Struggling with whether to keep teaching or stay home and do daycare...

Sara - posted on 01/01/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Hello,



I am currently a reading teacher and I also have an 11 month old son. Right now, I am really struggling with balancing work, being a mother, a wife, and running a household. I feel like I am constantly missing my son, and then when I am at home with him, I feel like I don't get to spend quality time with him because I am trying to cook, clean, and organize my house, etc. I have been considering switching to be a at-home daycare provider. We can not afford for me to just stay home without working, so I feel like this might be a good comprimise.



My worry, however, is that will I like doing daycare after having my summers and holidays completely off while being a teacher, not to mention that fact that I can take a sick day here and there when I need to. I also don't think I will want to do daycare once my kids are all in school, and will it be extremely hard to get back into teaching if I take a 5-10 year break?



I'm really struggling with this decision. I see so many pros and cons for both decisions. However, my love for my baby and the time I would get to spend with him is currently in the lead. Any advice or opinions you can share with me to help me with this decision would be great.



Thanks!!

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KellyAnn - posted on 01/13/2009

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H i . I'm sure you got a lot of opinions on this. I did this for a year and was even more worn out than before. It has its pros and cons. My house was always clean because it had to be with people there every day. I did only work Mon-Fri but I had a hard time with parents always being late to pick up. After awhile I felt totally worthless. YOu never leave your house so you're never leaving where you work. At school even tough I was teaching kindergarten I still had adult interaction with the other teachers. in the daycare I only saw and spoke to adults in the morning and at pick up.



Good luck with your decision.

Kim - posted on 01/20/2009

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Wow!! It is so sad to me that we even have to think about all of this. It would be so great to be back in the 50's when the choice was already made for us!!! it always seems that women have to do it all!!! I used a home daycare for my youngest son and she too only took teachers kids and was off when I was off. That seems to be the best option for you if you are seriously considering the daycare. I have a neighbor who also started a home daycare and about two years later had to go back into teaching and didn't have any problems.

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Souzi - posted on 02/25/2013

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hi i think take your time for your decision because when you make daycare your time olso is full and your responsability is diffirent and harder try to make daycare in summer then see by yourself which decision is better for you and good luck

Brenda - posted on 01/17/2009

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It is great to see all of the opinions on here! I was in the same boat several years ago. My daughter was born in November so I had to finish out the school year(starting back when she was 2 months old). We had a great daycare home provider who only took teachers' kids but she could not take our daughter the following Fall. At that point we decided that we would look for a house to buy and I would stay home with the baby and take in a few extra kids.

It was tough and we've gone through patches of time when I haven't had kids here at all. My daughter is now 5 and starting Kindergarten in the Fall. My son will be 3 in April. I take one extra child. I has been a big stressful, financially. But, for me, it was the best choice I could make.

Now, I'm getting ready to be re-certified and look for a new teaching job in a couple years. For me the sacrifice has been worth it.

Ashley - posted on 01/17/2009

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I was a preschool teacher at a private preschool / child care center. One my my students families asked me if I would like to watch their son out of my house. I was pregnant at the time and my husbnd and I were having a hard time figuring out if I should go back to work or not. The students mom was also expecting her 2nd child. They knew they didn't want to stay at the school for a few different reasons. I have now being staying home with their son since September 2nd. I had my son on Dec. 1st and they have been nothing but good to me. They had their daughter Dec. 29th and she will start coming to my house April 20th when her mom goes back to work. Right now I am making a little less then I was teacher but when their daughter comes I will be making the same. They pay me holidays, vacation time, and they allow me to take off when I need to. I can bring their kid any where I need to go. I My son and theirs both take naps from 12-3 and so do I. If I need to get something done I can do it at nap or I can even have their son help me. I can't imagine working out of the house anymore. I work rom 9:30 to 5. I even start dinner before he leaves for the day. I have insurance through my husband and I just put money away each month for retirment. I know it is realy hard to make the decision and everyone is different I just couldn't get used to the idea that I was raising 12 other kids when someone else wa rasing my kid. Best of luck

Laura - posted on 01/13/2009

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I actually stopped teaching and cared for other children in my home for one year to bring in money to support our home. It was the most difficult year of our lives. My son was 18 months old when we decided to care for other children in our home. I cared for 3 other children who were close in age to our son, 2 girls and 1 boy. The year started off great, in August, and by the end of January two families weren't paying us and they were dropping off and picking up their children at their convenience, that at times I would have children in my home as early as 6:30 am and as late as 7pm. I had a contract signed by all parties explaining payment due dates, amount of payment, pick-up and drop off times etc. which didn't matter to these two families. We became their door mat for their children and I spent extra money on groceries that we ever could have imagined too. So that is just a bit of my experience as a stay at home day care provider. The other piece too, is that the little boy that I took care of, whose parents were good to us, did not get along with our son at all. He spent most of the day hitting my son and taking my son's toys from him each time my son picked up something to play with. It was a miserable experience and very difficult to make lemonade from lemons.

