Safe, well-cared for children: Priceless?

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As husband Noma has just calculated the costs our childcare over the summer are going to be exorbitantly high. If I calculated this correctly it looks like we’ll be shelling out an extra 3K on top of what we already pay. While I think there are probably some things we can do to reduce our costs (this blog is a good way to ensure that husband and I have crucial financial conversations, which is hard when you both work and have two young kids) this always leads us to look at whether or not we’re willing to compromise. We can get rid of just about everything else but this is our top priority and it’s hard to be rational about it and look at it merely from a financial point of view.

It’s hard to get affordable quality childcare in Los Angeles. We have one child in public school and our childcare costs are still over $1500 a month between the $800 a month preschool, afterschool care and some supplemental $15/hr babysitting (this is the going rate for 2 kids in LA).

 What can we do as a society to help provide higher quality childcare at an affordable price?

 We’re lucky to be in a position to pay for high-quality care and it nearly kills us financially. What about families that don’t have this option?

Where do you draw the line between big picture financial responsibility and how much money to spend on getting childcare that you’re comfortable with? As a working mother it is essential for me to have caretakers who I love and respect and who love and respect our kids.

Is this emotional aspect to childcare causing us to make bad financial decisions? Should we be compromising a bit with the childcare?

 Down the road I’d like to put more energy into fighting to get better quality affordable childcare available for all families. For now I’m just wondering about my own family’s choices.

Thoughts?

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