Got Daycare?

Back in the day img_0185.jpgwhen I lived in Redfin’s birthplace, I saw a lot of residences that advertised child care.  When some of my co-workers began talking about opening their own in-home day care centers I wondered how extensive (and profitable) the phenomenon was. But since I don’t have kids I didn’t wonder for long and moved on to wonder about other things. Then two years ago I moved back to the Bay Area and I began to notice the infamous in-home day care centers around Oakland, including one around the corner from me (pictured here right). This home at 2219 12th Ave. used to look like a big pink barn before it sold this past June for $425,000. The new owners did what many an excited new homeowner would do: they applied a fresh coat of paint (it is now a more demure yellow than its previous screaming pink), landscaped the front yard and re-vamped an entryway. Oh yeah, and they put in a daycare.  At 1691 SF, 3bd/1.5ba I guess it has enough room for little ones to run around in. But after reading a recent Oakland Tribune article about the shortage of quality and affordable daycare in California, I’m back to wondering:

1) What’s more popular: “in-home” daycare or “commercial” child care centers?

2) How much are folks paying for child care?

 And more salient to this blog but probably much more difficult to find an answer to:

3) What kind of effect is this soft real estate market having on in-home daycare and homebuying, if any? E.g., can operating an in-home facility help offset the cost of buying a home?

4) And finally, I’ve just gotta wonder: if you didn’t have kids could you afford to buy a house? And conversely, does homeownership preclude some of us from having kids due to the cost? I know it’s not an either/or question for many folks, but I feel that this actually comes up for people in expensive places like the BA.

The OT article noted that average child care costs about $10,000 per year at a licensed facility in California. On the high end, at the Montessori schools in Oakland I looked up (1 in Rockridge and 1 in the Dimond District) tuition is about $20,000 per year per child for full-time care/school. (These rates seem to be national as I have a friend in New Jersey who is spending over $23,000 a year at a Montessori school for her 6-month old).

What about you? Got kids in day care? Was it difficult to find? How do you feel about the quality of care? And what share of your income goes to child care?

Also, do you notice in-home child care around your ‘hood? Are in-home facilities found around the Bay Area or is this an Oakland thing? Let me know, even if you don’t have kids/child care! Thanks!