User - posted on 01/12/2009

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I thought about an at home daycare and realized how much I like teaching in a school. I enjoy finishing the day at 3:09, having winter break, spring break, and summers off. The pay is better as a teacher. I've learned to do what I can at school and the rest will get done when I can. My two kids went through daycare and had the best experience. They are like family to us. I would never change a thing about sending them.
Good luck with whatever decision you make.

[deleted account]

You should look into watching only teachers kids. I know that there are a few ex-teachers here that do just that. They take kids only on school days. No holidays or summers, or even spring break. That way, she is getting kids that have involved parents, she knows their schedule, and there are MANY teachers that would be glad for your help.

Nancy - posted on 01/11/2009

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One more thought...  One of my friends works at a preschool where she can take her children free of charge.  yes the income is less but there are no childcare expenses.  Like others have said, you may be surprised where you can cut expenses.

Sara - posted on 01/11/2009

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I'm really getting a lot of great points here. Thanks for both sides...for a while there I was thinking I was never going to get any pro-daycare opinions. I am going to of course finish out this year teaching. So...I have basically 5 months to form a decision. I know its going to be hard, but reading other people's points help me think through everything.



To answer a few questions-

I don't think shared teaching or part-time teaching is an option. I would need a full pay check, whether that be full teaching or full-daycare. Taking summers off of daycare could possibly be an option, if I could supplement enough extra income coaching.



Another question I have for those who took time off to stay at home or do daycare...was it hard to get back into teaching once you had been away from the profession?

Nancy - posted on 01/11/2009

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Is job sharing an option for you?  I was able to do that and keep some of my benefits and that was a real life saver.  See what you can find within your district.  Not actually leaving the district was a big help to me.

Mandee - posted on 01/11/2009

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Of course there are pros and cons to both opions and a decision like this is a very hard.  My advice is to do the home daycare If you are financially able to stay home and if staying home to raise your  child/children is something you really feel pasionate about.  I am now teaching Kindergarten but, I stayed home with my three boys until they all went to school and I have never regretted it.  I choose to only care for teahers kids and that seemed to work out well.  I live in a small area so I knew who I would be getting, but you aslo have to right, just like the parents do in choosing you,  to have a trial period to make sure the child fits into your setting also.  I asked that my parents have a backup for emergencies and days off. This never proved to be a problem. Fortunately I was not often sick and if I or any of my children were, I just gave the parents a heads up and let them make the decision as to if they still wanted to bring their child.  Like I said, my parents had a back up, so it was never a problem. You just have to be clear upfront about what you want in terms of hours, pay, and days off. My experience was very positive.  Good luck in whatever decision you make!

User - posted on 01/11/2009

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Sara, If you are financially able to stay home and your husband and you are in agreement, I say do the daycare. I stayed home for five years, never regretted it, started teaching again after my youngest started school. I still took sick days and time off. I just let my parents have as much notice as possible to make other arrangements.

Connie - posted on 01/11/2009

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I am in your same boat.  I have a 4 year old and twins that just turned 1.  We have to have my income, but I thought of just keeping teacher's kids that way I would still be off in the summer.  Only bad thing is that there is also no income in the summer.  I am still teaching currently.  I teach 3-5 year olds with special needs.  Let me know what you decide.



 



Connie

Jill - posted on 01/10/2009

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I feel so lucky that as a Canadian I get a year of maternity leave. I am just now looking for great daycare for my daughter for when I go back. I have chosen a parent of one of my students as I've taught her kids in the past and they are wonderful individuals, my cousin's kid went to her as well and she came highly recommended.

I was also raised by a teacher. My mom took several courses early on in my childhood. I remember hanging around after school while my mom got things done, 'helping' in the classroom every August to get the classroom ready; it was great - I never felt I missed out on time with her and I loved my summers, March break and xmas holidays with her too. My mom has expressed guilt to my sister and I for being a working mom and having felt that she was unfair to us at home after dealing with kids all day, but I assured her, and I assure you, that I NEVER saw it that way at all. Yes, at times she was harder on us than she was on them, but it just meant she loved us more and wanted more for us. I had so much quality time with my mom that quantity was not an issue. And I am so proud of how my mom balance being a great teacher and an even better mom. (And now that she's retired (since the age of 53), she can enjoy a FULL pension, and FULL benefits while playing with her grandchildren because she never took time off).

Misty - posted on 01/09/2009

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I struggled too when my daughter was smaller. The best thing I did for her was to get her in a great program. She had friends and fun and looked forward to going. I was able to work and have grown up time too. The facility is the key. Today I see her compared to some her age who were at home. A few of them with mom's who did a small day care at home. She is ahead in language, social skills, and independence. This is such a personal choice. I can only share what I have observed. Ask me anything. Good luck.

