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The Ridiculous Cost of Daycare

by retirebyforty on July 26, 2013 · 63 comments

in baby, stay at home dad

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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!

ridiculous cost daycare

Daycare

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.

Preschool

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.

Coop Preschool

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.

Toilet Training

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.

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

mayanqueen July 26, 2013 at 12:45 am

RB40,
Don’t you guys have State Preschools? Children Centers? Those are in the public sector. They are free and yes, you do have to volunteer one day. I guess it all depends where you live and the area. I don’t want to generalized but Public School Teachers require more academic preparation then private. You can shop around and you might even find a friend that is a teacher in the public sector that can guide you. There is also the YMCA that offers a ton of classes if all you want is socialization, they also have preschools. You can ck on line on the public school performance. Some “Magnet Schools” (I don’t know what those schools are called in your area), have preschools too. Yes, child needs to be toilet trained but he is almost there! You can also form groups of children his age and take turns forming a nice daddy and me class. Parents that do that rotate the responsibilities and multiple parents take 1/2 days off, you are good at organizing. With youtube lessons and recipes for finger paint and playdough you can make a great curriculum for 3 hours! Just a few ideas to help you save…

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retirebyforty July 26, 2013 at 8:54 am

We do have State sponsored preschools, but they starts at 3 years old and I’m pretty sure we won’t qualify due to income.
There is a YMCA nearby, I’ll drop by and check it out. Thanks for the tips.

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mayanqueen July 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm

RB40,
State preschools are not income based, as far as I know are open to public and paid by taxpayers. Children centers are income based. You have to visit the School District website in your area and see the programs that are available. The universities and community colleges also have daycare centers just in case you are interested on what “role model” schools should look like. Some are just for students children but others do accept a percentage of the community. Community colleges also have camps and classes for children in the community often called “Community Services” at affordable prices. You can sign up for classes you might be interested on him taking and while you wait you go under a tree to get some wireless work done. He can socialize, take the class and u get work done. Good luck in whatever you decide, but I still think you can save more by staying home! Get your act together and Act like a MOM! ha-ha One more thing, small day care centers must be licensed by the Child Care Resource Center or some type of government agency and you can ck their record.

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retirebyforty July 29, 2013 at 8:06 am

I don’t think we have state preschool here. I will try to find more info. Our local college daycare is reserved for students and faculties.

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Melissa July 26, 2013 at 5:04 am

I have my girls go to a place where I can stay on site and work in a separate room. The girls get the preschool experience, I’m right there, and it’s very reasonably priced. Do you have something like that available in your are?

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retirebyforty July 26, 2013 at 8:55 am

That’s a great option. I haven’t seen anything like that though.

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Monique July 26, 2013 at 5:44 am

Wow Oregon is quite expensive! So glad that you get to stay home and save some money!!! We were quite blessed with my little girl because either myself or my husband was home with her until she was 2 years old. However both myself and my hubby are back a work and we found an intimate, and adorable daycare that we fell in love with for the cost of $180 a week. She is there from 8:00-3:30 every day. We love it and could not be happier. We live in Massachusetts.

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retirebyforty July 26, 2013 at 8:57 am

It’s great that you found a place that works for you. $180/week isn’t cheap, but it is 5 days/week.

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davidmichael July 26, 2013 at 6:00 am

Another great topic into the realities of life in our modern world of USA. I have eleven grandchildren and I watch each family struggle with this very issue. It’s a push-pull every morning sending off your child to someone else. And the expenses these days are overwhelming for the average parent. It’s also the most stressful time of life for the parents as they have to cope with work and career and the marriage relationship. Even more challenging if you are a single parent. These new expenses for taking care of the children seem to snowball over time so that saving for retirement by 40, even 50, seems almost impossible. Most parents are just coming up for air now and then and taking a breath of air for survival. For instance, the monthly expense for day care for many of our grandkids runs from $1000 to $2000 a month. Then, our most successful kids place their children in private schools, especially for high school, so that expenses jump to $20-24,000 a year. That’s just for one child.

It seems that it was so much easier in my generation (age 76). My wife stayed home the first eight years with our two children and we placed them in Montessori and then kindergarten and public school. That worked for us as the costs were quite reasonable and my teaching salary easily covered everything once we learned to move our paycheck over to 12 months, although we were only paid for ten months work.

