Daycare or Stay-at-home Parent?

Are you at the stage in life when you are considering daycare so that you can return to work? My brother and sister-in-law just had their first child a few months ago. They were forced to deal with this same question. While I have not had to personally face this question, from talking with my brother, there are many things you want to consider when you go to make this huge decision.

Finances Matter

If you are trying to tell yourself that money shouldn’t factor in to a decision like this, you are wrong. Money makes a big role when you are considering something like this. If you have already started looking at daycare programs, you know that it is expensive – and that may be an understatement. The first thing you will want to compare is whether both parents are making more than it costs to send their child to daycare.

If one parent is making less than the costs of daycare, you will need to ask yourself whether pursuing your career goal is important to you. If it is, you may choose to go the daycare route – but if not, why not give up your job and stay at home? It only makes financial sense.

Money isn’t Everything

As I hinted at above, while money is important, it isn’t everything. There are other considerations to take into account when you are weighing the options. These are some of the things you might want to consider:

  • Will you be able to trust your daycare provider? While some people can afford to pay for daycare without even thinking about it, they opt out of this option because they can’t bring themselves to trust a daycare provider. The fact that they don’t know what is going on scares them.
  • Will you regret missing some things in their life? Some parents can’t bare the idea of missing out on baby’s first steps or words. There’s no guarantee that this will happen at daycare, but they don’t want to risk it. If this is really important to you, you may not want to go the daycare route.
  • Do you have family to help? Some families are forced to work and cannot afford to pay for daycare. If this is the case, it is really helpful to have family in the area to help watch baby. There’s nothing like free daycare. :)

Have you had to face this dilemma? What did you decide?


12 Responses to Daycare or Stay-at-home Parent?

  1. Aaron Hung says:

    We haven’t had a baby yet but when we do, the grandparents will take care of the baby while we work:D so no spending on expensive daycare

  2. This is a great question- The “formative” years are between 1-3 and that’s the most important time for bonding between parent and children and for their development.

    Daycare can be expensive though :( like upwards of $900-$1200 per month. Is that how much it is for where you are?

    I think daycare can be great for the interaction between children and socialization.

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  6. brent says:

    We are waiting to have a child so my wife can stay home. One large financial cost that is overlooked is the cost of healthcare and adding your wife to your insurance. For us it will cost an extra 400 a month (200 just for kid).

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  10. Christa says:

    I just found your site, and I love it! We are expecting our first, and we thought about this for a while before baby was even a twinkle. After a while, we decided that if I stayed home and brought in additional side income that we could forego daycare. So far it’s going really well, but we’ll see later if it still works when Baby arrives!

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