Ugh, daycare. This is a difficult subject for every parent. Baby RB40 started daycare when he was 5 months old and stayed for about a year. It was very difficult for us to let him go because he was so little and we didn’t want to let him out of our sight. Who knows how well he would be taken care of and the daycare was soooo expensive!
Of course, every daycare had a long waiting list and wanted $100 just to put our names down. We put Baby RB40 on the list at a few places near our home about 10 months in advance. Luckily, he got into a very good daycare with many long term caretakers. Whenever I picked him up, I always tried to stay a few minutes extra to play with him and all the other kids too. The caretakers were good, but they were always so busy. They were running around trying to console a kid or breaking up a fight or changing a diaper. It was a good daycare, but they weren’t able to give individualized attention to the kids.
Toward the end of his stay, Baby RB40 didn’t like going to daycare anymore. He threw a fit whenever we dropped him off. At that point he knew, and we knew, he’d rather stay with his parents. I left my job just at the right time and we have been inseparable since.
We paid $1,250 per month for this daycare. He was there from 7am to 5:30pm every weekday. That’s a lot of time at the daycare. It sucked that he spent 52 hours per week at daycare and we only got a few hours at home before he went to bed. Once I stopped working, it didn’t make sense to pay that kind of money anymore. We also thought he could really benefit from more 1:1 time. The cost of daycare can vary widely depending on where you live and the age of your child, but I heard it’s expensive everywhere.
Now that RB40 Junior is 2 and a half, it’s time for him to start preschool soon. I feel a bit guilty because being a stay at home dad means the kid should be home, right? Well, it’s harder now because he’s developing his own personality and we’re butting heads all day long. I have a feeling every 2 year old kid is the rebellious type because every parent I know is looking for a preschool.
There are real advantages to going to preschool though.
- He would learn how to socialize with other kids his age. His default response to any action from another kid is to kick them. Obviously this isn’t acceptable and I hope he grows out of this soon.
- Hopefully the teachers will rein him a bit and he’ll learn how to behave better. It’s hard to discipline your own kid. We just learned how to timeout recently and that’s nice to have in the toolbox, but it doesn’t always work. Especially when he asks to go to time out when he hasn’t done anything bad. I’m sure we will learn more techniques from the preschool.
- He would get more variety in his days. I think it’s good to expose a kid to various cultures and lifestyles. He’ll have a chance to try different activities like painting and music as well.
- I would have more time to work on Retire by 40 and take care of a few other things. My mom is helping out now, but she’s leaving later this year. I can’t imagine getting anything done if I don’t have a little time to myself.
For the upcoming preschool, we’ll pay $500 for 3 days of part time care. This is the most affordable option I have been able to find. If we went back to our previous daycare or other Montessori school, we would pay around $900. Most daycares don’t offer part time, so it’s just a small discount from full time.
Another option I looked at was coop preschool. I really like the coops because they are more affordable and the parents are more involved. For 3 days preschool, the cost is around $200 to $250. I need to spend one day a week in the classroom and also take up some other coop functions like laundry, fund raising, secretarial duties, or clean up. The coop preschools in our area only take 3 year old kids though and we won’t make the cut off by this September. We may switch to a coop preschool the following year depending on how this next year goes.
Most preschool also require your kid to be toilet trained. The preschool we signed up for said they can help us with that, but we are taking the initiative and we are working on it now. We got a bunch of Thomas the tank engine underpants and have been going without diapers for a week. We still put a diaper on when he goes to sleep, but we take it off as soon as he gets up.
Well, every room in our condo has been thoroughly christened over these last few days. The worse episode was when he peed all over our coffee table. After that, he seems to have figured it out. RB40 Junior is making good progress and I’m pretty sure diapers will be in our rear view mirror soon.
Monthly Expense Increases
Today’s post is a bit rambling. It’s a peek into a stay at home parent’s life so I hope you enjoyed it. Anyway, we’ll have a bigger monthly expense when September rolls around. It will set us back a little, but I think it’s worth my sanity.
Do you have kids? How much are you paying for childcare? It’s quite expensive here in Portland, OR. It must be quite tough if you have 2 or more kids.