On a $40,000 a year salary we were able to buy a $37,000 house that went to two million within 40 years (SF Bay area), build a cabin at Mammoth Mountain with two other teacher families for $27,000 total (also went to a million), and buy retirement property in Bishop for $10,000. Now it’s incredibly difficult to survive in Palo Alto for less than a $200,000 a year family income. (We never realized the full property values as we moved to Oregon for a better lifestyle. A coulda,woulda, shoulda situation. Heck. We coulda bought a plane and flown to Oregon for the weekends and come out a mutlimillionaire.)

My own observation is that the stress today for parents in the 30-50 year range is off the charts, partly because of dense urban living, “must-do kid activities”, and driving on packed freeways. I mention all of this because at some point it’s all over and the freedom of early retirement comes forth as the kids leave the nest and life returns to a more normal pace. Keep saving and building up the retirement funds to provide a foundation for a peaceful, fun and active retirement.

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retirebyforty July 26, 2013 at 9:01 am

Ugh… Private school is another crazy subject. $20-24,000/year is ridiculous. That’s more than college. There has got to be other alternatives. Wow, life sounds much simpler back then.
We’ll try to avoid signing up our kid to do a bunch of activities. We’ll try to concentrate on one or two things at a time.

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Treminutersfeber July 26, 2013 at 6:00 am

Over here in Sweden there is a roof to the expense of daycare, regardless if it’s private or public. In my area, for the first kids, maximum cost is roughly $200. For the second child $120.

For low income earners you pay a percentage of your income so it is cheaper for the ones that has the biggest difficulties to pay. The roof is hit quite easily, we are at slightly above average salaries almost at double the roof income.

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retirebyforty July 26, 2013 at 9:02 am

That’s great! The European system is very appealing to me. Maternity leave is much longer and childcare is much more affordable. I think you pay a lot more taxes though.

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C. the Romanian July 26, 2013 at 6:03 am

Our kid was just born, but we heard that here the Daycare costs are pretty high too. The system in Romania is even worse, though, because you can have places where there’s just 1 person taking care of up to 20 infants. And we all know that this is pretty impossible… But indeed, if you manage to find a good place for the little one, your sanity is worth the extra money :)

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retirebyforty July 26, 2013 at 9:03 am

1 person per 20 kids? That’s just not safe. Even with 1 per 4-6 kids, they were already losing their minds.

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No Waste July 26, 2013 at 7:18 am

We have two kids whom my wife stays home with.

It was a terrible financial decision.

And it was also the best decision we ever made – it wasn’t even a decision – it was just the way it was going to be when we settled down and had children.

But it’s obviously very much a personal choice.

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retirebyforty July 26, 2013 at 9:04 am

That’s a great decision. We really need to bond with our kids when they are young. It will make a big difference on their personality later on from what I read.

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Mom @ Three is Plenty July 26, 2013 at 7:25 am

We pay $310/week for daycare (and it’s been about the same since she was born, “tuition” goes up, she “graduates” to a room that’s cheaper than the previous one). This month (with 5 Mondays) we’re paying $1550 :( I don’t have the temperament to stay at home all day and take care of her, as I only half-jokingly told Dad “If we were both home all day, one or both of us would be dead, and it’d be my fault”. Even if I could afford to not work, she’d be in daycare most of the day. She really likes it however, every morning after breakfast it’s “go school?” and she tries to drag us out to the car – even on weekends.

On potty training – Thomas undies (yes, boy undies on a girl) have saved our life! “Don’t get Thomas wet or dirty” is heard all the time at our house now. We just ventured out of the house this week for the first time in undies – and that was more a function of mom and dad being ready than the toddler being ready. Good Luck!

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retirebyforty July 26, 2013 at 9:07 am

Wow, that’s a lot of money. Yeah, I understand the temperament thing. Mrs. RB40 couldn’t stay home with the kid all day every day either.
Heh heh, we love Thomas. We have been going out. He made a few splashes in the park, but it’s not a big deal. I guess that’s the advantage to doing this in the summer.

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Amy K July 26, 2013 at 8:19 am

Oh, I hear you on the 2 year old asking to go to Time Out. I really wonder if I’m doing it right. I really think kids this age need to act everything out though – mine is 2 1/2 also, and ALL of her time is spent pretending to be X. She’s our friend’s baby, and I’m the older brother. Or the Mom. Or we’re on a plane flying somewhere, and have to drag our luggage through the airport. Or she’s a mosquito and I’m a bat, and we’re racing around thehouse before I can eat her. Bedtime, or naptime, is another favorite. Playing Timeout is in that category of practicing the more mundane.

My daughter has been in daycare since 7 weeks. Like Mom @ Three is Plenty I can’t imagine being a stay at home parent, and I’m glad she loves it. Lots of kids join daycare around their second birthday, and it does seem to do a lot of good for them socially.

