Author Topic: Childcare costs multiple kids?  (Read 4741 times)

dinkhelpneeded

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Childcare costs multiple kids?
« on: March 03, 2018, 01:29:10 AM »
We have a 1.5 year old and another on the way.

How do parents of multiples (one toddler and one baby) minimize childcare costs?
Au Pair?
Nanny (but until what age?)
We like the engagement/activity schedule provided by daycare. I also feel secure sending my kids to daycare than worrying about the nanny and my kids being home alone.
Home daycare?
Fancy daycare?
Does it matter how engaged the kids are at 2-5 years old? or should I view it as "childcare" without much to do with actual "learning"?

Ideas?

Gin1984

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2018, 09:16:35 AM »
We have a 1.5 year old and another on the way.

How do parents of multiples (one toddler and one baby) minimize childcare costs?
Au Pair?
Nanny (but until what age?)
We like the engagement/activity schedule provided by daycare. I also feel secure sending my kids to daycare than worrying about the nanny and my kids being home alone.
Home daycare?
Fancy daycare?
Does it matter how engaged the kids are at 2-5 years old? or should I view it as "childcare" without much to do with actual "learning"?

Ideas?
We just pay for two kids in daycare.  It works for us.

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englishteacheralex

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2018, 09:33:50 AM »
Our three year old is in daycare. The one year old is being cared for by a friend who has a baby four months younger than mine and didn't want to go back to work. The one year old will go to daycare with her brother next year because the friend doesn't want to keep babysitting when she gets pregnant again, which she is hoping to in the next six months.

Childcare is a very challenging expense to try to hack. We've resigned ourselves to paying through the nose. A nanny or an au pair isn't really an option for us because of our tiny living space.

firelight

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 08:12:27 AM »
We cobbled together leaves till kids were one year old and then send them to daycare. So preschooler in daycare/preschool now and baby would be joining from May. They have sibling discount of 10% off for one of the kids. But otherwise we are just accepting it's an expense we have to bear for a set time (5 years for kid 1, 4 years for kid 2, 4/5 years for kid 3).

Slow&Steady

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2018, 10:09:36 AM »
We decided to go with a little bit bigger age gap than most to help with childcare cost.  That said we use a very very reasonable priced center that is ran by a lady that used to be a kindergarten teacher.  Our oldest loves it there, if she didn't I am sure we would be willing to pay a little more for a place she was happy to attend regularly.  When this one starts daycare our oldest will be 4 so we are hoping to only pay 2 full childcare cost for 1-2 years.

MommyCake

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2018, 08:04:01 AM »

Does it matter how engaged the kids are at 2-5 years old? or should I view it as "childcare" without much to do with actual "learning"?


I have a daughter who is almost 2, and a newborn.  The toddler is in "fancy" daycare, and she learns a ton there.  She knows her colors, shapes, numbers (up to 10), and most of the alphabet.  She sings songs, and her vocabulary is great.  I'm home with the newborn for a while until I go back to work, and I didn't want to pull her out.  In addition to her loving it there, she wouldn't get the same learning experience at home while I tend to her brother.  I know daycare is expensive, but the right ones are worth it, in my opinion.  In northern NJ we are paying a lot but will get a 10% discount for enrolling the second child.  It will be less expensive and less headache than hiring a nanny. 

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2018, 08:53:01 AM »

Does it matter how engaged the kids are at 2-5 years old? or should I view it as "childcare" without much to do with actual "learning"?


I have a daughter who is almost 2, and a newborn.  The toddler is in "fancy" daycare, and she learns a ton there.  She knows her colors, shapes, numbers (up to 10), and most of the alphabet.  She sings songs, and her vocabulary is great.  I'm home with the newborn for a while until I go back to work, and I didn't want to pull her out.  In addition to her loving it there, she wouldn't get the same learning experience at home while I tend to her brother.  I know daycare is expensive, but the right ones are worth it, in my opinion.  In northern NJ we are paying a lot but will get a 10% discount for enrolling the second child.  It will be less expensive and less headache than hiring a nanny.

What age did you switch to fancy daycare?
My daughter is about to turn 1, but she's not moving up to the 1-year old class because they are full until someone else moves up... it's a big backlog.  I'm worried about her NOT learning these things being stuck in the infant room.  I know they sing the alphabet and count and stuff, but there just isn't as much time since it is a never ending bottles and diapers cycle without a schedule.  I wondering if I should look elsewhere, or if I should go with my "montessori at 2" plan that I originally was thinking of, but dropped when we switched to this daycare (their preschool program seems good)
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 09:45:14 AM by iowajes »

Laura33

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2018, 09:43:59 AM »
How do parents of multiples (one toddler and one baby) minimize childcare costs?

We just sucked it up and paid it. 

If you look at it over the long term, it can even be helpful in a weird way:  the money you are paying for daycare is not money that is available to inflate your lifestyle.  The good news is that tuition drops as the kids get older, so if you make a habit of immediately increasing your automatic investments by the same amount, by the time the last kid is done with daycare you will have a nice little 'stache. 

