Author Topic: Work or Daycare?  (Read 1270 times)

overdrive23

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Work or Daycare?
« on: October 22, 2018, 10:06:12 AM »
I'll try to keep this post brief (ish)

I have been working at home part time (24hrs/wk) for an engineering firm. It's allowed us to make money in addition to my wife's job; but also give one of us some good time with our daughter so she's not totally brought up in school/daycare.

Well, the work is drying up and I'm looking into taking her out of daycare since the job market around me is pretty poor. I have some side hustles but we all know how good it is to know what amount is coming in each month.

My question here is; how many others here struggle with the question of work or daycare?! At $160/wk for one (with another kid on the way in 4mo) it's not chump change we're looking at here.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Work or Daycare?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2018, 10:33:35 AM »
At $160 a week, I'd leave her in just to give you some time to do other things.  Even if you work part time.
I live in an argueably mid-to-low cost of living area and pay over 160% of that!  Your rate is cheaper than our half-time rate. You are quite lucky unless you live somewhere with extraordinarily low salaries.

Just because you have full time daycare doesn't mean you have to use it.  We get our daughter home early whenever we can, which isn't too much.

I also don't think she would thrive without some daycare.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 10:35:28 AM by I'm a red panda »

affordablehousing

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Re: Work or Daycare?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2018, 10:37:12 AM »
yeah, haha, $160 a week is nothing! You're so lucky.

overdrive23

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Re: Work or Daycare?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2018, 10:38:20 AM »
I fully agree.

I've got a part time job (18hr/wk at $15/hr) which puts about $100/mo profit in my pocket after daycare and I hustle hard on the other days but also get my kid out of daycare the MOMENT i'm done for the day. It's the best part of my day :)


Laura33

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Re: Work or Daycare?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2018, 11:02:47 AM »
I think everyone struggles with this decision at some point, no matter where they end up.  So you are not at all alone.  A few questions for you to consider:

- Where are you in terms of SS credits -- if you drop out of work, have you been working long enough to claim SS (or married long enough to claim half of your wife's)?  What is the effect on your projected payout if you quit now?

- Is re-building your business an option, through marketing, visiting people, etc.?  I personally know my business drops off when I am engaged in other things, and it's a slow ramp back.

- How long would quitting push back your FIRE date and any other goals?  Have you done the math?

- What about keeping the older in daycare for a while so you guys can adjust to the arrival of #2?  (congrats, btw!).  Again speaking from personal experience, daycare was a savior at that particular point in time.

- What do you want to do?  If both decisions had the same financial impact, what choice would you make?  How does the actual financial difference between the two choices affect your thinking?

- What does your wife want?  How would your decision to quit affect her own plans to work, go part-time, quit, etc.?

- Which option may be the most difficult to reverse if it doesn't go the way you want?

I'm sure there are a thousand other questions.  But really, this is a question for you and your wife -- and isn't it great to have those options, even if they drive you nuts while figuring them out?

Roadrunner53

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Re: Work or Daycare?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2018, 11:20:13 AM »
I knew a woman who had 3 kids. They all ended up in day care and it was very expensive. Much more than $160 per kid per week. This was like a country club for kids. So these kids were in day care till they went to school and then went there part time after school. She made excellent money but I assume most of it went to pay for daycare. Then one day our company announced it was shutting down its operation in our state. So she worked all those years to pay for daycare and just about the time they were all out, and she could start using the money for other things, she lost her job and never got another paying job since. She does some kind of volunteer work. Maybe if she knew she would lose her job, she might have been a stay at home mom. However, at least she will get SS when the time comes. However, she won't have 35 working years in.

Then I know this other family where the guy was working from home but had to go on appointments. They have 3 different family members who babysit for free but it is a hassel for everyone. If you ask me it is much better to put the kids in daycare so they have an expected schedule and if one of your family members get sick you don't have to panic on calling into work to say you won't be in.

Everyone is different and what they can afford is different.

overdrive23

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Re: Work or Daycare?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2018, 12:27:25 PM »
wow these are GREAT questions!! Thank you! I'm going to answer them (most of them) the best I can right now b/c I know it'll focus me :)

I think everyone struggles with this decision at some point, no matter where they end up.  So you are not at all alone.  A few questions for you to consider:

- Where are you in terms of SS credits -- if you drop out of work, have you been working long enough to claim SS (or married long enough to claim half of your wife's)?  What is the effect on your projected payout if you quit now? At this point, too  young and any money I take out of my Roth would have a negative tax implication next year; just did this last year on my wifes side to buy a home. :(

- Is re-building your business an option, through marketing, visiting people, etc.?  I personally know my business drops off when I am engaged in other things, and it's a slow ramp back. Yes, this is a possibility for sure and if we take her out of daycare it WILL focus me and I'll get my marketing business back up and running! :)

- How long would quitting push back your FIRE date and any other goals?  Have you done the math? Hard to tell right now w/ the next one only a few months away. Just trying to save everything possible until after maternity when we're gonna be very strapped for income.

