Sigh. Every time I look into the cost of daycare centers, I get the nagging feeling that we'd be better off if I remained at home. This doesn't mean, of course, that I'll stop looking--whether I find a marvelous, well-priced daycare or ammunition for the stay at home mom cause, I'm benefiting, right? But the search does get painful.
Today I called Christ the King Community Daycare Center at 68-02 Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village, NY. I've heard good things about this center, which is on the grounds of Christ the King High School. Plus they have a website and, I don't know about you, but I trust something more when they care enough to put in on the web (that's where we all get our info now, right?).
While Christ the King's website it pretty sad content-wise, at least you can see that the school as a whole is a professional operation. Click on the tab that says "Daycare" in the left-hand menu and you'll be able to see the daycare's monthly newsletter as well as their calendar and some basic info.
Now, I've also heard that the monthly costs at Christ the King can be pretty high and that there is a huge wait list. The cost issue was confirmed when I called up the center: it would be $850/month to put my infant son in daycare for 8 hours a day, 3 days a week. While I was told they work on a monthly contract basis and don't have a per hour cost breakdown to give out, I did the math and calculated that a full week of infant daycare (40 hours) would equal $1350/month. While less expensive than a good nanny (think Mary Poppins-like), who can ask upward of $20/hr ($3200/month), this is very comparable to many Manhattan and other metro-area daycare centers who I've found can run around $1600-$2000/month.
The wait list at Christ the King wasn't a big issue, however, at least for infants. I was told to call back, four or five months in advance, as infants move very quickly from their first infant room (for infants who aren't crawling) to their second (for infants who do more than sleep and poop.) I'm sure you'd want to call even earlier for toddlers, however.
So, what is my final verdict? I'm actually not certain. I plan to swing by the center sometime in December to give it a look-see and determine if its safe, wonderful and, ultimately, worth the cost. I'll be certain to report my findings here and in the meanwhile, I'll keep searching. Oh the lengths we mamas will go for our little ones. :)