I remember talking to a guy once who sent his kids to private school and wondering how he managed to save for college, and he basically said, eh, our budget was already based around writing a big check to the school every year, so I just changed the name of the addressee.  You can think of it as doing the same thing, but with the added benefit of writing smaller checks and saving the delta. :-)

As to the "quality" of the preschool:  it really, really does not matter if your kids learn their colors and numbers and letters at 1 or at 6.  Really.  It matters that they are loved and safe and are paid attention to and have the opportunity to play with fun toys and run around and get dirty, and that they get enough good food and wiggle time and quiet time and sleep, and that they have basic rules and schedules and expectations, and perhaps most of all that they are read to and talked to and played with regularly.  If you do this, the vast majority of kids will naturally gravitate to reading and arithmetic when they are ready for it. 

You should pay what you need to pay to get a healthy environment for your kids, but that doesn't require "fancy" or "luxury."

MommyCake

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2018, 10:19:38 AM »

[/quote]

What age did you switch to fancy daycare?
My daughter is about to turn 1, but she's not moving up to the 1-year old class because they are full until someone else moves up... it's a big backlog.  I'm worried about her NOT learning these things being stuck in the infant room.  I know they sing the alphabet and count and stuff, but there just isn't as much time since it is a never ending bottles and diapers cycle without a schedule.  I wondering if I should look elsewhere, or if I should go with my "montessori at 2" plan that I originally was thinking of, but dropped when we switched to this daycare (their preschool program seems good)
[/quote]

My daughter started "fancy" daycare at 6 weeks old (couldn't take that much time off work).  I think Laura33 is right that it doesn't matter when the learning happens, as long as it happens at some point. We chose this facility bc it was the only one around that opened early enough (6:30am) for us to get to work on time.  But now that I see the benefits of it and see how much my daughter loves it there it would be very difficult to make a switch.  I don't think it will matter much if your daughter stays in infants for a few more months, as long as she is happy in there.  I wouldn't jump ship just yet.     

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2018, 10:29:23 AM »


What age did you switch to fancy daycare?
My daughter is about to turn 1, but she's not moving up to the 1-year old class because they are full until someone else moves up... it's a big backlog.  I'm worried about her NOT learning these things being stuck in the infant room.  I know they sing the alphabet and count and stuff, but there just isn't as much time since it is a never ending bottles and diapers cycle without a schedule.  I wondering if I should look elsewhere, or if I should go with my "montessori at 2" plan that I originally was thinking of, but dropped when we switched to this daycare (their preschool program seems good)
[/quote]

My daughter started "fancy" daycare at 6 weeks old (couldn't take that much time off work).  I think Laura33 is right that it doesn't matter when the learning happens, as long as it happens at some point. We chose this facility bc it was the only one around that opened early enough (6:30am) for us to get to work on time.  But now that I see the benefits of it and see how much my daughter loves it there it would be very difficult to make a switch.  I don't think it will matter much if your daughter stays in infants for a few more months, as long as she is happy in there.  I wouldn't jump ship just yet.   
[/quote]

Oh, sorry - I read it that as you moved her to it later.   
We also need a 6:30 open, as I work starting at 7. 

tyrannostache

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2018, 01:25:31 PM »
I have a 10 month old and a 5 year old. With the overlap being so small, we just sucked it up and paid. Both parents work full-time, and taking extended leaves wasn't really an option. Baby started daycare part-time at 4 months, full-time at 5 months. But even if both kids were in full-time daycare, it would still be cheaper than a nanny or au pair. We explored the idea of a nanny share with another family, but it turned out to be too difficult to manage for a very small savings.

I wonder what you mean when you say a "fancy" center? From a certain perspective, my kids have gone to small "fancy" centers all along. For me, it all comes down to the quality of care, and that differs for different ages.

For a baby, what I care about most is that she's in a caring environment where she can feel secure, have strong attachment to teachers, and get good naps. 

For a toddler/preschooler, I want to make sure she has more engagement and socialization, but mostly around free play--not an aggressive academic focus.

Babies: I want to see that staff is engaged and caring, and that the ratio of staff to babies is small. I want to know that staff turnover is low. When I visit, I look for: babies being held when they fuss, staff getting down on the floor to play and interact with the babies, vigilant monitoring of sleeping or eating areas. I expect that staff will be even more anxious about safety than I am. Baby is currently going to an awesome little center that only takes babies, and it took me a long time to find it. Fortunately, costs in our area are not outrageous ($700-800/month full-time).

Finding good daycare is hard! I visited pretty much every place in town and didn't like much of what I saw. A lot of the bigger centers--even the very expensive ones--seemed chaotic with babies and toddlers lost in the noise. I visited some in-home daycares that were less expensive, but my state allows a higher ratio of caregivers to kids for in-home daycares with mixed ages, and I didn't visit a single one that made me feel good about leaving my little baby there. I visited one that had 6 kids and one caregiver. In a fairly large house, a few toddlers/preschoolers were plopped in front of the TV, one preschooler was sitting in the kitchen eating all alone, another kid was playing alone in a playroom, while two babies were stashed away in a bedroom at the other end of the house barely within earshot of the living room. Having toddlers eating without supervision is an absolute no-go for me. (At 3.5 years old, my very competent kid choked on an apple at daycare. A teacher had to perform heimlich, and EMS was called. If an adult hadn't been right there with her, it could have gone bad fast.)

