a transatlantic mommy / mummy blog – my kids say "tomato" & "to-mah-to"

Getting crafty (and cheap) for Valentine’s Day

So, not ready to splash out for Valentine’s Day or looking for unique (and cheap) ideas for yourself and the kiddos? Well, you’re in luck. While I’m not a creative genius – I know people who are and they have some brilliant ideas to share with you this year.

To take care of those pesky kiddy card exchanges – let me present Valentine’s Day card printables! Ta-dah!

 

Source: therubberpunkin.blogspot.com via Jackie on Pinterest

Source: mufninc.blogspot.com via Jackie on Pinterest

Source: hellolucky.com via Jackie on Pinterest

And for adults… Martha Stewart has some printables for you too!

Source: marthastewart.com via Jackie on Pinterest

Source: dailysuze.com via Jackie on Pinterest

And should you consider throwing a Valentine’s party -here are some super cute owl themed Valentine’s printables to get you started…

Source: myowlbarn.com via Jackie on Pinterest

And last but not least – my very favorite cheap gift idea for the holiday…. (drum-roll please….) is paint-chip bookmarks

Source: Uploaded by user via Jackie on Pinterest

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6 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Childcare costs in Chicago and London

So childcare is not one of those things you necessarily want to scrimp on – you want the best quality of care for your child afterall. However – childcare costs, especially in large cities make finding the right solution very challenging.

When we lived in a suburban city in the US childcare costs were about $300-$400 USD/month at really nice daycare centers and in-home childcare (childminders) would be less than that. {total costs approx $5,000 USD / yr per child}

When we lived in an urban city in the US, in Chicago we were looking at about $215-$350 USD/ wk for up to 10 hrs per day 52 weeks a year. {total costs approx $15,000 USD / yr per child}

So if you have 2 kids in daycare in an urban city like Chicago, you’d need to make $40,000 / yr pre-tax at your job to come home with no money. Considering that – it’s no wonder that many women take a couple years out of work or stay out altogether to raise their children and watch them instead of paying for daycare.

Here’s an infographic I found interesting on this subject:

ChildCare FINAL Design

So having lived in Chicago I new childcare would be expensive in London but I was still kinda shocked about how much it costs.

If you’re looking at one of the private nurseries or daycare centers in central London they range from 250 – 400 GBP per week, with most being around the 350 mark. What does that mean in dollars? Well, it means 18,200 GBP which is about $30,000 USD/ child per year.

Ok sure – living in England you get paid in GBP not USD, but in a way it’s equivalent, because your salary is adjusted when you move to account for that. So for example if you’re making $40,000 USD in Chicago which is enough to pay for 2 kids in daycare and nothing more – then in the UK you’d be making 25,000 GBP – which is not enough for private daycare or nursery in central London.

Besides private nurseries – there are child centers and childminders (a babysitter who has an in-home small daycare). Child centers are like council run (think of it as local government run) daycare centers. These are about 200-250 GBP/week in central London. Ok great, but the waitlist for these is incredibly long. We were on some waitlists for these when we first came over – we were offered a place eventually, 10 months after we needed it. So, if you made 25,000 GBP you could probably afford a child and half at a child center.

Luckily, school starts 1 year earlier here than in the US. While Kindergarten starts at 5 in the US, Nursery starts at 3-4, and Reception at 4-5.

Ok so then you’ve got your kids in school, but what do you do if you’re a working mum, or working couple – how do you pick up the kids from school around 3? Well.. then we get into afterschool nannies, nannies and aupairs.

We had wanted to have a third child at some point – but trying to figure out how to afford it while keeping our current style of life in London has been a challenge.

How have you managed childcare? Did you find you had to stop working? How did you make it work?

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6 years ago 1 Comment Short URL
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