Julie - posted on 01/09/2009

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I am currently a home day care provider and was a teacher.  I have to tell you a few flaws in the choice.  First of all, home day care attendance is scarse everyweher.  It is next to impossible to keep a regular balance of income.  So if you are counting a stable income this is not the job to count on.  The economy is terrible and it is reflecting in the enrollment numbers.  Many providers are quitting and hoping for steady incomes.   Also in this field parents are not in the market for quality ... it is NEVER about quality it is about price.  They will chose the lowest price day care, always! So if you think maybe you could charge a bit more because you are a licensed day care... it most likely won't help you.  The industry is to frugal to care.  This is a really tough job to maintain.  I wish you luck in your choices, but this is just a few of the downfalls of doing day care.  There are SO many more, but my first concern is income stability and if you need it.  You also no longer have adult contact, you will feel stapled to your home when you really want to leave because you have to many children to go somewhere.  Or!  You have  a parent that frowns upon you leaving with them or it just may be your area rules do not allow to drive a day care child ever. 



My best advice is thoroughly research it. 

User - posted on 01/09/2009

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I don't think the rest of who choose to stay in the profession, are saying that we put our job above our family or children. Many of don't have the choice and need the income. This is what Sara is looking for. Advice about which would be better for her to do....work at home or at school.  I am sure she knows how rewarding it is to be home w/her child or she wouldn't be considering leaving her job. However, I am in the same position....I don't have the choice to not work. I have realized that it’s not always about how much time you spend with your child; it’s what you do w/the time you have! Many parents, grandparents, or other family members are at home with their children, but aren't always providing the best environment for them. I know you are trying to help and aren’t passing judgment, but your message comes off as if mothers who choose to go back to work aren’t making the correct choice.



 

Heather - posted on 01/09/2009

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I always thought I wanted to do in home day care, but the instability of it does scare me.  This year was my first as a mom and a teacher and I decided to make the switch to part time teaching.  It obviously was a big pay cut, so I am also an independent consultant on the side to help supplement.  I LOVE my decision.  It keeps me in the teaching field, lets me get out of the house, I still get the benefits and stability of a paycheck I can count on...but best of all, I am home with my son more than I am away raising other people's kids.  I know that I am lucky to have this opportunity, but maybe you could look into the option in your area.  Trust me, financially it has not been easy, but you'd be surprised how much you can cut when you don't have the extra money!

Courtney - posted on 01/08/2009

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This is an option I have been faced with for two years now!  I have a two and a half year old and took his first year off of teaching...still on COBRA for insurance, and ended up watching another child in my home who came 4 days a week.  We couldn't afford me staying home forever, so I retruned to work 3/4 time as a certified title position. My first year back, I got pregnant and then was facing havingto send TWO children to day care.  So, this year I am off again, with two children.  I am subbing at the schools which brings in more money than I thought, and my husband and I found some short term health insurance that is only $225 for our entire family ($500 deductible, covers everything but maternity).  I am still unsure what I will be doing next year, probably going back...but I feel the two year I have taken off, even with a little bit of working, have helped my "I want/need to be with my kids" feelings!  I started the daycare route and after registering with the state and being almost ready to open...I realized it was not what I needed and would probably make my issues worse (for all the reasons others listed). 
I would suggest talking to your principal about your situation (I have worked for two different principals who were sooo wonderful to work with and the one even created a position for me because she didn't want me to leave, yet understood my motherly needs), maybe you could do some 1/2 or 3/4 time position and still be in your school district??  If you're a reading teacher, maybe your position is one they wouldn't mind breaking into two half time positions??

Nicole - posted on 01/08/2009

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I am in the exact same situation.  I just had my first child 3 months ago and am going back to work Jan. 20th and absolutely dreading it.  I don't want to leave my son.  I fear missing out on milestones and spending time with him.  I can not just stay home either because of our finances.  I would need to do something in order to earn a decent income.  My sister stayed home until her kids were in kindergarten and she ran a daycare from her home. She made decent money, but I am not sure if I want to watch other people's kids 5 days a week, but I have considered the option as well. It worked well for my sister, but I agree with you in the fact that giving up summers and holidays would be a negative.  I am also afraid of giving up my job since I love the grade I teach.  Let me know what you decide and if you receive any great advice that would help me as well.  I

Jessica - posted on 01/03/2009

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I thought about the same thing at one point, but then I thought about never having my house to myself, never having a week where I didn't clean something, my kids would always have to share their space, and yes-it is soooo hard to be sick when so many families are counting on you. Although, being a SAHM looks so good to me at times, I love the insurance, vacation, having my kids in my school etc. that my job provides. Good luck on your decision.

