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Old 20.10.2020, 19:07
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Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

Is there anyone here who has cut down on their working hours because daycare was so expensive?

I'm preparing a presentation for a conference and would love to talk to mothers who were faced with the choice of
a) staying at home and watching their career fade away
b) continuing to work and watching their monthly paycheck fade away.

I grew up in France and Germany, where heavily subsidised full-time daycare is just how it is. When I moved here I was shocked that 4 out of 5 women work part-time because there's no affordable childcare.

If you've been through this, I'd love to hear your experiences. Thanks!
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Old 20.10.2020, 19:18
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

In many parts of Switzerland, day care is pro-rata to salary. Everything is Switzerland varies hugely between C/Kantons and even Gemeinde/Commune.


My daughter was faced with this choice in the UK/London - at first, day care cost her a huge part of her salary- and didn't seem worth it. However, making that choice meant she kept up with her career, and was soon able to go up the ladder fast- so long-term very worthwhile financially.


One question however- why is it always the mother who has to make that choice?
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Old 20.10.2020, 19:18
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

You can do a search as I am sure we have discussed before.

I chose to watch my paycheck fade away for the 4 years that my kids where in days are (1.5 years there were 2 together - was fun paying that each month).

In any case, for me it was worth continuing my career, having a pension plan, 2 jobs in case anyone got made redundant, not feeling resentment etc.

What was hard was seeing the money dissipate constantly running around, needing grandparents/backup care for when kids get sick.

Few years have passed and I am happy I did it as my career stayed on track and when husband lost his job we had a back up.
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Old 20.10.2020, 19:23
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

c) Putting their career on hold and watching neither career nor income fade away.

(And for b), I'm fairly sure that most children aren't born into single parent families, so the dwindling also applies to the other parent. If it doesn't then you've got a crap partner).

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Few years have passed and I am happy I did it as my career stayed on track and when husband lost his job we had a back up.
This is another important nuance.
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Old 20.10.2020, 19:25
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

I chose to go with option b) as it’s necessary for me to have a job to keep my sanity

It’s truly expensive for a few years, after that they start school and you pay less and less for daycare. I thought my mental well-being was worth it.
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Old 20.10.2020, 21:16
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

Well, a single parent has no choice. You can't wait for a child to grow up and all of a sudden start thinking about restarting your career again.

And then, how much math does one need to prepare a conference. What are the taxes in France? Germany? They translate to "heavily subsidized".

This is an issue of the economy, not politics or gender.

Just my experience.
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Old 20.10.2020, 21:52
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

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One question however- why is it always the mother who has to make that choice?
It isn’t. Common sense should suggest that if one parent is going to stay at home it should be the lowest earning. So maybe in most cases the woman earns less.... or maternal instinct etc means she would rather be the one to stay at home.
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Old 20.10.2020, 22:02
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

Indeed, it is very complex - chicken and egg, etc.


I stayed at home as I didn't have a job anyhow due to severe accident- and OH's career was just taking off after long years of study. In our case, it was not about fe/male, but personal circumstances. When youngest started school, I started Uni full time- and my career then took off very fast.


As senior manager, female staff regularly asked for time off as kids were ill- and when asked if it was not time for their OH to take time off for the kids, they often replied 'oh no, his job is far too important to do that!'


So childcare costs are indeed high- and other societal factors come into play as well. But it is very much a 'couple' issue for those in a relationship - and mothers often very willingly take the 'back seat' - instead of challenging expectations. On interview before I started my course, one female lecturer who happened to know my OH professionally told me 'surely your OH has enough on his plate without having to support you becoming a full time student and other' - and another 'you do realise the profession is not a hobby for bored middle-class housewives'. I cried all the way home, then thought 's*d them- I'll show them'. And I did, with OH's full support and huge financial sacrifices.
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Old 20.10.2020, 22:39
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

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One question however- why is it always the mother who has to make that choice?
Because fathers will happily give the kids a key and let them fend for themselves.

BTDT as a single parent.