I'll switch the baby to another small center (the same one my older kid attended when she was little) when she hits about 16 months or so. I like this place because it's close to my work and because the staff are fantastic. They use a loose Montessori style with a lot of emphasis on social skills. While I don't think that following a strict curriculum or forcing early reading is beneficial, I like to see that a center is engaging with the kids where they are and encouraging creative, messy play indoors and outdoors--not just hanging around and keeping the kids occupied for 6-8 hours. Kids this age should be playing!
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 04:20:05 PM by tyrannostache »

IllusionNW

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2018, 01:45:15 PM »
We have a two year old and a full-time nanny.  And it's our largest expense by far (more than our mortgage in a HCOL area).  We hope to have another in the next year or so and would have the nanny watch the baby and have the toddler go to a part-time preschool.  It would increase our costs a bit, but we can swing it and it's the best choice for us and our lifestyle right now.

vivian

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2018, 12:54:17 PM »
I’m sure it varies by area, but I think the cost of a nanny is about 2.5 kids. So once you are looking at paying for 3 kids for child care, a nanny makes a lot of sense. We have a baby, toddler, and kindergartener. And a nanny. While you think costs go down once they start school, the cost of fall/spring break camps, summer care, is pretty expensive. Nannies have other benefits, like they come to you and so you don’t have to rush getting everyone out the door. Ours does laundry and dishes.

Our nanny does enough education for the toddler that she is not going to paid preschool until she is 4.


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firelight

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2018, 07:56:57 PM »
I’m sure it varies by area, but I think the cost of a nanny is about 2.5 kids. So once you are looking at paying for 3 kids for child care, a nanny makes a lot of sense. We have a baby, toddler, and kindergartener. And a nanny. While you think costs go down once they start school, the cost of fall/spring break camps, summer care, is pretty expensive. Nannies have other benefits, like they come to you and so you don’t have to rush getting everyone out the door. Ours does laundry and dishes.

Our nanny does enough education for the toddler that she is not going to paid preschool until she is 4.


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Not necessarily. We pay $1900 per kid and it is $3800 total. However nannies cost less than that ($3500 can get you a great nanny where we live). But we still chose the daycare/preschool version so our kids get the exposure to other kids their age and have a host of caregivers instead of just one. I agree nanny is good for some reasons (not having to rush in the morning is a great one) but I think the decision is a bit more nuanced than just number of kids.

That said, my daycare is closed only for major holidays and I don't have any kid in regular school (necessiating lot of after school/out of school care). So yes the needs of the family play a major role in deciding what is a better fit.

2Cent

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2018, 04:06:22 AM »
Au-pair is very cost effective and nice if you get a good one. But you need to have the space and really screen for a good one. Also, it is not long term, so it takes some extra organisation work.

Chrissy

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2018, 01:02:07 PM »
We're in a nanny-share with family.  The nanny gets $40k, $20k per family.  We hired 4 nannies inside 12 months.  Two left for better, non-childcare jobs.  One, we fired after 3 weeks for unreliability.  The last one is okay, but just okay.  Meanwhile, each one has had family emergencies, illnesses, injuries, and vacations that we had to cover, sometimes paying double because we had to find and pay a sub.  Understandably, shit happens, but having a nanny means you're on the hook for all of it.

We're transitioning to childcare this Spring/Summer with the addition of DD2.  It'll cost $40k total for 2 kids, but without the stress, and the double-paying.  So, that's our way of "optimizing".  The places we're looking at are all Montessori certified, so there's a learning strategy, but that's really coincidence.  We were open to other models.

I do think engaging the child is important.  Our 2-year-old is potty-trained, can dress herself, count to 11, knows all the colors (even the hard ones like pink and purple).  That's not because of our nanny, that's because we put her in a Montessori morning program a few months ago, but all the centers we looked at were providing the same kind of learning.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2018, 11:21:51 AM »
We did home daycare until the oldest was 2.  Then they both went to a center (the baby was 3 months and had just started daycare), albeit at a discount for being one of the "founding" families.

Like others said, we just suck it up and pay it because it is for a limited time.  DD will most likely start public pre-K next year which will reduce our costs by about $1k/month, but means two independent drop offs and pick ups.  Everything is a trade off.