User - posted on 01/03/2009

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Ditto! The daycare provider I am using is a home day care, as well. He husband is a teacher and has referred many of his co-workers to his wife, for that same reason...she wants summers and "teacher holidays" off. She does have one or two children who aren't teacher's kids, but explians to them that she doesn't offer care in the summer or on "teacher breaks". It works out nice for her. We found her becuase she is a friend of the family and lucked out that she runs her care that way. You may find teachers will use you because in looking for care centers for my son, I found that many won't hold a spot over the summer or if they do....they charge a fee.

Laura - posted on 01/03/2009

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I am a special ed teacher who returned to work...but in looking around for daycare for my child I met a daycare provider who only takes teacher's kids. She doesn't run her daycare during the summer or during school breaks. I don't know if that might be a compromise for you. It does mean less money, but more time with your kids.

Kelly - posted on 01/02/2009

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Another reason to toss into your brain is the type of children you would care for. When I was looking for day care, I definitely did not want to go to a home where the caretaker also had their own children. I didn't know if the caretaker could truly divide their attention between my baby and theirs. I mean, if they both fall and get hurt, who honestly wouldn't help their own child first? between my friends and I, we all agreed we would never take our baby to a caretaker with her own child in the home. Good luck with your decision. I know it's really hard.

Sara - posted on 01/02/2009

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Thanks so much for your input. Everytime I get a different person's opinion, it makes me think about more things. I'm still struggling, and I feel like I change my mind daily, and sometimes even hourly! :) I know that I will keep teaching this year and most likely next year regardless, but when the time comes when I have my 2nd baby (hopefully in a year and a half or so), I know the decision will get even harder. We'll see...I'll keep debating, keep the suggestions coming please:)

Allison - posted on 01/02/2009

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I have tossed this around as well, and I decided against it for several reasons. Some of these sound like I'm putting money over family, but I think the rest make up for them. :)



1.) Taking several years off from teaching negatively impacts your pay because you will be farther behind in the pay scale than you would otherwise be for the rest of your career.



2.) Your retirement account will be negatively impacted with the 5-10 year loss of contribution and compounding interest.



3.) You lose your health benefits.



4.) To be a licensed daycare provider, you are held to cleaning and nutritional standards that add to your already long day.



5.) You lose your breaks. For me, this is the best quality time with my kids!



Finally, you expressed concern about quality vs. quantity time with your son. If you're watching a bunch of other kids, would that be quality time, or would he be constantly competing for your attention? Personally, I find that the time I spend away from my boys motivates me to make quality time with them when we are together, even if that means we eat chicken nuggets and the carpet goes unvacuumed for a few more days. A friend told me once that they remember those times, not that the living room had no clutter or the mirror was spot-free.



Just a side note - do you use electronic bill pay through your bank? This has been a huge time-saver!

User - posted on 01/02/2009

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I am a special education teacher and have had the same thoughts. However, I feel the same way other two posts before me....day care is full time and year-round. It will probably be more than 8-10 hours. Most centers are open from 7-6 and many parents may still need those hours even in a home setting.



I decided to make some changes at work. I actually started making these changes when I was pregnant last school year so it would become more of a habit once I came back from leave. I started to just cut back. My day is officially done at 3:30. Unless I have a meeting or a reason to stay, I am out the door. I go in about a half hour early to prep for the day...that's it. At first, I thought I wouldn't get my work done, but I actually found that I got more work done w/less hours than compared to before when I would stay late. I also learned to say no to extra activities and/or responsibilities. At first I felt guilty, but after a while I realized for the 1st time in my carrier I was thinking of what was best for me and my family.



Also, cut back at home. Do only the required house work (i.e. cleaning up after dinner) and do maybe one small chore a night (i.e. one load of laundry...that's it). As the previous post said, your house may not be as clean or neat as you like, but when you look back on these years you'll be glad you spent time w/your son, rather than cleaning.



Take care!

[deleted account]

I do not think that you are alone in thinking that but there are a few things to consider. Daycare is a 8-10 hour day with other people's children; payment for services is sketchy because, unfortunately, many people stiff home daycare providers; you do not get benefits; sick days what sick daysl you open your home to illness and people you may not want around your children if you really knew their background; and let's not forget dirty diapers.



On the plus side, you get more time at home with your children, you don't necessarily have to dress up for work; no standardized testing, report cards, or running records to be done and no battles for the copy machine:).

Danielle - posted on 01/01/2009

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I've had similar thoughts myself. I choose to stay in the teaching field because of some of the things you mentioned and also the security of it, retirement benefits, health care etc... I've actually cut back on what I demand of myself each day as far as my housework goes. The house may not be as organized or spotless as we would like, but I spend quality care with my son and that matters most. Good Luck to you

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