And WONDERFUL news on the potty training! I am not brave enough to go straight to underwear, and my husband doesn’t want to deal with the mess, but sometimes I consider it because I think she could handle it, she just finds diapers easier because she doesn’t have to stop what she’s doing. I’m so glad to hear it’s going well for you.

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retirebyforty July 26, 2013 at 9:09 am

That’s quite interesting. Our guy doesn’t do much pretending. Boys are usually a little behind though. He just like to run around and do a lot of physical activities.
I was a bit skeptical at first, but he learned very quickly. I’m very happy with it so far.

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Mom @ Three is Plenty July 26, 2013 at 11:22 am

We didn’t have *any* success with potty training until we went straight to naked. Even with just undies on, she’d still just pee in them. When we made her run around the house naked for a whole weekend (last weekend actually), she peed herself twice and then it clicked. But as soon as we put the undies on her initially, she started having accidents again – that’s when we brought out “Don’t pee on Thomas”, and she started to care. If we put her in diapers though (see daycare), she’d just pee in them. Something about being naked helps her. We sent her to daycare in undies and a waterproof cover this morning – it’s Dad’s turn to pick her up, but I have my fingers crossed that she used the potty there.

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retirebyforty July 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Oh man, I’m glad we didn’t have to go straight to naked. :) We’re really lucky that RB40 Junior doesn’t like to get dirty. He likes to stay clean so he learned pretty quickly not to pee in his pants. Good luck with the daycare!

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Mr. Utopia July 26, 2013 at 8:53 am

Daycare costs are brutal. After finally digging out from over $140k debt early last year and being down to just a few hundred $’s after the final payoff, we only had about a year to start saving before our firstborn had to start daycare at just 4 months old. The cost was $1,370/month which was a major blow to our savings rate. We managed to locate and find a less expensive (and better quality!) center at $1,125/month which was nice. Even then, it’s still ridiculous. My wife and I want one more child, but I’m hesitant because sending both to daycare literally would erase all of our savings rate for a few years and that’s something I don’t want to do.

We might consider a cheaper in-home provider, but that’s always scary because there’s the risk of overall quality (you always here horror stories in the news). RB40, you did touch on one important benefit of daycare and that’s socialization. Even at the infant/toddler age, daycare does provide a valuable opportunity to develop early social skills.

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CityGirlCountryBloke July 26, 2013 at 11:24 am

I’m feeling the daycare expense pain. My average bill is $2,075 for two kiddos. Thank you greater DC area! But we managed to find a daycare that is open from 6 am to 6:30 pm and doesn’t charge you for extra hours. You can keep your kids in there for the full 12 1/2 hours if you want to all day every day. This is useful to us if one of us is out of town on business and the other parent is flying solo and caught in traffic. Plus, the teachers really spend quality time with each kid and has lots of projects all lined up. Country Bloke and I will go over things during dinner time and stuff but I think about if I stayed at home with them. Would I have all those projects ready for my kiddos every day? Probably not! So even though I am paying a lot of money, my kids are learning tons and I get to keep my sanity. Everyone has to do what works for them!

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retirebyforty July 26, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Oh man, that’s expensive. 12 hours/day is A LOT of time.
I agree with you about the projects. At home we usually like to go out and explore the city. It’ll be harder in the winter this year.

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krantcents July 26, 2013 at 11:38 am

Although our children are grown, we faced that issue too. My wife had the luxury of a very flexible schedule and she worked and there were only 2 hours a week we had to worry about. Although we did not pay for daycare, we elected to enroll them in private school from preschool through high school. No regrets, they had the benefit of an excellent education.

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retirebyforty July 26, 2013 at 2:08 pm

I don’t really like private school. We’ll have to see if he can handle public school or not. If it doesn’t work out, I’d probably do homeschooling. Thanks for sharing.

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Flynn July 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Wow. Day care expenses are much cheaper in Oregon than Massachusetts, where I live. I think the *average* cost for full time infant care here is probably $15,000 a year. The daycare we enrolled our child in several years ago I now see charges $2,380 a month for infant care from 8:30 to 3:30 – so that fee does not include the extended day fee to bring you to the close of a work day. This is why a lot of first time parents in Massachusetts are in their late 30s / early 40s. How else is it possible to make it work?

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retirebyforty July 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm

OMG. $2,380 for infant care? That’s really ridiculous. What if you have two kids? It’ll be more economical for one parent to stay home.
Nuts…

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jim July 29, 2013 at 12:37 pm

The commenter Monique above said she lives in Massachusetts too and she pays $180 a week.