Tom
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Old 20.10.2020, 22:56
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

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It isn’t. Common sense should suggest that if one parent is going to stay at home it should be the lowest earning. So maybe in most cases the woman earns less.... or maternal instinct etc means she would rather be the one to stay at home.
I think there is 2 more reasons:
1) The woman is more like to go into planning mode and "how to make it work" - I think this it the protection instinct and will often result in her "making a sacrifice" which is perhaps hormonally driven
2) There are societal expectations which carry powerful weight - a man will be frowned upon for asking to work part time more than a woman, same.for looking after sick kids etc. And yes I am aware there are some rare companies who do not behave like this, but the majority still does.
This also means that a woman taking a break for kids is likely going to find it easier to get back on track.
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Old 21.10.2020, 10:55
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

Thanks everyone for your input! I fully agree with what you're saying, it shouldn't be the mother's responsibility by default. I just look at the numbers, which say that in 9 out of 10 cases, it's her who takes the salary cut or the career break.

In the moment it may seem like a smart move ("I make less money anyway" etc.) but in the long term, these women put less aside for retirement, have a smaller or non-existent business network, and their marketable skills decay.

I've seen too many women around me realize in their fifties that if it weren't for their spouse, they'd basically be broke. And then divorce hits. For every second woman. I just don't like those odds.

And yet, even though we KNOW all these things, STILL the numbers don't change. Still, when faced with the choice of paying for daycare or staying at home, only a third go for daycare. Of course some are lucky and have grandparents who pitch in, but in my expat network that's mostly never the case.
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Old 21.10.2020, 11:02
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

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Thanks everyone for your input! I fully agree with what you're saying, it shouldn't be the mother's responsibility by default. I just look at the numbers, which say that in 9 out of 10 cases, it's her who takes the salary cut or the career break.

In the moment it may seem like a smart move ("I make less money anyway" etc.) but in the long term, these women put less aside for retirement, have a smaller or non-existent business network, and their marketable skills decay.

I've seen too many women around me realize in their fifties that if it weren't for their spouse, they'd basically be broke. And then divorce hits. For every second woman. I just don't like those odds.

And yet, even though we KNOW all these things, STILL the numbers don't change. Still, when faced with the choice of paying for daycare or staying at home, only a third go for daycare. Of course some are lucky and have grandparents who pitch in, but in my expat network that's mostly never the case.
Swedes figured it out. Free daycare. No more marriages nor households shared with a partner. Maybe they do not consider them reliable, logical with your numbers.

But as somebody who works with young people let me ask: do children want a home like this? Is it better for them?
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Old 21.10.2020, 11:28
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

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Is there anyone here who has cut down on their working hours because daycare was so expensive?

I'm preparing a presentation for a conference and would love to talk to mothers who were faced with the choice of
a) staying at home and watching their career fade away
b) continuing to work and watching their monthly paycheck fade away.

I grew up in France and Germany, where heavily subsidised full-time daycare is just how it is. When I moved here I was shocked that 4 out of 5 women work part-time because there's no affordable childcare.

If you've been through this, I'd love to hear your experiences. Thanks!

So I did this. Kinderkrippe, 3 children (all in krippe at one time).


Essentially the way I would summarize it is you work (and pay the krippe) to keep your career. So if that is important to you that is the associated cost. I dont mean that in a negative way at all. Its very much a subjective - and family - decision. Not only is it a subjective decision but really you can only make that decision once you in that position. What is right for one person, is not for another.



Cost-wise it was and is expensive, but my friends in Ireland & UK see a similiar size chunk come out of their salaries.



My only complaint would be that the costs come out of my post-tax salary but I have to pay those costs to work so I do believe the tax-relief could be better on that.
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Old 21.10.2020, 11:37
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

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Thanks everyone for your input! I fully agree with what you're saying, it shouldn't be the mother's responsibility by default. I just look at the numbers, which say that in 9 out of 10 cases, it's her who takes the salary cut or the career break.

In the moment it may seem like a smart move ("I make less money anyway" etc.) but in the long term, these women put less aside for retirement, have a smaller or non-existent business network, and their marketable skills decay.

I've seen too many women around me realize in their fifties that if it weren't for their spouse, they'd basically be broke. And then divorce hits. For every second woman. I just don't like those odds.

And yet, even though we KNOW all these things, STILL the numbers don't change. Still, when faced with the choice of paying for daycare or staying at home, only a third go for daycare. Of course some are lucky and have grandparents who pitch in, but in my expat network that's mostly never the case.
Not sure where you got your data, but in the last 25 years at least the numbers have changed in Switzerland.

https://tradingeconomics.com/switzer...--wb-data.html

57% to 63% may not seem much, but taking into account the lag with older females not in the workforce, increasing numbers of retired people, and that the overall labour participation is only 68% this doesn't look as bleak as you suggest.
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Old 21.10.2020, 11:40
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

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Is there anyone here who has cut down on their working hours because daycare was so expensive?

