Need some advise about child care...

  1. 0
    Hi to all fellow Moms :-)

    I just registered for my fall classes, and now I am looking for a place that I can trust with my precious little monsters ;-) When I start school in August, they will be 3.5 years and 18 months old, and they have never been in a day care. This means, I have no clue how it all works.... I called ALOT of daycares and most of them turned me down.... "don't take infants"...."only full-time"...."2 year waiting list"....etc.... well i finally found one day care center that sounds really nice and has openings for both my girls. I have an appointment with them next week. They charge 3.57/hr for my toddler and 2.92/hr for my preschooler, and there is a 17-hr/week minimum. So it will probably come to about 500$/month for me, which is more than I can afford, but at the same time, I don't think it is unreasonable if my kids receive quality care..... i think I would feel better if they were in a center versus a private babysitter....anyway, here are my questions: What is high/low/normal price for daycare? Do you get charged extra for meals and snacks or is that usually included? Can you claim the expenses on your tax return? How much do day care grants help? Sorry I sound so money-oriented, but other than the fact that I can barely afford it, I am actually looking forward to having my kids in daycare part-time - I think it will be good for them to have other children around and not just me all the time :-) So as long as it is a center I feel good about, I really think its a good thing for everybody.... anyway....any advise or opinions would be greatly appreciated!
    Last edit by WannaBeNrse on Apr 26, '07
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Quote from WannaBeNrse
    Hi to all fellow Moms :-)

    I just registered for my fall classes, and now I am looking for a place that I can trust with my precious little monsters ;-) When I start school in August, they will be 3.5 years and 18 months old, and they have never been in a day care. This means, I have no clue how it all works.... I called ALOT of daycares and most of them turned me down.... "don't take infants"...."only full-time"...."2 year waiting list"....etc.... well i finally found one day care center that sounds really nice and has openings for both my girls. I have an appointment with them next week. They charge 3.57/hr for my toddler and 2.92/hr for my preschooler, and there is a 17-hr/week minimum. So it will probably come to about 500$/month for me, which is more than I can afford, but at the same time, I don't think it is unreasonable if my kids receive quality care..... i think I would feel better if they were in a center versus a private babysitter....anyway, here are my questions: What is high/low/normal price for daycare? Do you get charged extra for meals and snacks or is that usually included? Can you claim the expenses on your tax return? How much do day care grants help? Sorry I sound so money-oriented, but other than the fact that I can barely afford it, I am actually looking forward to having my kids in daycare part-time, I think it will be good for them to have other children around :-) So as long as it is a center I feel good about, I really think its a good thing for everybody.... anyway....any advise or oppinions would be greatly appreciated!
    The rates sound very reasonable, meals should be included. I'd ask to make sure. I am glad that your kids will receive quality care, which is THE MOST important. You need peace of mind so that you can succeed and your children need to be taken care of adequately. I don't know your financial situation but would you qualify for child care assistance? I am pretty sure that childcare expenses will be considered in your tax return.
    Good luck and keep us updated how things go
  5. 0
    Call Financial Aid to see if the school has help with child care expense. Also do you have a United Way nearby? They can hook you up with agencies that can help. Another good place to go is the place where people apply for Medicaid and foodstamps. Goodluck!
  6. 0
    I am a licensed home daycare provider and I charge $230 per week for kids under 2. It's been my experience that providers don't take kids under 2 because the licensing limitations (at least in California) allow for only 4 kids if more than 2 are under 24 months. I include breakfast, lunch and 2 snacks in my rate, but parents are responsible for bringing diapers and wipes.

    One thing I can't stress enough is to go with your gut feeling before leaving your kids there. If you feel that they may not receive quality care, go elsewhere. Ask the provider about discipline, their health policy, potty training... They may even allow you to do a trial run.

    We have a local resource and referral agency here and they also help qualified families subsidize their childcare costs. In California, parents are able to write off childcare costs on their taxes. I provide each of my families a year end statement with my tax id on it. If providers you interview aren't able or willing to provide such a thing, you may not want to go with them.

    I worked in a center before I had my daughter nearly 5 years ago and I use the same billing program they did. A lot of what I do is based on what I learned there.
  7. 0
    One more thing - check to see if your school has a childcare on campus. The waiting lists for them can be lengthy, but I believe they're cheaper. It doesn't hurt to get on any waiting list. You could always turn down the spots if they become available and you already have childcare you and your children like.

    Also - if you're going with a licensed family childcare home, like mine, call your state licensing office and see if the provider has had any complaints.
  8. 0
    childcare is expensive. see if there is some type of agency that can help you with paying for this while your in school. here in my area we have an agency that will pay for your daycare if you qualify. now , yes you can claim the money you pay into daycare on your taxes but you only get a % back. what ever the fee they charge it should include meals and snacks. instead of paying by the hour it may be cheaper to pay by the day and or some places have prices for 3 days or 4 days ..check in on that. i used to take my fa and pay for daycare for months in advance so i could go to class. think about that..i always put my children in a daycare over a private babysitter. i have ended up with one of my children getting abused and me not finding out for a while .. i know it can happen in a regular daycare as well but there is other people around and that is something that puts me at ease. i have 6 children and i wont put any of them in any daycare situation until they are talking and able to tell me if something is wrong or they are being abused. but that is just me.. good luck to you...


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