Just read this post via a fellow mama on Facebook. It sure brought back memories…
My situation was not quite so dire, but I remember doing the math. Full-time daycare in Greater Boston costs around $1500 per month. Childcare for an infant or toddler will run close to $15,000 a year, and that’s if you go with a home-based, family daycare provider.
Preschool jumps up to close to $2000 per month, because you have to drop them off before 9am, and pick them up at 6pm. You can’t work “mother’s hours” and still get benefits, right? Preschool costs roughly average $20,000 a year, for full-time, outside-the-home, quality preschool with a curriculum and all that early-learning stuff.
And when your kids are finally school-age, you’re not out of the woods completely, because you’re still paying for before- and after-sch0ol, and you have to factor in summer camp. This is assuming you live in a city with good public schools, but, then again, even if the schools are not good, can you afford to shell out $20,000 a year for private school?
But don’t forget to save another $5000 for summer camp or a sitter or something, because when school ends, those kids can’t sit at home alone for 3 months.
Start with your annual salary. Take out 30% for taxes, and another 8% for health insurance. Then subtract the basics: food, clothing, and shelter. If you have even $10,000 per child left over, consider yourself lucky.
When I stopped working, I looked for babysitting work. I had 2 families whose kids I picked up from school a few days a week. Yes, they paid me, just enough to cover my gas and car payment, but it felt good to be helping out a few fellow moms.
NB: All numbers are based on my own experience, so don’t go fact-checking me. 🙂