I finally bit the bullet and enrolled Tommy in part time day care after months of debating what to do. Early on I thought I’d be able to get my work done during nap time and evenings. But as I grew frustrated with the product I was putting out there, I knew I had to make a change. I either had to be OK with taking a step back in my career or I needed to find regular childcare for Tommy.
I originally had hoped for Tommy to start a toddler program this fall. When we were rejected by the only school he could have attended, I was heart broken. It made me resent private school institutions and I felt like I had failed Tommy as a parent. More importantly I thought of it as a career death sentence unless I wanted to hire a nanny.
I did not want to hire a nanny for a variety of reasons:
- I work from home and it would be distracting for me to be around Tommy while the nanny was there.
- I wanted Tommy to be around other kids.
- It’s expensive.
I knew I didn’t want my career to take a backseat so I chose to research my options. I thought I’d be OK working more part time but I really hate feeling like I’m not giving my career 100%. Watching Tommy at home while also working at home was no longer working for me.
Many toddler programs are only 2-3 hours and this really isn’t enough time for me on a daily basis especially if I have a shoot.
I needed something close to home for convenience as well so that if Nick needs to drop him off before work, he can. We discovered a daycare close to home that accepted part time kids from 9-3 pm. And wouldn’t you know, they had immediate openings.
I jumped at the opportunity. It is still a pricey decision but financially it’s an investment in my career as well as towards Tommy’s education.
During my research into different schools for Tommy, I realized how expensive even grade school education has become. At our last meeting with our financial advisor, we set up a MEFA U.Fund College Investing Plan account which is a tax-advantaged college investment plan, professional managed by Fidelity.
Let’s be honest, where Tommy goes to daycare or preschool is going to have minimal impact on where he ends up in life. However, our ability as parents to save money for him to use towards college will.
My parents paid for part of my college and I am lucky that I did not have a ton of loans when I graduated. I actually just paid mine off in January, 11 years post graduation. I’m hoping that by focusing on my career, I can help contribute to Tommy’s tuition which I think is likely going to be more for 1 year than my entire 4 at this rate.
My favorite part is that you can invite and friend or family member to gift to your 529 through a free, easy-to-use online service. We all have seen children who have every single toy they could possibly want and I love being able to give people the option to donate towards a college fund than a toy that Tommy will forget in a week.
See how much college will cost when you son or daughter is forecasted to begin here. For Tommy, a New England private 4 year old is predicted to cost $114,113 his freshman year and $128,362 by senior year!
Learn more about the U.Fund College Investing Plan here.
What did you choose for your childcare? Stay at home? Work from home? I don’t believe that one choice is best but you need to choose what is best for you!
This blog post is sponsored by Fidelity and the U.Fund. All thoughts and opinions are my own.