The Homemaking Life
I recently read an article about how mothers are not able to work due to the high cost of daycare. The article quotes a third grade teacher named Andrea Hayken, who made $45,000 a year as a third grade teacher as saying that a licensed daycare for her four-year-old son would have cost $2,000 a month, eating up nearly half of her before-tax income. Since her husband, an attorney, made more than she, it was decided that she would quit her job and remain at home with her child. Another woman, Sunah Hwang, made $48,000 a year but brought home about $30,000 after taxes, health insurance and retirement contributions. She stated that daycare costs for one child would have cost $12,000 a year. She said that “it wasn’t worth $18,000 for us to let somebody else raise our son,” since her income would only be the $18,000 after tax and childcare expenses were paid. Both women chose to become a stay at home parent and give up the extra income as a way to save money in the long run.
Going into this article, I expected it to say that women are staying at home because daycare would eat their paycheck and it wouldn’t be worth it. I expected to hear stories of women earning less than a thousand dollars a month; after daycare and gassing up the car or taking public transport, there would be no money left over. Instead, I get stories of women who would still be taking home more than half of their taxed income after daycare expenses but decided to throw their careers in the trash because they think it doesn’t make sense financially. Their husbands are now stuck as the primary breadwinner; Mrs. Hwang stated that her husband has had to get a part time job in order to cover expenses since she quit her job.
I have absolutely nothing against stay at home parents, be it the mom or the dad, that decide they want to dedicate their time to caring for their child as opposed to having a daycare facility handle that responsibility during the work week. It’s an ideal situation to have your child in your care as much as possible and not have to trust strangers. If you’re working the breakfast and lunch shift at a local fast food drive-thru, I can definitely see you quitting your job to stay home with your new baby, as that money isn’t substantial and daycare costs would definitely eat up most of your paycheck. If you have a career and your daycare costs aren’t even half of what you take home, on the other hand, you can’t use the money excuse as a reason to quit your job. It makes no sense; these women were bringing home a good amount of money that could have been a huge help towards the various bills for their home, medical care, groceries, and other expenses while still being very able to afford the daycare expenses. These women have no right whatsoever to claim that they CAN NOT work due to high daycare expenses because it’s simply not true given their salaries.
I also have to wonder about the daycare facilities these women are choosing. While in Georgia, the most expensive tuition I had for my child during his toddler years was $875 per month at Goddard. In Indiana, the price ranged from $700 to $800 a month, depending on his age and the days attended during the month. Right now, my son is in a fully licensed daycare being cared for by people with bachelor’s degrees in the child care field and I pay $165 weekly for his care. Where in the hell is Mrs. Hayken taking her four year old that costs two grand a month?!?? I’m not saying it’s wrong to be picky, but no daycare facility should cost two grand a month. You can find wonderful care in a licensed facility for half that price at the very least without sacrificing quality or safety. If she can’t afford to pay $2,000 a month for daycare, she needs to find a cheaper facility.
My main problem with the referenced article is that I feel that these women are using money as an excuse to justify their decision to become a stay at home parent. Staying at home with the kid or kids is nothing to be ashamed of and can feel like more work than most full time jobs. If you want to quit your job to stay home with the little ones, just say that! Don’t blame the high daycare costs when you were making more than enough money to afford it AND justify keeping your job with the income you have left after daycare tuition. Don’t compare yourself to people out there who honestly can’t afford it because it would cost more per month than they even make. Do you have any idea how many people out there would LOVE to have $18,000 coming to them per year after paying for their kid to receive childcare while they work? Consider yourself lucky to make the money you do, and if you decide to quit your job, don’t you dare blame it on money because that’s obviously not your problem.
Posted on April 23, 2012, in Family, Kids, Life, Money, News and tagged childcare, daycare, debt, employment, job, stay at home dad, stay at home mom, stay at home parent. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.