Mama in the City since 2008 and blogging since 2009!

The Cost Of Childcare In The City: I Pay In Diamonds

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July 15, 2011 // Uncategorized

The other day we were out for brunch with another family and we started to discuss….the cost of child care. We are a family in the city and they are a family in the suburbs; turns out we pay extremely different costs for our daily childcare. Surprised? Not really. Even a box of your basic macaroni can be found in the city at double the cost than say the suburb of Abbotsford.

Over the last few years we’ve been really lucky with both of our unique work schedules, and my husbands extreme work flexibility of shaping his work around my own work schedule. This just means that we haven’t had to worry too much about access to full time daycare. We also don’t have family around to rely on for regular scheduled free daycare. Trust me grandparents, if you lived closer you’d be seeing a lot more of your sweet grandson. I kid! I kid! (but not really).

Apparently, living in the city means we will 1) have a tricky time finding reliable childcare without being on a wait list for years and 2) can we even afford the cost of full time day care? This doesn’t even include the occasional caregiver to rely upon for a date night out once in a blue moon.

So far we’ve used a professional on call nanny service that screens and organizes a nanny to come to your home. We found that it was a fast reliable service but the cost is pretty extraordinary, especially for just 1 child. There is the $30 booking fee and then the $15 and hour with a 4 hour minimum. Add it up and that is a lot of dough to fork over just to go and catch a movie. If you had 3 kids in your family this cost might be a better service for you, as 3 cost the same as 1.

Just recently we got a part time spot at a licensed at home day care that is literally just down the street. She is the Mary Poppins of home daycare and we are in love with her. Since my schedule rotates, it doesn’t make any sense to sign Ben up for a Monday to Friday daycare service. Heck, sometimes I’m off Monday to Friday! So, he is booked in for two days a week and the boy loves it.

The big thing is, it’s super pricey. Like, $80 a day pricey. Sure, if the local macaroni and cheese box is $2.00 instead of $1.00 than the actual cost of the day care is right on track. However, if we paid for full time day care I would literally be working only to make something like 50% of my take home pay. Which just seems wrong. However, knowing my son is in a safe caring environment that is close to home is truly priceless, especially for only 2 days a week.

We’ve also just started to use the neighbourhood teenage babysitter and so far so good! I found her via her mom, who I’ve worked with for years. When I book her I get flashbacks to all of my years of being the neighbour teenage babysitter and being in demand for Friday and Saturday nights. I pay her $5 and hour and she plays with Ben and puts him to bed and I leave her a snack to munch on. $5 an hour seems seriously awesome after spending $90 just to catch a movie and a slice of pizza.

What do you think about the cost of child care in Vancouver city? Are you laughing at me from the burbs for paying so much, or are you also buying the $2 box of macaroni?

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About the author

Hi! I'm Andrea, a 30 something girl who loves living the downtown lifestyle and didn't want to give it up once I started a family. Mama in the City since 2008 and blogging since 2009!

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