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Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

Old Mar 27th 2012, 1:25 am
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Default Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

HI,

I am looking for a bit of pre-emptive advice.

My OH and I are planning to start a family but we both need to work for financial reasons. I'm looking for advice on how others have coped in a new country, with a new baby and no close relatives/friends etc that can help with childcare. We are in Southern California and from what I understand day care can be prohibitavly expensive. I've always wanted to stay at home with any children we have but this is just not feasable for us at the moment and I also can't put off having kids due to medical issues. So it's a bit now or never.

We have some friends here but no one that I feel I could realistically and fairly ask to watch the wee one while I work.

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 2:05 am
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Default Re: Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

Originally Posted by Gillymonkey View Post
HI,

I am looking for a bit of pre-emptive advice.

My OH and I are planning to start a family but we both need to work for financial reasons. I'm looking for advice on how others have coped in a new country, with a new baby and no close relatives/friends etc that can help with childcare. We are in Southern California and from what I understand day care can be prohibitavly expensive. I've always wanted to stay at home with any children we have but this is just not feasable for us at the moment and I also can't put off having kids due to medical issues. So it's a bit now or never.

We have some friends here but no one that I feel I could realistically and fairly ask to watch the wee one while I work.

Any advice would be appreciated!
I know that my friends over here in Tx who have small kids find the day care expensive.
I also know a friend who uses someone she found on www.care.com
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 2:11 am
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Default Re: Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

Originally Posted by Gillymonkey View Post
I'm looking for advice on how others have coped in a new country, with a new baby and no close relatives/friends etc that can help with childcare...
That bits easy, you suck it up and get on with it, because the baby doesn't care.

You'll soon find new mum/parent groups to get involved with, to make friends and potentially a shared baby sitting, either where you group up to split costs, or you look after a kid and "bank" the time and redeem it when you need it.

Either that, or you end up having one parent at home. It's not ideal, but childcare is expensive.

I've no idea what it might be like for you, but down my way, not that we can afford it, but we were excited to see it was around $1300-1500 a month for 3-5 half days a week childcare, when the previous town we lived in was the same money for 1-2 half days a week.

Got friends where the wife took a new job in a private research lab for the benefits, paid 50% of childcare, in Boston, leaving $1K a month...but in the end it was only a paper benefit because there was a 2 year waiting list to get a kid in the place the company paid for, unless you already had a kid there....but there are companies out there that help with childcare costs.

Oh, our state also offers childcare cost assistance, but there's a 5 year waiting list to get the assistance, but you can use it till the kid is 13 in MA...but still a bit shit.

It's a crap situation to be in, no doubt, but you'll find a way to make it work, usually making other compromises.
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 2:29 am
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Default Re: Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

We had our babies here, I used a home daycare lady for Ds#1 for a while, then quit work and stayed home when it became un reliable, we just cut back on everything and made it work.
Then when he was a bit older I went back to work and used a daycare center, a bit better and more money.
Baby #2 I stayed home till he was 18months then found a job, and I also found two wonderful home day cares 2 minutes from our house. He went there till Kindergarten (I worked 2 or 3 days a week only)
We never had any family in the area to do any care after MIL moved when Ds#1 was 6 months old, she watched him for the first 6 months, friends worked, and so we had to go the daycare route.
It's pretty sucky and hard to drop off to strangers at first, but I did become good friends with Ds#2's carer and still stay in touch 15 years later.
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 3:10 am
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Default Re: Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

i found my 'nanny' on care.com I put an 'ad' on there for free stating what kind of childcare i wanted (in my home), what kids i had, and times i wanted and saw who answered it. I actually got a lot of replies so i THEN stumped up a months worth of money to be able to contact the repliers and interview them. (i think i found a coupon code online too). One of them turned out to be a woman my age who and i ended up giving her the job as she lived close by and would do all i asked.


Just be aware of the tax you may have to withhold for her, (and pay employers portion of medicare, social security and unemployment benefit)- so the hourly rate is not the 'final bill'.

she is not perfect and does things differently in places to my way- but i figure we agree on the most important parts and no-one will give me every single thing.
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

Just a word of warning about care.com, i'm sure you Moms that use it for Nanny's etc will check into any/all qualifications/experience/references etc these people provide on there

I'm just mentioning this as my DIL in Hawaii has a resume on there and if I didn't know her I would think she was very well qualified. She says she has 12 yrs exp', but that is just from watching her nephew while the Mom was off drinking/doing drugs No references, and she has BiPolar I know I wouldn't trust her with my dog, let alone kids!
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Old Mar 28th 2012, 2:40 am
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Default Re: Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

Thanks all, I think we will just see what happens. It'll be an adventure anyway
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Old Mar 28th 2012, 3:19 am
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Default Re: Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

Originally Posted by Gillymonkey View Post
Thanks all, I think we will just see what happens. It'll be an adventure anyway
The federal government has a child care tax credit of $3,000 per child or $6,000 maximum for two or more children when both parents work. The $3,000 tax credit as well as $3,800 personal exemption for the child should help a bit to offset some of the child care costs.