I'm preparing a presentation for a conference and would love to talk to mothers who were faced with the choice of
a) staying at home and watching their career fade away
b) continuing to work and watching their monthly paycheck fade away.

I grew up in France and Germany, where heavily subsidised full-time daycare is just how it is. When I moved here I was shocked that 4 out of 5 women work part-time because there's no affordable childcare.

If you've been through this, I'd love to hear your experiences. Thanks!
Yeah. This is a topic for us. About to pay 5k a month for daycare when the next kid is old enough. Having experienced looking after kids while working due to corona virus, I'd say it is money well spent as I do not have enough energy to do that day in day out for 7 days a week while taking pay cut to do so.

While it is a lot of money there are other considerations:

1. Daycare isn't forever, after they go to school you can cut back, whereas a loss of career could be more permanent
2. Decided against 80% work as in my role I'd just get paid less and have to do the same work in fewer days
3. While I like my kids- holidays, weekends and evenings are enough for me!

That said, I'm going to trial a 4 day week for a few months to see how that works.

For me, being at work is probably the most productive thing I can do while kids are too young for school. Maybe once they are at school, I would be able to use the time more productively to do other things. If I stayed home with them, I'd just lose my mind chasing after them and couldn't really do anything else.
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Old 21.10.2020, 11:44
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

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Because fathers will happily give the kids a key and let them fend for themselves.

BTDT as a single parent.

Tom
I wouldn't even give them a key
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Old 21.10.2020, 13:07
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

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Thanks everyone for your input! I fully agree with what you're saying, it shouldn't be the mother's responsibility by default. I just look at the numbers, which say that in 9 out of 10 cases, it's her who takes the salary cut or the career break.

In the moment it may seem like a smart move ("I make less money anyway" etc.) but in the long term, these women put less aside for retirement, have a smaller or non-existent business network, and their marketable skills decay.

And yet, even though we KNOW all these things, STILL the numbers don't change. Still, when faced with the choice of paying for daycare or staying at home, only a third go for daycare. Of course some are lucky and have grandparents who pitch in, but in my expat network that's mostly never the case.
It is mostly women who stay at home to look after the children. Where do you get your understanding to be the reason is about their current salary ? For those fortunate enough to be have the choice of continuing to work + daycare vs staying at home and looking after their new children, the decision i have seen commonly is that having one parent looking after the children full time was a choice that was wanted (regardless of male vs female).
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Old 21.10.2020, 14:16
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

I heard tons of complaints about daycare costs. Its true they are ridiculously hard to get to (at least in Geneva), and we were lucky beyond reason (maybe covid helped).

But as for the costs, it isn't so bad - unofficial well paid nanny would definitely cost us similarly. Official maybe 2x more. In places like NY they cost 2-3x as much easily. Wife went back to work after 8 months for 80% (plus first 2 months only on 60%). They calculated it from our shared income from past years (just like taxes once married).

The cost estimate would be under 2k if on 100%, 50% off for second child, 3rd one would be for free (but I presume only if all 3 visit at the same time, which would be quite a cadence of births).

Now that's not cheap, coming from a country with almost free daycare and 3 years of maternity leave, but is manageable and and gets lower/higher as per shared income. Raising kids in Suisse isn't cheap, but that's widely known and discussed.

Socializing part in creche is for us definitely worth it for the kids - hardly anything is more important to set baby in the right direction for later life. Mommies at home try their best, but having plethora of small kids to play with often is very hard to organize, especially these days with covid.

Its hard to admit but many folks aren't that great parents and project all kinds of negative things, biases and their own issues from their lives on their kids, or provide inadequate stimulation (-under and -over one). At daycare at least there are bunch of professionals looking after them.
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Old 21.10.2020, 15:38
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

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...but in the long term, these women put less aside for retirement, ...
Ah. My wife and I have sorted this all out. Everything I own is hers, everything she owns is hers.
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Old 21.10.2020, 16:19
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Re: Paying in daycare vs. staying at home

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It isn’t. Common sense should suggest that if one parent is going to stay at home it should be the lowest earning. So maybe in most cases the woman earns less.... or maternal instinct etc means she would rather be the one to stay at home.
Another point to consider is if the lower earning person has a more stable job.
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