- What about keeping the older in daycare for a while so you guys can adjust to the arrival of #2?  (congrats, btw!).  Again speaking from personal experience, daycare was a savior at that particular point in time. My hope is to maybe take her out until #2 is born then get her back in b/c that will be super helpful at that time.

- What do you want to do?  If both decisions had the same financial impact, what choice would you make?  How does the actual financial difference between the two choices affect your thinking? If I had MY way....part time daycare so I can work my side hustles and she can still get good developmental skills.

- What does your wife want?  How would your decision to quit affect her own plans to work, go part-time, quit, etc.? She likes the idea of one of us being at home with the kids all day.

- Which option may be the most difficult to reverse if it doesn't go the way you want? My fear here is if we pull her out; not having a spot when we need it.

I'm sure there are a thousand other questions.  But really, this is a question for you and your wife -- and isn't it great to have those options, even if they drive you nuts while figuring them out?


Thanks again! :)

remizidae

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Re: Work or Daycare?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2018, 02:39:26 PM »
I'll try to keep this post brief (ish)

I have been working at home part time (24hrs/wk) for an engineering firm. It's allowed us to make money in addition to my wife's job; but also give one of us some good time with our daughter so she's not totally brought up in school/daycare.

Well, the work is drying up and I'm looking into taking her out of daycare since the job market around me is pretty poor. I have some side hustles but we all know how good it is to know what amount is coming in each month.

My question here is; how many others here struggle with the question of work or daycare?! At $160/wk for one (with another kid on the way in 4mo) it's not chump change we're looking at here.

That's an extremely low cost for daycare. I'd pay it. I think preserving your career and future earning power is worth the cost. Do you really want to be abjectly dependent on your wife? That sort of scenario tends to lead to very imbalanced relationships where the unemployed partner sees his or her decisionmaking power in the relationship slowly seep away. Keep working and keep that equality.

Laura33

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Re: Work or Daycare?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2018, 03:12:17 PM »
FWIW, I'd drop the plan to take her out now, then put her back in in 4 months -- there is a real risk there will not be a slot for her, but also kids thrive on routine, and changing her routine around now just to send her back (right when another huge change occurs as well) is likely going to cause more behavior/upset problems than it's worth.

So why not make yourself a deal that you will use that daycare time to rebuild your marketing plan so you "earn" it back??  If you're going to pay it, make it pay for you, right?  And then re-think a few months after #2 is born, when things feel like they're settling back into a new routine?

FLBiker

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Re: Work or Daycare?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2018, 07:17:09 AM »
Good advice here -- agree that it's a personal decision that everyone has opinions about.

For us, we waited until DD was 2.5 to put her in daycare.  My wife was able to take a leave of absence during that time (and keep her job) so we were very fortunate.  We like her school a lot (and pay about the same for it) but we like it a bit less this year than last year.  There have been a few situations where she has been a bit too unsupervised (ie cutting hair with scissors, cutting clothes with scissors).  Personally, I'm OK with this, as I think kids need to be a little wild, but my wife has concerns.  My point is just, even though we made the decision to do this school, it's something we revisit.  Literally yesterday my wife and I were talking about the possibility of switching schools or my wife staying home.  We've also talked about me staying home, but since I make more money we probably won't go that route.  Nothing is ever etched in stone, though, so who knows?

HamsterStache

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Re: Work or Daycare?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2018, 07:47:33 AM »
Everyone's situation is different of course, but I just want to reiterate that $160 a week seem extremely affordable and you're lucky to have the option of taking advantage of that. Right now with a teacher discount, sibling discount, and "please please please we can't afford any more" discount, and no daycare in the summer, we're somewhere north of $22k a year for two kids. And even that is CHEAP in our area - can barely get a sketchy home day care for that cost! Barely less than what DW makes at her job, but she really enjoys her job and it has great benefits, so it is worth it for us. Plus it forces us into living on less so it's going to be real easy to sock away an extra twenty grand a year once the kids are in school!

mschaus

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Re: Work or Daycare?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2018, 01:33:10 PM »
I fully agree.

I've got a part time job (18hr/wk at $15/hr) which puts about $100/mo profit in my pocket after daycare and I hustle hard on the other days but also get my kid out of daycare the MOMENT i'm done for the day. It's the best part of my day :)

Sorry couldn't let this one slip by -- @overdrive23 are you really ok with spending 78 hrs/mo to make $100, before considering the time/money spent getting to/from daycare and work as well as the overhead time spent prepping for daycare (bottles/snacks/etc)? Sounds like you value time with your child -- there are probably better ways to make $100 in less than 100hrs. Maybe brainstorm with your friends and family or make a thread here? Of course if your job brings you great life fulfillment that compliments time with your child, that's another story.