Daycare? Holy Hell!

Daycare? Holy Hell!

I'm 4 months "with child" and pretty clueless, but friends are suggesting I check out daycare now since I can't afford to take any more time off than FMLA will provide (and even then I'm going to try to negotiate working from home because 6 weeks unpaid makes me terrified).. Anyway, so i'm looking for daycare for infants as early as 3 months, and they exist, and some of them are progressive enough for me (not plopping the kids down in front of the TV, not evangelical)- the best being one associated with the University i work for.

But oh. my. god. the cost. Take into account, please, the cost of living where i am may be different from you, but we're talking about $500 a month for daycare. I'm wound up in Credit Counseling for 2 more years for that amount per month, and we just bought a house, so my husband will take the burden, and he does have a decent income, but it just seems like that's going to be the major financial pain.

I'll put the disclaimer that the cost is worth it for quality care, and probably if i looked at their expenses and understand that it's not just going into some fat wallet I'd be more sympathetic. And i don't feel like they're an exploitative industry or anything, this is just a necessary evil, and i think learning balance is a poor skill.

I have no intention of giving up my job, so it's necessary, and we do not qualify for assistance of any kind. Do any of you have tips, tricks and wisdom that will help with being "baby poor"? I'm going to look for alternative daycares, obviously, but this is quite an expensive shock, especially for a couple that was planning on being blissfully child-free :)

thanks..

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