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Andrew September 25, 2013 at 10:49 am

State of Massachusetts legislates a 3:1 ratio in infant daycare. That’s a good thing when considered in the context of “fewer kids per daycare worker means my kid gets better care” but less than desirable to my wallet. No one pays 180 per week unless it is unlicensed or for older children (e.g. partial day and for older kids).

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Brittany July 26, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I’ve never heard of a coop preschool, but that sounds awesome!! That would be fun to help out in small, manageable chunks. Also, Baby RB40 is so stinking cute. (Although now I guess he’s Toddler RB40!)

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Catherine July 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm

$1250 blows my mind!! I’m in Canada so things are a little different I think?- for one, I was on maternity leave for a year which saved on costs (kids less than 12mos are generally more expensive). I knew I wanted her to go to a home care vs large center. I liked the idea of her being close to home with a fenced in yard/playgrounds. My sister and I grew up going to someones home and I loved it. I found a place around the corner from us, she was an elementary school teacher who decided to stay home when her youngest way born rather than return to work. She has CPR/Criminal background check, references etc and I immediately liked her. My Spidey senses tingled for all the right reasons. Our little one loves going there, it’s just her and three other little ones, 3 and under. We pay $30/day and only for the days she’s there (ie if we call tomorrow and tell her we don’t need her she doesn’t charge). So given that I work a 4 day work week we pay no more than $480/month. NOT to say the $1000+ daycares aren’t here- my niece goes to one and my sister works at one, it just wasn’t for us.

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retirebyforty July 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm

It’s great that you found a really good teacher. I really like the teacher for our upcoming preschool too. She was really nice and seems to really enjoy working with young kids. My spidey sense isn’t so keen, but I have a good feeling about her.
$480/month is quite good.

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Matt July 26, 2013 at 11:37 pm

I have a friend who uses a nanny. She is paid less than $500 per week for the two kids (2 and 3 mos.). I believe they found her on a reputable website in which he was able to have many interviews with potential nannys. While $500 a week isn’t cheap, he says his kids are never sick and they get much more attention than the daycare centers. I know there is a tax consequence but not sure what that runs him. Also, I know he was able to negotiate the second child for an additional $50/ month. Not a bad way to go IMO.

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retirebyforty July 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm

A nanny is a great option for 2-3 kids. One of the dad I met shared a nanny with another family. I think it worked out to be just a bit higher than daycare.

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Marissa @ Thirty Six Months July 27, 2013 at 4:28 am

Oh wow. I didn’t know it was that expensive. That’s really a huge amount of money.

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Felix Lee July 27, 2013 at 5:29 am

That was one expensive day care center. We are so lucky here in our place that I get to have someone look after my small one for less than a hundred dollars per month only.

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retirebyforty July 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Oh wow! Less that $100/month. That’s ridiculously cheap.

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The Dividend Guy July 27, 2013 at 6:34 am

I think you should move to Quebec, Canada; they go as low as $7/day ;-) hahaha!

There is a reason why my wife decided to start her own daycare; since she already worked with children in the past and we already have a huge playroom on our main floor, using her skills and our house setting was only natural.

It’s not as lucrative here (we only charge $25/day per kid) but still, it’s a nice way to make money while staying home :-)

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retirebyforty July 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm

$7/day? We couldn’t even get someone to take care of our cats for that much. :)
Good luck with the daycare business. It sounds like a lot of work.

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Tushar @ Everything Finance July 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm

It’s absolutely insane how expensive day care is. I didn’t realize that pre-school was so costly, as well, but it makes sense. It’s great for the child to be enrolled in pre-school.

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Cassi July 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Dawh, he is adorable! Hopefully the terrible twos will pass soon and preschool will teach both parent and child better ways to communicate. Good luck finding the perfect option for your family!

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retirebyforty July 29, 2013 at 8:05 am

Thanks for the compliment. :) I’m sure we’ll figure it out.

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Catherine Jean Rose July 28, 2013 at 7:08 am

Have you considered taking in someone else’s child and providing “Daddy Daycare”? You could help a family out by providing a great home and good care, find a playmate for your son during the day, and best of all add to your monthly ‘active’ income! Just wondering if you’d ever thought about it…

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retirebyforty July 29, 2013 at 8:11 am

There is no way I can take care of 3 kids all day. It’ll drive me nuts. :)

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FI Fighter July 28, 2013 at 9:18 am

Man, that’s a brutal expense… which is another reason why I’m striving to be like you… retired and raising the kid on my own! Forget the daycare…

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retirebyforty July 29, 2013 at 8:15 am

Good luck! Daycare is a valid option, but I think we really need to spend more time with our kids.