Arbitrage

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2018, 12:56:45 PM »
We looked at some of the 'big box' day care centers for my son, but the costs - as well as some of the accommodations for teacher vacations/holidays/learning weeks/etc. - were prohibitive for us, at least at the time, in the realm of the $1900/child quoted above.  Thankfully, we found an in-home day care for less than half of that.  I'm sure the structured learning activities were lower at the in-home center, but he was only there until shortly before turning 4, and was already ahead of his peers, with lots of learning at home.  Daughter attended the same day care until shortly before 2, and then we moved them both to a preschool.  Slightly more expensive than the day care, but overall a good choice. 

newgirl

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2018, 12:13:32 PM »
We're both high earners so we'll be able to work daycare costs into our budget when #2 arrives shortly, it will just mean cutting back in a few areas so that it hopefully doesn't hurt our savings rate too much. Not that's it's a small expense, daycare will cost us around $40k a year for an infant and toddler. It would cost about the same to have a nanny vs daycare, my toddler is really happy and thriving and social in her daycare and I don't really want to pull her out.

One of my girlfriends who wasn't as high of an earner was in the same situation, I asked her how they managed the daycare costs for 2 kids and she said "we sucked it up and went into debt for three years". They are still paying it off today. Shitty reality of having kids in America.

Slow&Steady

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2018, 07:55:20 AM »
We paid our 1st month of care for our 2 in June.  It is now the highest line item on our budget, above both food cost and our mortgage.  With our age gap of almost 4 years and my oldest already begging to go to the big kid school, I am happy that this will only be for 1 year for us. 

MrsDinero

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2018, 09:37:17 AM »
We have 2 kids, 11.5 months apart and we have a nanny. 

The almost 3 year old will go to preschool in September.  We will keep the nanny until September 2019 when our almost 2 year old will turn 3 and able to attend preschool. 

It is expensive but it works for us. 

frugal rph

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2018, 12:13:26 PM »
What do all of you do when the kids are sick? I really cannot call in sick to work very often without damaging my career. This is why I've had to go the nanny route since having my second child. I've also had a lot more success using other moms as a nanny rather than younger, childless people who don't understand my need for reliability. When my long term nanny left to take a job with benefits it was really stressful finding someone good to replace her.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2018, 12:51:44 PM »
What do all of you do when the kids are sick? I really cannot call in sick to work very often without damaging my career. This is why I've had to go the nanny route since having my second child. I've also had a lot more success using other moms as a nanny rather than younger, childless people who don't understand my need for reliability. When my long term nanny left to take a job with benefits it was really stressful finding someone good to replace her.

We have an outrageously expensive backup nanny service.  Care.com has a similar service called backup solutions.  We've had a few instances where they couldn't find anyone on short notice, but mostly it has worked for us.

mm1970

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2018, 04:50:49 PM »
What do all of you do when the kids are sick? I really cannot call in sick to work very often without damaging my career. This is why I've had to go the nanny route since having my second child. I've also had a lot more success using other moms as a nanny rather than younger, childless people who don't understand my need for reliability. When my long term nanny left to take a job with benefits it was really stressful finding someone good to replace her.

We stay home when the kids are sick.

Long ago and far away, when I had one kid who was probably 2-3, a new coworker (with whom I'd been acquainted for several years by then), asked me the same question.  "What do you do when the kids are sick?"  He was looking for backup solutions, as his son was a year older than mine.  He was a PhD in engineering, so high stress environment and type-A personality (I can relate!) and his wife is a computer programmer, so same deal.

I said: we stay home.  He didn't like that idea and was looking for "backup daycare".  I laughed and said "look, here's the thing - unless you have grandma in town you are out of luck.  Good luck finding someone on short notice, last minute to watch your SICK CHILD.  Grandma would probably do it, but nobody else is going to want to."

And here's the point that I was making-
1.  Back then, there was no "care.com" or anything like it
2.  If you know people who are at home, like SAHMs, they don't want your sick kid either
3.  If your kid is sick?  They want to be home with a parent.  They don't want a stranger - and last minute care is likely a stranger unless you are lucky and find some other auntie or grandma type who likes to pick up extra cash here and there.
4.  If you are lucky, your kid has 2 parents.  So, you split the days - that's what we do.  I'm not in a schedule-driven job like a teacher or a doctor on shift work.  I have some ability to work from home.  Generally, when a kid was sick one of us worked 7 to 12:30 and the other worked from 1 to 6:30.  Not a full day, but close. 

Kids are going to hurt your career if you are female (not if you are male). Sucks but that's how it is.  Still I sometimes have to stay home with my younger child when he's sick (it's the worst when husband is traveling, it's all me!)  BUT, that's what vacation/ PTO is for.  Yes, it means that a significant amount of my "vacation" time, in some years, goes to illness.  Them's the breaks.  Those younger childless people will eventually figure it out.

2Cent

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2018, 02:41:27 AM »
@mm1970 So true. It really sucks to hand off your kid to a stranger when it is sick. I feel the whole I can't take time off to watch the kids is BS cause it will damage my career.

If his wife is a programmer she can work remotely although you probably won't get much work done with a kid clinging to you. PhD type jobs usually have longer term deadlines, so I really don't get why he could not take time off. Flexibility should be there. The only that would be a problem is having so much work that you don't have any slack, but that's just poor planning. Mostly I think people don't realize they are not needed 100% in their jobs and the company will get by just fine with a few days less. I mean, what happens when you fall sick yourself? Also bad project managers like to think it's their job to pressure people into working as much as possible. And when something impacts the planning they will just throw it on the workers to make up the difference. For me a sick child is the same as being sick yourself. I will do my best to limit the impact, but it's probably just a few days and an employer needs to deal with it.

