Friday, January 25, 2008

Childcare costs- are you affected?

MP Dunleavy on MSN writes about women and money. I was toodling around that website and found this short article on childcare costs and how to offset them.

But what started this whole soul search on childcare costs was this article from MSN all about "the childcare crisis." Take a look- what do you think?

Are you feeling this? They're saying that the cost of childcare is now outpacing the cost of food. The cost of FOOD! This is a choice I don't want to be facing. And I'm not just yet, but it's on the horizon.

Paloma isn't in childcare right now-- we decided that we would live with my parents and sock away every penny that would have been spent on childcare and rent. And that I would earn what I could working from home.

Believe me when I say this arrangement has its ups and downs. Living with your parents is not an easy proposition. But the cost savings is significant. And my work-at-home career has taken some surprisingly interesting and positive turns.

But I can see there will be a time in the near future when we may enroll Paloma in childcare. There's a center at D's workplace that's excellent. It's also around $1000/month for her to be full-time, and there's really no part-time option there. The big plus is, of course, that she's near him. The minus is obvious-- $1000 a month is a lot for us. It'd be a huge dent in our savings toward a house (housing crisis aside). I respect that quality childcare is going to cost me, and I recognize that others pay a lot more, but I'm feeling the pinch at $1000.

Would I be earning enough for it to be "worth it"? Well, right now I don't feel like I am. But I'm looking ahead about two years down the line, when we want to have another kid. Childcare costs are only going up. Maybe I should set up a separate savings account just for that.

Has anyone done this, or tackled the cost of childcare somehow? I'd love to hear how others make this work, or work around the need for childcare.