Well for all of you stay at home parents out there, I’m sure you have all thought about this.
It is currently very expensive to send a child to daycare, let alone if you have more than one little one.
When I had my first child get to the age when she wanted to be a little more independent the only daycare in our little town was a community run facility. The cost (and keep in mind this was 2002) was $5 an hour. Very flexible and so nice for her. Cost me $20 to send her from 9-1 and then she came home for a nap. Also no need to pay for school holidays or sick days as long as you let them know and they had time to ring another child on the list. It was perfect for a family on one income.
By the time my second went, it was up to $7 an hour but still just as flexible and not a big increase in 4 years. I could handle this.
Well now my twins are old enough to go, we have a purpose built facility to cater for a full daycare from 3 months to 6 years old. Fantastic. As a family tax benefit recipient I am entitled to a rebate, but now things are more strict. A half day session is from 7:30 – 12:15 and I’m expected to pay even for public holidays and school holidays even if we don’t attend. Wow! How times have changed! Things are not as flexible. $45 for a half day session and I can get around 45% rebate for being on a low income earners Health Care Card. But wow that’s still $49.50 a week out of pocket for me.
Well I did the math, and re-did the math and then did the pros and cons…
- Helps them have some time away from mum and get ready for kindy next year.
- Socializing with other children
- Gives me time to myself.
- I could get a job
- I have 2 grandparents in town who can do this for free
- I have friends with children of similar ages and can socialize them while enjoying a coffee and a chat with my friends.
- Every other time I have sent one off to daycare and gotten them semi independent I have had more time to think about having another and wow with 4 year old twins I’m so not ready for another one yet.
- Washing cleaning cooking shopping bill paying. I already have enough to do with a family of 6.
In conclusion I have decided not to send them off to daycare. The big issue for me is money. Our income has not increased by enough to pay for 2 of them to go at once. I may send them towards the end of the year before they go off to kindy next year but I keep putting this off as it simply cost so much and when I think of what I can do with that money, I just can’t hand it over for child minding.