Grace E. Hester, just-turned-30, corporate-working mom of 2 young daughters who sold out her creative soul when she moved from Singapore to Cleveland, Ohio when she finally found a man who was worthy. Join her on her journey from concrete jungle to mid-west surburbia of Westerville, Ohio, from college grad to mother of two, from mtv to numbers-crunching . . . all while trying to balance the pretty with practical in her life.
This is definitely a topic that I feel has been under-represented in the media. It is a decision that working families have to make, when they are either planning to have a child, or has a child on the way. Who will care for their child or children? What kind of care can they afford (if they can afford any at all)? I am quite certain it is one of the reasons women (and in some rare occurrences, men) leave the workforce - after you do the math, it often does not make sense anymore for women to go to work if their paycheck does not cover child care.
In the US, child care in the form of daycares is almost always the most expensive option for a family with 2 young children. If you have 1 child, engaging an au pair may be the more expensive option. Other options for child care also include paying (or not paying) a family member to care for your child, or using at-home caregivers where you drop off your children at someone else's home. When Gianna arrived and my mom came to visit for 5 months, part of the long visit was to see if my mom would be able to get used to the US and decide if she would like to move here and care for our girls. We would simply take the payments we now direct towards daycare and redirect it to her as her "salary".
However, I was a little surprised to view the Ohio chart on child care crunch on this article from MSN Money Central - it states that the average is about 6.6K for an infant.
We pay about 12K for daycare just for Gianna alone (yes, I know - I am in DAILY disbelief myself). I wonder if this number is just for daycare scenarios or applies to family member payments or at-home caregivers as well. Or maybe it is a case of how things average out but if what we pay is on the higher end, it makes me wonder who is paying only 3K or 4K for infant care, and of course, what level of care the infants are receiving. *shudders*
Another surprise was Minnesota - what is it in that city that makes their child care costs almost comparable to New York?
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