I had absolutely no clue what I was in for when I decided to look at daycare pricing and facilities, so I would have all the information I need to make a decision about returning to work. I knew I’d experience some sticker shock and that it would be frustrating, given my low salary.
With the cheapest daycare clocking in at $271 per week for full-time care, I was right. But that was the tip of the iceberg.
Before I started looking, I knew a few things:
- What my monthly net salary was, after gas to get to work. For the sake of simplicity in comparison, I left out all the other living expenses, and was comparing my take-home pay to how much daycare cost. I had to remove the cost of gas to get to work because I have no telecommute option, and one must be at work to work.
- I was willing to look at both full-time and part-time care options, and willing to consider not only daycares but babysitter/nannies.
- I was not willing to drive more than 10 miles to drop my child off somewhere, and within that 10 miles, it had to have some sort of convenient access to a highway so drop-off and pick-up were easily manageable.
I went ahead and set up tours with some local daycares, some of which are operated by larger chains, and some locally owned. I’ll be honest and say that in this instance, although I generally support local businesses over non-locally owned ones, I had no preference. I wanted to find one that was a good fit for me, and that (hopefully) was affordable.
The big struggle for me is that I really want to find one that’s affordable. Until I see some part-time pricing, I’m not sure if any will be. But finding someplace that feels right, that communicates in a way I like, is equally important. If you don’t return my calls in what I consider a timely manner, then we’ll have a difficult working relationship. To me, a business being reachable shows that they value my patronage and in the case of childcare, alleviates concerns about being able to contact them (or they me) in an emergency.
Stay tuned for how the tours turn out…