project 365 – day 18: the search for a cheaper daycare

3 February 2010

I am trying to look for a new pre-school/daycare for the kids.  The cost of daycare has really been crippling me.  I keep telling myself that there’s only a  year and a half to go before Rockstar Boy enters FREE kindergarten, but it still hurts.

Right now, I am paying $1820 a month for both children.  Some of you may think it’s too much or cheap, but it’s actually a reasonable price compared to several other places/regions.  I am in charge of paying childcare costs so it comes directly from my paycheck (that’s just how we divide things).  In order to pay this amount, I have to use an entire paycheck, plus a little bit of the next paycheck.  I get paid bi-weekly, so I really have to watch my money.  The hubs doesn’t believe me when I say I don’t have money left over for savings, but I really don’t.  I have money taken out for my pension and my ROTH IRA, and everything else goes directly to bills.  This is why the week of payday, I start to get reminders from my bank that I have a low balance.  Yeah, no shit Sherlock!

So anyway, I’m trying to look for a cheaper daycare.  There are several options for me, but they are near my work.  The problem with that is the hubs will not be able to pick the kids up if I can’t; and I don’t want to be the only parent to pick them up all the time.  So I’m trying to concentrate on schools near our area.  I found a Catholic school super-close to me, but the problem with that is that there are a lot of hidden costs.  Aside from the 10-month tuition, I have to pay for aftercare, their uniforms, extra activities, etc.  In the long run, it is cheaper –divided by 10 months.  But then I have to pay extra for a summer session!  I’m also a bit reluctant to pull them out of a familiar environment.  Hm…what to do?

I guess I just have to hope for a raise come September!  Or actually work a part-time job since we are now allowed to hold outside employment.

Starbucks, here I come!



  1. I pay just a few bucks (and I mean a few!) less than that for one kid!

    I know your hesitation about pulling out the kids in an environment they are used to. They’ll have to re-adjust and all that. But, if you’re going to change daycare, I guess it’s better to do it when they are younger and don’t care too much about it. But it’s hard to find a reputable daycare for inexpensive price. So, good luck!

    Maybe another solution is re-examine the division of funds at home? Just wonderin’…

    • Hey Girlie, yes I know your daycare is even more than mine for just one kid. Like I said, I know my daycare costs is pretty reasonable especially in our area. And unfortunately, we can’t really divide funds any better since the hubs already pays the big stuff (i.e., the mortgage). I think the solution for us would be to get jobs like you guys! LOL…

  2. just hold your breath!!! that’s what i’ve been doing…we pay about the same as you for 2 kids…maybe even a little more (cause we pay weekly), and julia is only there for 3 days a week…PLUS the extra curricular activities they’re in (ie. basketball, dance, funbus…)
    we’re hopefully going to get miles into our town summercamp which is half the price of the daycare summercamp…and then this fall he’ll be in public school (then…exhale!!!!)
    like you, it would’ve been harder for us to change to a cheaper/different school because of location, comfort level with the teachers, and the kids already have “friends”…plus miles has “transition” issues and we really didn’t want to have to have a month of him crying or not sleeping if he went to a new school.
    so, if you only have a year left…maybe you can just wait it out?? good luck!!!

    • Hey Karen! Yeah, I know…I may just end up waiting it out since I don’t want any “transition” issues either. Plus the new school I was thinking about has a lot of “extra” costs which may end up being the same price. Also, they won’t be able to take the little girl until she’s 3! Gah….

  3. wow, that’s expensive childcare, hun. Do you think you’ll be able to find Filipino housewives/grannies to look after your kids? It may come out cheaper?

    My sister’s son (who turns 2 on Feb 13th) goes to daycare and they pay NZ$5/hour so if full time, that’s about $800/month…I suppose if they had another child, it’d cost the same as yours, huh?

    • Hi C! As far as daycare goes, it’s actually not expensive –you should see some of the prices in NYC. We weren’t too keen on having a Filipino yaya. I don’t really want an older lady taking care of the kids at my house since the kids are waay too energetic. Plus I’ll have no idea what goes on during the day, and we have a tiny house so they may just be at home watching TV all day. I like daycare because it’s structured like a school, plus they have friends for socialization. And even if I did it on an hourly basis it’ll be at least $10/hr (maybe $15 for both) and that’s about $90/day which comes out to about $1800/month = which is the same. Maybe my mom can smuggle me a yaya…hahah

  4. gah, daycare costs – the bane of every parents’ budget.

    i pay just about the same for elijah’s daycare, although he goes only 2x a week. i’m also actually thinking of moving him to another more structured center when he turns 2, but i have apprehensions over transition issues for him, too. i think this’ll be a perpetual issue until the kids graduate HS!

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