Beriberi

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2018, 02:42:36 AM »
Sick days are one of the reasons that we hire Au Pairs.  We have three kids and I don't believe either my husband or I have ever missed a day for run-of-the-mill illnesses.  Over the past 10 years, he has missed 2-3 days for Au Pair illness. I absolutely cannot call in sick to my job.

Au Pair child care costs us around $1600/month in direct costs and a few hundred more per month in indirect costs (food, car insurance, cell phone).  This is the cost for the whole family, not per child.

Beriberi

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2018, 02:46:37 AM »
<i>Mostly I think people don't realize they are not needed 100% in their jobs and the company will get by just fine with a few days less </i>

Mostly - I am a physician. I don't call in sick myself, I don't get paid if I don't work, and I don't expect my colleagues to call in sick for their shifts.  Once a decade, you are allowed a car accident or emergency surgery, but "my kid has a fever" in generally not a reason to miss work.  We can talk about how the system is deeply flawed (it is), but it doesn't change that fact that a few unexpected absences would be the end of my job.

Beriberi

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2018, 02:47:44 AM »
Mostly I think people don't realize they are not needed 100% in their jobs and the company will get by just fine with a few days less

Mostly - I am a physician. I don't call in sick myself, I don't get paid if I don't work, and I don't expect my colleagues to call in sick for their shifts.  Once a decade, you are allowed a car accident or emergency surgery, but "my kid has a fever" in generally not a reason to miss work.  We can talk about how the system is deeply flawed (it is), but it doesn't change that fact that a few unexpected absences would be the end of my job.

MrsDinero

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2018, 08:01:23 AM »
Sick and snow days are one of many the reasons we hired a nanny.   When we get to school age we will worry about it then, but I work from home and hope to FIRE in a few years so it might be a moot point at that time.

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2018, 08:13:41 AM »
Sick days are one of the reasons that we hire Au Pairs.  We have three kids and I don't believe either my husband or I have ever missed a day for run-of-the-mill illnesses.  Over the past 10 years, he has missed 2-3 days for Au Pair illness. I absolutely cannot call in sick to my job.

Au Pair child care costs us around $1600/month in direct costs and a few hundred more per month in indirect costs (food, car insurance, cell phone).  This is the cost for the whole family, not per child.

What do you do if your Au Pair is sick?

2Cent

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2018, 08:58:20 AM »
Mostly I think people don't realize they are not needed 100% in their jobs and the company will get by just fine with a few days less

Mostly - I am a physician. I don't call in sick myself, I don't get paid if I don't work, and I don't expect my colleagues to call in sick for their shifts.  Once a decade, you are allowed a car accident or emergency surgery, but "my kid has a fever" in generally not a reason to miss work.  We can talk about how the system is deeply flawed (it is), but it doesn't change that fact that a few unexpected absences would be the end of my job.
Wow, that is really bad. So they expect a doctor to come in sick?
Especially when it's unpaid leave it shouldn't matter. There should be enough redundancy to cover for one or two people falling sick every once in a while. I guess the hospital is trying to crank out as many billable hours
as possible so redundancy is seen as waste, but I can't help but wonder if the quality of care won't suffer.
On the other hand I get that you can't call in sick for the kids unless they are in the hospital themselves.

Slow&Steady

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2018, 10:23:45 AM »
Mostly I think people don't realize they are not needed 100% in their jobs and the company will get by just fine with a few days less

Mostly - I am a physician. I don't call in sick myself, I don't get paid if I don't work, and I don't expect my colleagues to call in sick for their shifts.  Once a decade, you are allowed a car accident or emergency surgery, but "my kid has a fever" in generally not a reason to miss work.  We can talk about how the system is deeply flawed (it is), but it doesn't change that fact that a few unexpected absences would be the end of my job.
Wow, that is really bad. So they expect a doctor to come in sick?
Especially when it's unpaid leave it shouldn't matter. There should be enough redundancy to cover for one or two people falling sick every once in a while. I guess the hospital is trying to crank out as many billable hours
as possible so redundancy is seen as waste, but I can't help but wonder if the quality of care won't suffer.
On the other hand I get that you can't call in sick for the kids unless they are in the hospital themselves.

Obviously my opinion doesn't matter to the powers that be but I agree with this.  If I am coming into see my doctor for an illness or if I am in the hospital, I 100% think it is bad practice (customer service) for the doctor to walk in the room if that doctor is ill. 

SimpleCycle

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2018, 10:46:20 AM »
@mm1970 So true. It really sucks to hand off your kid to a stranger when it is sick. I feel the whole I can't take time off to watch the kids is BS cause it will damage my career.