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Paul @ The Frugal Toad July 28, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Daycare is expensive, especially with the National chain daycare centers. Private daycare can be much more affordable however, you will need to make sure to check them out thoroughly. We used a private daycare provider with our daughter and found her through some friends from Church.

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retirebyforty July 29, 2013 at 8:17 am

Thanks for the tips. We couldn’t find a private daycare when he was younger. I guess our network is the wrong age and they didn’t know much about daycare.

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Martin July 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm

This article has inspired me to stay single forever!

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retirebyforty July 29, 2013 at 8:17 am

That’s a good option. :)

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Marissa @ Finance Triggers August 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm

This comment’s made me laugh, Martin!

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Julien @cashsnail July 28, 2013 at 11:48 pm

In Belgium we are paying 40$ per day for daycare (and get a 12$ taxes refund per day at the end of the year)
With 4 days per week (7:30 to 17:30) we pay 650$ per month and receive around 2000$ taxe refund each year.

That’s the usual difference between Europe & USA, we pay much much more taxes (55% of taxes on income, and 20% of VAT on every purchase…) but we get cheaper services in some case. Especially in healthcare (for the birth of my daughter we ended up paying 200$ while receiving 1700$ of governement support)

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retirebyforty July 29, 2013 at 8:18 am

Thanks for sharing. It sounds like life in Europe is better for folks with lower/middle income. Rich folks probably like the US more because they get to keep more of their income.

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Julien @cashsnail July 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm

In fact it’s pretty hard to become rich in Europe, the huge taxe rate & welfare redistribution is averaging everybody’s income. That make people less willing to take risk, become self-employed or entrepreneur (why to work like crazy if the governement take most of it :))
That’s why I like to read RB40 (and a few other american PF blog) that bring a different perspective to my life

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retirebyforty July 29, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Ahhh… I see. That’s quite interesting. I would like to hear more from rich Europeans, but I’m not sure if they frequent this site. :)

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small Business loan Mind July 29, 2013 at 12:04 am

Hi here are some way i would like to suggest…..if you like, may follow

1. Take a tax break (The IRS offers tax breaks to working parents in the form of a Child and Dependent Care Credit, which reduces your taxable income).

2. Open a flexible-spending account (According to a study by Hewitt Associates, 96% of employers offer a Dependent-Care Flexible-Spending Account).

3. Get a company discount (Ask if your company has such an arrangement, or if they don’t, ask human resources to explore this possibility).

4. Explore shared child care (a nanny share—in which two families pay in toward the cost of one nanny may be a good way to defray your costs).

5. Search for nonprofits that care for kids (YMCA, JCC, or church ).

6. Bargain (On Sittercity.com, you can name your price for a sitter).

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retirebyforty July 29, 2013 at 8:20 am

We took advantage of the tax break in our 1st year.
Our daycare was a non profit church and it was pretty expensive. :) I think it’s just expensive in our city.

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Amy K August 1, 2013 at 8:31 am

small Business loan Mind made a great list. I can’t add to it, but I would like to second the Dependent Care account idea. Your wife likely is eligible through work, though she may have to wait until the next open benefits enrollment. If she’s not eligible, or you have to wait, the Child Care Credit should help you out. For us, we got more tax relief from the DCA than the CCC, but you would have to run the numbers for your scenario to see what works.

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Andrew@LivingRichCheaply July 29, 2013 at 10:58 am

I have friends who work in Midtown Manhattan who pay about $1500 per month…it’s more if the child is not potty trained. In the outer boroughs it is a lot cheaper…probably $800 to $1000. My wife is a daycare/preschool teacher. I may be biased but she is great and is very loving with the kids, but she said that it is very difficult with the amount of kids and attention they need. Your potty training story was funny (well maybe not for you). I have a newborn baby boy so don’t have to worry about potty training yet…oh boy…it’s gonna be a crazy ride.

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retirebyforty July 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm

It’s pretty funny for me too. :) He has been doing well indoor. It’s when we go out for a long time that he can’t hold it and make a mess. Oh well, it’ll get better soon.

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wallet engineer #1 July 31, 2013 at 9:55 am

I didn’t find the post rambling, just more raw and honest. This is a side of early retirement that is not (often) talked about in the literature I read. How can you plan for something without a piece as key as paying for child care. Thanks!

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