I'm not one for shooting off numbers, but man, this is a story I can't help but tell:
We recently moved and had to give up our previous beloved daycare. It was a big sacrifice, but when the commute gets to be over a hundred miles, it's time to start looking elsewhere.
I started calling daycares in the vicinity of our new apartment and many of them were full. I started to have a panic attack. How could I go to work? What was I going to do???
Finally, to my relief, one daycare told me that although they were full, they might have someone leaving soon and could secure a spot for my daughter. I was so relieved. I started making arrangements. I casually asked them what the daycare would cost.
"Our tuition," they told me (I should have known there was trouble the second they called it tuition), "is $2400 per month."
I almost choked. $2400 per month. Almost $30,000 per year. For a two year old to sit in a big room of toddlers and color. Presumably she'd be coloring with solid gold crayons because I can't imagine where else all that money is going.
What baffles me is that they daycare was FULL. There were several dozen parents willing to pay this gigantic sum of money. Who are these people?? And what if you have two kids in daycare? That's nearly $60,000 per year just for daycare!! What sort of salary do you need to be making pre-taxes to pay for this? Each parent would have to be working and earning six figures just to break even with daycare and rent.
I did manage to find a daycare with a somewhat more reasonable "tuition," although still kind of horrifying. But now my problem is the hours. They close at 5:30, no exceptions. What sort of daycare is closed by 5:30?? How many working parents are there who are presumably earning six figure salaries to afford two kids in daycare yet can manage to be AT the daycare for pick-up by 5:30 sharp every single day?? Who ARE these people and how can I become one of them???