If his wife is a programmer she can work remotely although you probably won't get much work done with a kid clinging to you. PhD type jobs usually have longer term deadlines, so I really don't get why he could not take time off. Flexibility should be there. The only that would be a problem is having so much work that you don't have any slack, but that's just poor planning. Mostly I think people don't realize they are not needed 100% in their jobs and the company will get by just fine with a few days less. I mean, what happens when you fall sick yourself? Also bad project managers like to think it's their job to pressure people into working as much as possible. And when something impacts the planning they will just throw it on the workers to make up the difference. For me a sick child is the same as being sick yourself. I will do my best to limit the impact, but it's probably just a few days and an employer needs to deal with it.

We used 12 days of backup care last year, and I stayed home 3 days with sick kids in addition to that.  You can bet my employer would have balked at 15 unplanned days off in a calendar year.

I stay home if our kiddos are sick and in distress, but I have children who get fevers if you look at them funny.  For me, backup care is a way to balance the daycare's illness policy, my kids' health and happiness, and my need to work.  I don't think it's fair to judge someone for doing what is best for their particular family.

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2018, 02:40:04 PM »
We paid my sister-in-law to watch the two kids as our nanny until they went to preschool/daycare at 2.5 and 4.5. It sucked and we were actually upside down on our spending for about a year, but we had savings and knew it was temporary. It made a lot more sense to our bottom line than me staying home with my earning potential, and wasn't any more expensive than an organized daycare. At least we didn't have to worry about sick days. When they switched to preschool/daycare it was associated with a church so it was half the price of the secular daycare nearby. Since they've been in preschool/daycare and now public school (now 6.5 and 8.5) if they've been sick we either split the time, work from home, bring kid into work (depending on the type of sick...if it's "haven't been fever-free for 24 hours yet but otherwise fine" for instance), or are lucky to have extended family who has helped in a pinch. We were paying $2000+ per month during the nanny period, $1467 when both were in preschool/daycare, $1168 when the older went to public school but the youngest was still at daycare, and now $627 for the school year before/after school program during the school year, and a little more ($900-ish) in the summer when the school summer program is full time. As the amount went down we automatically increased our savings by that amount.

I feel you @SimpleCycle  with the fever prone child...I have one too, and I've brought him in to work several times with a fever but no other symptom. He's happy to just sit in my office and read the whole time.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2018, 04:58:17 PM »
Just a reminder that the childcare costs don't disappear when your kids are school aged. Mine are 11 & 12, and we pay quite a bit for summer camps & after school care. It's nowhere near the amount we paid when they were in full time day care, but it's a huge budget line item.

$andra

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2018, 09:17:06 AM »
Childcare costs are a major reason I left my professional career. Once we had a third child and kids in multiple schools, the stress of trying to manage the logistics of 2-hour delays, snow days, illnesses, school early releases, and nanny challenges wasn't worth it. We were paying for childcare x 3, a housecleaning service, a the expense of keeping a THIRD vehicle so the nanny could drive kids around.  I can *keep* nearly as much income freelancing, with no childcare/housekeeping costs.

We had the same nanny for 8 years with all of the typical nanny issues. She got sick, snowed in, had transportation problems, needed to visit her sick mother overseas for a month, didn't want to care for kids who had fevers, etc. We used a church-run preschool with aftercare and had additional challenges -- we're opening late/closing early/canceling for weather, holidays, teacher illness, preschool year starts later and ends earlier than the regular public school year, no your child can't come with that cough/rash/sniffle, please come and take your child home, there was a poop accident and we don't deal with those.  Extensive last-minute backup plans (like a list of 5+ SAHMs or relatives you could call on for all-day childcare) are a must for these "day of" emergencies.

My second grader missed 11 days of school this year for illness, and 4 of those I was called to come pick him up because of (minor) injuries or allergy symptoms that occurred at the school. Another year we missed several days at two different points due to a "no nits" headlice policy (which, of course, they picked up from the school)! Don't think that having school-aged kids is an end to childcare woes/costs. The cheap (church or community-center-run where they spent most of the day outdoors supervised by teenagers) summer camps in our area are $250/week/child....$3,000/month for us.

Our public school has before and after care and teacher workday childcare. And I have seen some local gyms offering School Holiday day camps. Could be a good option.

Now that I'm at home, I try to always say yes to helping out friends/neighbors with emergency childcare, and never charge them. I understand the pinch!

« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 09:21:22 AM by $andra »

Arbitrage

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #36 on: June 22, 2018, 08:30:42 AM »
California requires employers to allow you to use half of your sick time to take care of sick family members.  Unfortunately, there are ways to circumvent this law:
(a) Offer no sick time - e.g. everything is PTO
(b) Offer an undefined amount of sick time (theoretically unlimited). 

(b) is what my company does.  Since we don't have a defined amount of sick time, you can't take half of it off to take care of sick kids - in fact, you can't take any.  It needs to come out of your vacation time.  Even though we technically have unlimited sick time, if you actually take more than 80 hours of sick time in a year, it goes up the management chain for review and you could be penalized/terminated.

