Friday, June 06, 2008

I'm paying what for daycare???

Last night my husband and I went to the third and last Kindercare in our city because it was "open house" night for prospective parents. After a few incidents during the two weeks Mateo's normal "teacher" was on vacation, we thought it would be in his best interest to check out this Kindercare to see how we felt about it and maybe start planning a switch for Mateo.

We pay an extraordinary amount of money weekly for Mateo's daycare. It's a necessary evil, and only because we own a condo that has now depreciated so much that we can't even sell it so one of us can stay home with Mateo (Ya California housing boom! Booo bubble bursts!) while either living in a big three bedroom apartment in a fantastic apartment complex OR while living in Oregon or Washington and living in a nice condo or townhouse that costs way less than what our stupid condo cost us.

(I don't regret too many things I've done in life, but buying this condo is one of them. I hate you condo!!!)

Anyway. So we pay a ton for Mateo's daycare. And we've been doing so for a year now. And it's been really hard managing money and debt and all that good stuff. But we've been doing it. Every week. Every. Single. Week.

At the open house last night, we were given a price sheet. For the toddlers, the fee listed was roughly $111 less than what we pay now. That's $444 more in our pocket each month. Or $444 less debt. Depends on how you want to think about it.

Needless to say, my calculator brain kicked in (it only rears its calculator head when I'm trying to save a dime, any other time I can't do math worth a piece of poo) and I started thinking about how much we'd save monthly, yearly, and how it'll go down even more as he got older, and then my ovaries started aching again, and I thought, maybe, just maybe we could have another kid, and have a condo that I hate, and have daycare, and still eat!

Then my husband kept saying how he didn't like the look of the daycare, you'd think they would have renovated the building when it was changed to a Kindercare, you'd think they would have cleaned up for the open house. And I couldn't stop the faint urine smell from permeating my nose.

I think my husband's expectations are way too high, but I do understand where he's coming from because I wasn't too impressed with how Mateo's current daycare looked when we first checked it out. Now I don't notice anything because there really isn't anything to notice. You can't clean up ever teeny tiny speck of dirt each and every day. Come look at our bedroom if you don't believe me.

We later found out that since Mateo isn't 2 years yet, the fee would be higher than what was listed on the paper, but still less than what we pay now. Then we realized that we don't even know how much the fee will be when he does move to the toddler room at his daycare (set to happen some time very soon), nor have either one of us paid a lick of attention to the condition of the toddler room the few times we've been in there, nor do we know what the student to teacher ratio is in the toddler room (this is important because if the ratio is higher than in the infant room, we get a 10% discount! - something else I remembered while my wheels were a-spinning last night), and basically we can't make any decision until we figure these things out.

We've got some thinking to do. And some questions to ask. And for me, some money to try to save.

And a little boy to keep happy, which is most imporant.

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