Tuesday, January 27, 2009

songbird asks, SarcastiCarrie cannot answer

songbird asked: what if you can't find childcare that costs less than what you would make working? what if childcare costs all of your take home pay?

Well, now, isn't that a rotten situation. It's a dilly of a pickle, if you will. Let's take it as a series of questions.

  • Is there someone else in the family bringing home a pay check?
  • Do you like your job?
  • Is your job a stepping stone to later rewards (like training to be a doctor or an architect with a low salary now that will pay better later once certification is attained)?
  • Does your job provide some other benefit that you want/need (health insurance, tuition reimbursement, 401(k) match)?
  • Do you qualify for child care assistance through a state agency?
  • Do you want to stay home?
  • Can the other parent (if there is one) stay home?
  • Can you get a better job (one you like more or pays better or is closer to home)?
  • Can you get training in a reasonable length of time so that you can get a different job?

Depending on the answers, you have your answer. It would be a shame if someone wanted to work but couldn't because of the financials of it. This is one of those situations where meaningful, odd-hour (so childcare wouldn't be an issue) part-time work would be awesome. But, as I've said, those jobs are few and far between.

I have known people who were teachers going to work for a Sylvan Learning Center in the off-hours, and I've known fancy downtown accountants take part-time jobs doing the books for small offices in the suburbs (and they save the time and expense of commuting). But, depending on your skill set, this may not be an option, and it certainly isn't a very good option if you don't want to stay home.

Comments, anyone?

1 comment:

  1. my point was really that situations are often not black and white and I don't like to tell people that they "should" work. if you force a single mom to work, she might end up with substandard child care which could cause more problems than them being on welfare in the first place. I notice from previous posts that you're a libertarian, but issues like this (child care) are exactly the reason I believe in a pretty extensive social safety net. (not saying you don't believe in one, but typically libertarians don't.)