Budget Parenting: Summer at Home Vs. Daycare
The Daycare vs. Stay-at-Home debate is one that has existed for a long time. With kids out of school for summer, you’ll have the choice to either put them in daycare or keep them at home. There are social and financial pros and cons to both, making this a difficult decision for parents on a budget. In this article, we’ve taken a look at the pros and cons of both daycare and staying at home for your kids and for your wallet.
Increased Income Potential
The most obvious financial benefit of sending your child to daycare during the summer is that you’ll have the chance to work and earn an income. If you’re a two-parent household, putting your children in daycare gives you the potential to also be a dual-income household. For parents on a budget, it’s important to do a lot of research to find a reasonably-priced daycare that fits into your monthly budget. Be picky to ensure that your child is safe and happy during the day while you’re at work.
Social Time for Kids
If you have an only child, putting them in daycare for the summer gives them the chance to be around other children that they wouldn’t have at home. While you’re at work, your child will get to spend 6-8 hours learning how to socialize, play, and share, and building strong foundational relationships with others. If you can afford to put your child in daycare, they’ll definitely benefit from being around others all day. This is a smart move for parents on a budget.
Children’s Skill Building
Many daycares offer structured environments that encourage sharing and learning. In daycare, your child may read, write, and learn more about subjects like math and art than they would at home. Though daycare is not school, it does offer a built-out, educational framework that’s similar to that of a classroom. For parents on a budget, this kind of structured learning environment is priceless.
Drop-Off and Done
When you enroll your child in daycare, you’ll take a lot of the day-to-day stress off of yourself. All you have to do is drop your kids off and rest easy knowing they have a full, planned day ahead of them. You won’t have to worry about planning activities or meals for your child while they’re at daycare, meaning you can focus on work without added stress.
Less Together Time
If you enroll your child in daycare, you’ll have less together time with them overall. They’ll get to spend lots of time with other adults and kids, but you’ll only see them before you drop them off and after you pick them up. For two-parent households, this may seem like too much of a sacrifice to become a dual-income household. If you treasure the summer months that your kids are off of school as an opportunity to pack in quality bonding time (and you can afford it), staying at home might be the best option for you.
Lack of Control
When you send your child to daycare, you’re giving up a lot of control over what they learn and eat during the day. Most daycares have a balanced day planned out for your kids and give you an overall idea of what they’ll be reading, when they’ll be playing, and what kind of snacks they’ll be having. However, if you’re nervous about losing that control, being a stay-at-home parent this summer might be best.
Another Bill to Budget For
At the end of the day, Daycare comes at an additional cost that you’ll have to work into your budget. If you’re already stretched too thin, living paycheck-to-paycheck, and don’t think you can come up with the extra money to pay for daycare, consider having a family member or friend watch your kids. If daycare is your only option, turn to AmeriCash Loans for the extra cash you need to make ends meet this summer.
Quality Time with Your Kids
If you can afford to be a stay-at-home parent, summer offers a great chance to spend extra time with your children. For three months of the year, they don’t have to be in a classroom all day, away from you. If you’re a careful budgeter and understand how to spend your income responsibly, you can pay your bills and stay at home with your kids for the summer. Also consider doing remote, part-time, or freelance work that you can do from home. That way, you can still work during the day and be a stay-at-home parent.
One Less Bill to Pay
When you stay at home with your child instead of taking them to daycare, you avoid the sometimes-high cost of having someone else watch them all day. Though it seems obvious that you’ll save money by staying away from daycare, consider the everyday costs of food and activities for you and your child. Being a stay-at-home parent doesn’t mean you’ll avoid spending at all, but there’s a good chance you’ll spend significantly less than your daycare bill.
You’re in Control
When you’re a stay-at-home parent and you’re with your child at all times, you know what they’re learning, what they’re eating, who they’re socializing with, and how they’re feeling. You can tailor your child’s diet and learning to what you think is best.
You’re the Plan-Maker
As a stay-at-home parent, you can’t rely on anyone else to plan your child’s day. Each and every day, you’ll need to come up with meals and activities to keep your child happy and healthy. If planning is your forte, then this isn’t a con at all. However, if making the schedule for the week seems daunting to you, opting for daycare could be a better option.
It’s Hard to Earn an Income
Though it’s possible to find part-time, remote, or freelance work that you can do at home, it’s difficult to be a good stay-at-home parent and earn an income at the same time. If you’re a two-parent household, it’s easier for one of you to stay at home while the other goes to work. However, if you’re a single parent, you may have no other choice than daycare so you can work a full-time job.
Choosing between being a stay-at-home parent or sending your kids to daycare for the summer is a very personal choice with no one-size-fits-all solution. It can be a difficult situation for parents on a budget, who already struggle to make ends meet every month. If you need extra cash to supplement your income or pay for daycare through the summer months, AmeriCash Loans is here. Simply apply online or in-store today and have your cash as soon as tomorrow. Our convenient payment plans will fit right into your budget, so paying back what you owe doesn’t have to stress you out.