A good friend of mine quit his job, and this issue was a significant reason for his move - his (smaller) employer was bemoaning the requirement to allow him to take care of his kids, with lots of hassle/snide comments.  Of course, he now makes about 20x what he used to and has a nanny to deal with the sick kids, so whether he can take the time off is immaterial.

letsdoit

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #37 on: June 22, 2018, 10:01:17 AM »
Childcare costs are a major reason I left my professional career. Once we had a third child and kids in multiple schools, the stress of trying to manage the logistics of 2-hour delays, snow days, illnesses, school early releases, and nanny challenges wasn't worth it. We were paying for childcare x 3, a housecleaning service, a the expense of keeping a THIRD vehicle so the nanny could drive kids around.  I can *keep* nearly as much income freelancing, with no childcare/housekeeping costs.

We had the same nanny for 8 years with all of the typical nanny issues. She got sick, snowed in, had transportation problems, needed to visit her sick mother overseas for a month, didn't want to care for kids who had fevers, etc. We used a church-run preschool with aftercare and had additional challenges -- we're opening late/closing early/canceling for weather, holidays, teacher illness, preschool year starts later and ends earlier than the regular public school year, no your child can't come with that cough/rash/sniffle, please come and take your child home, there was a poop accident and we don't deal with those.  Extensive last-minute backup plans (like a list of 5+ SAHMs or relatives you could call on for all-day childcare) are a must for these "day of" emergencies.

My second grader missed 11 days of school this year for illness, and 4 of those I was called to come pick him up because of (minor) injuries or allergy symptoms that occurred at the school. Another year we missed several days at two different points due to a "no nits" headlice policy (which, of course, they picked up from the school)! Don't think that having school-aged kids is an end to childcare woes/costs. The cheap (church or community-center-run where they spent most of the day outdoors supervised by teenagers) summer camps in our area are $250/week/child....$3,000/month for us.

Our public school has before and after care and teacher workday childcare. And I have seen some local gyms offering School Holiday day camps. Could be a good option.

Now that I'm at home, I try to always say yes to helping out friends/neighbors with emergency childcare, and never charge them. I understand the pinch!

how much of a hit was it financially?  or were you essentially working for free bc of all the costs?  my wife is making in essence $9 an hour, and she has a good job

$andra

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2018, 07:52:37 AM »
It was a financial hit. After childcare and expenses, I was still netting $1800/month in take-home pay, plus a great 401(k) plan. But I make $1000 - $2000/month freelancing, working about 10 hours a week, and the vastly lower stress levels for all of us have been worthwhile. I've been able to economize more intensely on other costs (food, clothing, DIY repairs) now that I have more time.

Kitsunegari

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2018, 05:22:34 AM »
We're expecting our second, she's supposed to start daycare next fall, and the cost of 2 kids in daycare will wipe out completely my entire salary. We're praying the gods of Quebec to get 2 spots in the state-run facilities, which would bring down the price from 45$/d to 8.5$/d, but even if don't manage, me quitting my job to stay home with them is not an option. I would just go mental. Daycare is better both for them and for me, I just don't have the skills to care for and educate small people full-time.

letsdoit

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2018, 08:36:07 AM »
We're expecting our second, she's supposed to start daycare next fall, and the cost of 2 kids in daycare will wipe out completely my entire salary. We're praying the gods of Quebec to get 2 spots in the state-run facilities, which would bring down the price from 45$/d to 8.5$/d, but even if don't manage, me quitting my job to stay home with them is not an option. I would just go mental. Daycare is better both for them and for me, I just don't have the skills to care for and educate small people full-time.

where I am, HCOL usa we pay 2200/mo for decent child care

I'm a red panda

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2018, 08:53:43 AM »
We're expecting our second, she's supposed to start daycare next fall, and the cost of 2 kids in daycare will wipe out completely my entire salary. We're praying the gods of Quebec to get 2 spots in the state-run facilities, which would bring down the price from 45$/d to 8.5$/d, but even if don't manage, me quitting my job to stay home with them is not an option. I would just go mental. Daycare is better both for them and for me, I just don't have the skills to care for and educate small people full-time.

where I am, HCOL usa we pay 2200/mo for decent child care
Holy crap. For one?  Are you in NY or SF?

Granted, I live in the middle of nowhere, relatively speaking. In a midwest city (major city for the state) and pay $1100 a month for 1. Daily rate is $75, but they accept very few daily clients.

I can't imagine $8.50 a day. It must be kind of infuriating to not be able to get a spot in that; because your taxes are clearly paying for it even if you are forced to use private.

Kitsunegari

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2018, 08:58:58 AM »

I can't imagine $8.50 a day. It must be kind of infuriating to not be able to get a spot in that; because your taxes are clearly paying for it even if you are forced to use private.

And it had a steep increase since a few years ago, it was 7$ when I started looking into it. And the quality is very high.
It would seriously be a game changer for our family.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2018, 09:06:07 AM »
We're expecting our second, she's supposed to start daycare next fall, and the cost of 2 kids in daycare will wipe out completely my entire salary. We're praying the gods of Quebec to get 2 spots in the state-run facilities, which would bring down the price from 45$/d to 8.5$/d, but even if don't manage, me quitting my job to stay home with them is not an option. I would just go mental. Daycare is better both for them and for me, I just don't have the skills to care for and educate small people full-time.

where I am, HCOL usa we pay 2200/mo for decent child care
Holy crap. For one?  Are you in NY or SF?