The $3,000 tax credit is written of 100% against taxes owed (if you have $3,000 or more in child care expenses) where as the personal exemption is written off against income so if you were in the 25% marginal tax bracket ($70,700 or more combined income after deductions and exemptions), the $3,800 personal exemption would be a tax saving of $950.
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Old Mar 28th 2012, 3:22 am
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Default Re: Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

Originally Posted by Gillymonkey View Post
HI,

I am looking for a bit of pre-emptive advice.

My OH and I are planning to start a family but we both need to work for financial reasons. I'm looking for advice on how others have coped in a new country, with a new baby and no close relatives/friends etc that can help with childcare. We are in Southern California and from what I understand day care can be prohibitavly expensive. I've always wanted to stay at home with any children we have but this is just not feasable for us at the moment and I also can't put off having kids due to medical issues. So it's a bit now or never.

We have some friends here but no one that I feel I could realistically and fairly ask to watch the wee one while I work.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Check out local YMCA child care programs. The Y is a not for profit (and the C bit is nonexistent in most of them now) and often offers reduced fees for families who cannot afford to pay the full fee. I know mine does, but we are in Illinois so no use to you. Don't be afraid to ask - they will often have sliding scale fees and you don't have to be at poverty level to qualify. Go in and explain your personal situation and see what you can do. Good luck.

Have a look in here - they seem to have some resources.
http://www.crs.ymca.org/

Last edited by Lion in Winter; Mar 28th 2012 at 3:29 am.
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Old Mar 28th 2012, 6:14 am
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Default Re: Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

Thanks for the tips. Would the fact that we are not green card holders and are on J visas have any impact?
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Old Mar 28th 2012, 11:43 am
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Default Re: Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

Originally Posted by Gillymonkey View Post
Thanks for the tips. Would the fact that we are not green card holders and are on J visas have any impact?
Should make no difference at the Y - it's a private not for profit, it can give money to whoever it likes.
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Old Mar 28th 2012, 12:16 pm
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Default Re: Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

Forgot to mention:

a) Go and get yourself onto a waiting list soon - spots for infant care tend to be in short supply because of the staff:child ratio. At my Y you need to be on the list the moment you become pregnant or there won't be a spot when your maternity leave is up.

b) Don't know if you have a job yet, but some large employers provide child care assistance in one form or another, either by a subsidy or even, in the largest companies, by providing onsite care. Don't know what your profession is, but check out the universities and hospitals for this sort of benefit, plus large, rich corporations.
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Old Mar 28th 2012, 2:24 pm
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Default Re: Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

Originally Posted by Gillymonkey View Post
Thanks for the tips. Would the fact that we are not green card holders and are on J visas have any impact?
If you are exempt for taxes, then there isn't any tax credits or deductions so no tax savings.
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Old Mar 28th 2012, 10:51 pm
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Default Re: Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

Originally Posted by Gillymonkey View Post
HI,

I am looking for a bit of pre-emptive advice.

My OH and I are planning to start a family but we both need to work for financial reasons. I'm looking for advice on how others have coped in a new country, with a new baby and no close relatives/friends etc that can help with childcare. We are in Southern California and from what I understand day care can be prohibitavly expensive. I've always wanted to stay at home with any children we have but this is just not feasable for us at the moment and I also can't put off having kids due to medical issues. So it's a bit now or never.

We have some friends here but no one that I feel I could realistically and fairly ask to watch the wee one while I work.

Any advice would be appreciated!

You need our Sheila! She's in Clairemont. Or someone similar.

Found her via craig's list.

And we have a babysitter from here: http://www.pointloma.edu/life/office...ers/recruiters
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Old Mar 29th 2012, 12:18 am
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Default Re: Planning to start a family - both need to work, how to cope with childcare?

Thanks all, I'm not actually pregnant yet. Its good to know that their should be some help out there when it eventually does happen.
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