Infant Daycare Costs

I am preparing myself for the shock of childcare jobs costs, but haven’t a specific number yet. Since it is very early for me to be calling places, I was hoping for some input from others in the group who are closer to using daycare, or who have other children in daycare. I’m hearing $175 a week in Mass for commercial day care centers; $150 for at home moms who can take in up to 6 children in their homes (Mass laws allow for 6 in a home, up to 2 who are children of the provider). Are these numbers in the ballpark? If so, I’m thinking au pair, which I HAVE researched, and that is between $190-205 a week. I think it will be worth the extra money (if it is indeed extra per week – obviously the extra household costs are not included in this figure).

I can not stay at home, since I make 2X what my husband does. He just finished a law degree at night, and it is important to us that he starts a legal job ASAP. We feel that if he doesn’t use this degree to change careers soon, that he will have a hard time getting a legal job after a few years off with baby. Despite our healthy income, we struggled for 7 months while my husband took a leave of absence from his job to study for finals, graduate, study for the bar exam, take the bar exam (he passed!), and do some volunteer work for legal aid. This doesn’t mean we can’t do better, but I know our costs will be going up and want to create a realistic budget.