As some of you may have read, the annual cost of child care in some states exceeds that of tuition for a four year degree.
Let’s think about that for a second.
I am all for paying childcare workers a fair and living wage, as well as treating their positions with respect. But is the high cost of a full-time daycare truly reflective of a highly trained staff and a safe, stimulating setting, or is it a business just trying to take advantage of a situation where both parents feel they need/want to work?
When I became pregnant with the Munchkin, my husband and I sat down and discussed what I was going to do with myself once our son was born. My husband was all for me continuing to work, as he likes having money. I too, like having money, but I pointed out to him that the cost of childcare would negate much of my earnings (although not all) but the net gain we would make from my salary wasn’t worth it to me.
This was a point of contention for a while, with him pointing out that we could hire some aging grandmother off the street who would come in for cheap. Well, that might have been true, but I still felt that my son was best off with me as his caregiver, period.
So, as in many of our disagreements, I came out the winner.
If good, reliable childcare that didn’t break the bank in my area was obtainable, I might have considered staying at work, or at least scaling back to half or part time.
But it wasn’t.
And so here I sit, stay at home mother to a 4th grader and a toddler with speech and developmental delays.
Yeah, not looking good for a return to the workforce any time soon.
Is childcare in your area reasonable, or a big ripoff? And how did it influence your decision to stay/not stay at home?