Granted, I live in the middle of nowhere, relatively speaking. In a midwest city (major city for the state) and pay $1100 a month for 1. Daily rate is $75, but they accept very few daily clients.

I can't imagine $8.50 a day. It must be kind of infuriating to not be able to get a spot in that; because your taxes are clearly paying for it even if you are forced to use private.

That is an average price for an infant in Chicago.  Older toddler will run more like $1900/month.  I don't even think we're HCOL here, just have a supply/demand problem for quality childcare.

littlebird

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2018, 10:32:42 AM »
We're also at $2200/month for an infant near Boston. $45/day would be a dream! $8.50/day is so far outside the realm of possibilities here...

letsdoit

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #45 on: July 02, 2018, 07:24:19 AM »

I can't imagine $8.50 a day. It must be kind of infuriating to not be able to get a spot in that; because your taxes are clearly paying for it even if you are forced to use private.

And it had a steep increase since a few years ago, it was 7$ when I started looking into it. And the quality is very high.
It would seriously be a game changer for our family.

 i thought canadians spent almost as much on CC as americans . guess not, jeez. 

I'm a red panda

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #46 on: July 02, 2018, 07:41:38 AM »

I can't imagine $8.50 a day. It must be kind of infuriating to not be able to get a spot in that; because your taxes are clearly paying for it even if you are forced to use private.

And it had a steep increase since a few years ago, it was 7$ when I started looking into it. And the quality is very high.
It would seriously be a game changer for our family.

 i thought canadians spent almost as much on CC as americans . guess not, jeez.

Do all the provinces subsidize? Or just Quebec?  There are a number of things Quebec does differently.

cats

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #47 on: July 03, 2018, 09:00:32 AM »
Mostly I think people don't realize they are not needed 100% in their jobs and the company will get by just fine with a few days less

Mostly - I am a physician. I don't call in sick myself, I don't get paid if I don't work, and I don't expect my colleagues to call in sick for their shifts.  Once a decade, you are allowed a car accident or emergency surgery, but "my kid has a fever" in generally not a reason to miss work.  We can talk about how the system is deeply flawed (it is), but it doesn't change that fact that a few unexpected absences would be the end of my job.
Wow, that is really bad. So they expect a doctor to come in sick?
Especially when it's unpaid leave it shouldn't matter. There should be enough redundancy to cover for one or two people falling sick every once in a while. I guess the hospital is trying to crank out as many billable hours
as possible so redundancy is seen as waste, but I can't help but wonder if the quality of care won't suffer.
On the other hand I get that you can't call in sick for the kids unless they are in the hospital themselves.

I have a few friends who are SAHMs primarily because their husbands are doctors or physician's assistants and basically cannot take a sick day ever unless it is a true emergency, aren't really available to help with dropping kids off or picking them up, etc.  The wife halves of the couples were earning low-ish but not awful salaries pre-kids, but the demands of the husband's career meant they would spend a LOT of money on childcare if they were to continue working.  Especially once they added a second kid into the equation, it just made no sense for the wives to continue working.

Kitsunegari

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #48 on: July 23, 2018, 07:38:54 PM »

I can't imagine $8.50 a day. It must be kind of infuriating to not be able to get a spot in that; because your taxes are clearly paying for it even if you are forced to use private.

And it had a steep increase since a few years ago, it was 7$ when I started looking into it. And the quality is very high.
It would seriously be a game changer for our family.

 i thought canadians spent almost as much on CC as americans . guess not, jeez.

Do all the provinces subsidize? Or just Quebec?  There are a number of things Quebec does differently.

Not all provinces subsidize, and indeed Quebec has its own special ways, and they definitely like to take care of the people.
Anyway, the prayers to the Queen worked! We got a subsidized spot! Starting tomorrow!
Also, it`s not 8,50 $ as previously stated, it`s 8,05$ per day. Guess who's really really happy right now?

okits

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Re: Childcare costs multiple kids?
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2018, 01:24:15 AM »

I can't imagine $8.50 a day. It must be kind of infuriating to not be able to get a spot in that; because your taxes are clearly paying for it even if you are forced to use private.

And it had a steep increase since a few years ago, it was 7$ when I started looking into it. And the quality is very high.
It would seriously be a game changer for our family.

 i thought canadians spent almost as much on CC as americans . guess not, jeez.

Do all the provinces subsidize? Or just Quebec?  There are a number of things Quebec does differently.

Not all provinces subsidize, and indeed Quebec has its own special ways, and they definitely like to take care of the people.
Anyway, the prayers to the Queen worked! We got a subsidized spot! Starting tomorrow!
Also, it`s not 8,50 $ as previously stated, it`s 8,05$ per day. Guess who's really really happy right now?

Phew.  That's a nice price tag.  I'm in Toronto and spend 10x that for my toddler.  @letsdoit - not all Canadians get affordable daycare.