from one room to the next.  Do they do it gradually over a few weeks (start with an hour or two and add on every few days) or is it a sudden shift from one day to the next?  This was a game changer for us at a few changes.

    Will they support nursing-friendly bottle feedings? 

    If anyone is a teacher, ask if they will let you take LOs out for summer and not pay.  Our first daycare had that perk (new one doesn't - boo).  It can save thousands!
    Me: 31
    DH: 36
    Married 5 years
    DD born 8/30/13
    #2 expected 4/25/17
    KirstinH88schef070911ashleym112
  • @cafedisco great points! Thank you! 
    Me: 29 DH: 33
    Married: 5/30/2013
    DSS #1: 5/25/2007
    DSS #2: 1/22/2011
    DS #3: 7/8/2012
    BFP: 3/14/2016 ~ MC: 3/19/2016
    DS #4: 4/21/17
  • @KirstinH88 another thing to think about is if you're sick and still going to take little one to daycare for the day - for that reason we chose to have daycare close to home vs close to my office which is almost an hour (with traffic) away. 
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    KirstinH88ashleym112pammasu0909
  • @M&Max in that case, I would most likely keep baby with me. If I'm super sick, then I would just ask my MIL to watch baby in a pinch.
    Me: 29 DH: 33
    Married: 5/30/2013
    DSS #1: 5/25/2007
    DSS #2: 1/22/2011
    DS #3: 7/8/2012
    BFP: 3/14/2016 ~ MC: 3/19/2016
    DS #4: 4/21/17
    M&Max
  • @KirstinH88 My DH and I work 26 miles away from home... in opposite directions.  For us it made more sense to find a place closer to home because we'd both be able to drop off/pick up, and our family lives in the same town so if we needed back up it would be close to them.  Bonus was that close to home meant it was cheaper for us.  Another perk for closer to home - when your kid is sick and throwing up (which happens) you'll spend less time in the car, which means less to clean when you get home :smile:

    I came up with another question too - sibling discounts!  You may not need it now, but it's nice to know for the future
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    KirstinH88
  • blessedinmtblessedinmt member
    edited September 2016
    I recently saw a local news story about the shortage of infant childcare in our area.  This spurred me to tour some places already and get on the waiting lists.  The places in our city are not accepting infants now and the lists are so long they won't even add to it unless you're currently pregnant and won't need their services until next summer.  Nut-so.
    KirstinH88
  • I just registered today.  Because of my summer break, I don't need care til mid or late Sept next year.  We're #17 on the wait list....
    Me: 31
    DH: 36
    Married 5 years
    DD born 8/30/13
    #2 expected 4/25/17
    KirstinH88
  • @cafedisco I'm also hoping that DH can take some leave after my leave is exhausted so that baby won't be in daycare until Sept as well.
    Me: 29 DH: 33
    Married: 5/30/2013
    DSS #1: 5/25/2007
    DSS #2: 1/22/2011
    DS #3: 7/8/2012
    BFP: 3/14/2016 ~ MC: 3/19/2016
    DS #4: 4/21/17
    cafedisco
  • I have no worries about this right now since we're most likely moving because DH lost his job (his company has planned 10,000 layoffs from 2015-2018...his wasn't part of that..ugh). Daycare is really affordable in our city with many options. One hospital has a daycare/preschool/kindergarten (separate building) BUT anyone can take their kid there (the hospital workers get a discount). It is price at about $230 a week for infant but goes down as they get older.

    No clue where we'll end up but no doubt it'll be more and we'll be away from all our fam and friends which stinks. No clue if/when I'll be working too.
    KirstinH88
  • Just started reaching out to a bunch of centers to arrange a tour...I have no idea what I'm doing, but here goes! I don't think we'll be in our city for longer than a year after baby starts daycare, so I'm primarily concerned about the infant room since she won't likely be in the same place as a toddler/pre-schooler. 
    DD #1: April 2017
    DD #2: May 2020
    Baby #3: EDD May 2023; MC October 2022

    KirstinH88
  • Right now, I am so torn. My aunt is a retired OT, and comes to our home to watch DS. She takes him to the park, has a schedule for him, and genuinely loves him. However, I worry about him not having interaction and socialization with other kids his age. My aunt is in her upper 60's, and I don't know if she would be able to take care of both an infant and toddler. I starting searching day cares in my area online for DS (will be 21 months when I go back to work) and I don't think we will be able to swing paying both my Aunt as a babysitter for LO (even though she is very cheap) and day care costs. At that point, I would only be working for daycare. Not sure what to do, but I guess we have 5-6 months to figure it out. 
    KirstinH88
  • @catem07 great point! Yes, I have factored my benefits into the equation. I am in HR and the benefits administrator for my company, and to be honest they are horrible- no matching 401k, high medical premiums and a HDHP. We are actually all moving to DH's medical plan during his open enrollment. I think I'm being crazy and jumping the gun a little. My first task should be to tell my aunt I'm pregnant (I don't know why, but I haven't told anyone but my mom yet), and see how she feels about taking care of 2U2. I know I am valued at my company, so discussing part time or part time work-from-home may be something they would consider. 
    KirstinH88
  • My oldest is in PreK, which we pay out of pocket for. She goes 2 days a week, 6 hours both days. 
    I have previously used 2 daycare, part time. 
    My youngest (2) has not been in a daycare situation, outside of a local SAHM who home schools and babysits.
    In NY, the cost of daycare is so high, even private in home is expensive (I pay $70/day for 2 kids). 
    An actual daycare charged between $45 and $60 a day per child. I make decent money, but when my take home is less than $30/day it's not worth it for me to go to work. Baby #3 seals the deal that I will be a SAHM or WAHM
    KirstinH88
  • Echoing what @catem07 said about factoring in lost years of work.  If you make a hypothetical $50k a year now and are on a somewhat upward trajectory, not all careers will be easy to jump back in to 3-5 years later at same salary.  Taking a hit on daycare costs now may actually pay off if you get another 15-20 years later at a higher salary.  This is purely a financial calc, obviously other things come into play in this decision, but I cringe when I hear moms quit otherwise solid careers solely because 2x daycare costs makes them financially break-even so why bother working.  That can kill lifetime earnings potential (again, if that is the sole criteria, in isolation of other factors).
    KirstinH88catem07peachy0709
  • I'm a big daycare fan. My daughter has thrived so much, and it's like a little family. I'm actually gutted that we might not be able to afford daycare x 2 in NYC and will likely have to go with a nanny next year. (Agree with @NESeattlite - I will be exactly breaking even, and it is SO worth it to me long term).
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