Childcare Options on STX
I am new to this forum but have read through the whole site and a lot of the threads over the last week. I have searched for information on childcare and what is commonly available on the island but don't find that to be a frequent topic. Is it common to have a full-time or part-time nanny? Or if not, are there many daycare options? If nannies are common, can you help with an idea of normal salary ranges? Thank you for any feedback!
most people i talk to usually have family take care of the kids until they are old enough and potty trained for daycare or school. some schools start at k-3, maybe even k-2 but there is a cost. not sure how much though
That makes sense. With the population size I thought it might be a stretch for nannies. We would be moving with no family ties, one child who would be school age but the other may not be. I was trying to weigh options of staying home at first or if it would be possible to work right away. Is it difficult to find a babysitter just for an evening or day here and there? Or is that easier to work out once you start getting to know neighbors, etc?
Here the cost of living is on the high side, and the wages for many jobs tend to be on the low side, so for many families it makes financial sense to have one parent provide childcare while the other works, but that is not always the case. I know a handful of families who use full or part time nannies, especially in homes where both parents have professional careers that net enough income to offset the cost.
Nannies generally charge between $9-$15/hr for the first child, with a couple of bucks added per hour for each additional child. We went the part time nanny route of 15 to 20 hrs per week. When our first child was born, we had a nanny who was great with babies, and would also clean the house and do laundry for around $10/hr. It worked out well for the first year, at which point we switched to someone who did not clean, but was more interactive in terms of going on walks, swimming, and doing art projects, etc.
There are daycare/pre-k options available for any age as well. The prices range from around $350 to $600/ month or more depending on hours and what is offered. Of the schools that we liked, most were in the $450-$550 per month range for 7:30 to 3:30 M-F, with additional fees tacked on for longer days. The one we choose accepted our first at 18 mos. He had to be walking to start, but they helped out with the potty training once he was ready.
When we had one in school and the other too young, my wife worked from home and we had a nanny part time again. Even though it was a financial strain, we made it work.
Babysitters are also available here. Just ask around once you get here and settle in a little.
Have you reached out to the Tamarind mom's group on STX?
We were only on STX for a few months after my Daughter was born and found a lot more options on STT - but I was able to find a couple of fantastic sitter options so I could run errands and get our move taken care of when we needed.
I know a couple good babysitters on STX who are available during the day.
And yes, the Tamarind Moms group is a great way to find sitters. Just be careful about screening and so on, some are better than others, like anywhere!
We are in early stages of planning a move, but determining when we'll have 1 1/2 or 2 incomes (right away or later) certainly affects our budget and options. This has been very helpful. I am also glad to hear of a mom's group... hopefully that will be a way to get introduced to some others with kids of similar age. It's a little scary moving somewhere without a support structure, but I think worth it for the overall experience. Thank you all very much!!