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Kids in graduate school


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I have been admitted to a top program in my field. The stipend is fair, but not lavish. If I accept the offer, I will be moving to NYC with my husband and 1 yr old son. Does anyone else out there have experience going through graduate school with a family? How did you find living on a stipend with dependents? Right now, my biggest concern is child care costs. I have been looking into Mothers' Day Out programs, as well as part-time day care. If you have a spouse/SO, did he/she work? Or did your spouse take care of the child and other domestic duties? What should one expect to pay for childcare?

Anyone who has any experience with these sorts of matters, please post or PM me!!

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I have just finished a master's while going through a divorce. I have found it's actually been helpful for me to have the scheduling flexibility (I can take off when he gets sick, have holidays off with him- although mine is school-aged, so it's different). Not bad though... it's a good time to go a little thin on money when your kid(s) are young; better to set yourself up for a good career when they're older. I will probably enjoy having a little more extra cash in the coming years, but I haven't minded it so much for the past couple. Actually, I really must not mind having little money because I am applying to doctoral programs for next fall. Good luck! It's fun being a parent and a grad student!

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Childcare in the city is expensive. If you're from here and have family it's a lot easier. Even then, my wife is going to stay home when our child arrives in June. As much as it will be a struggle if she worked the money would go in one hand and out another. And we don't even live in the city.

Bargain daycare up there goes for between 250 and 350 a week. There are waiting lists for the good programs too. It's not at all unheard of for people to drop 500-700 a week on "tuition". These are people though who are trying to get their kids into 30K a year pre-K.

What I would do is call places on Monday in the places you are looking into the live, ask if they have openings and how much they charge. You'll get an idea of how much you'll be paying. You may do a little better if you don't need it 5 days a week or 10 hours a day because you're not going to be in class or teaching or otherwise working on that kind of schedule.

Also what does your husband do? If he has a well-paying job then obviously this will all become much easier.

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Hey non humilis mulier. I just noticed this thread. I'm in my second-year of a PhD program and have a school-aged child. I'm afraid I can't offer any info. about daycare b/c my daughter was already in school by the time I started the PhD, but there are LOTS of parents of babies and toddlers at my uni and they all seem to be doing just fine! It is definitely more work, and a LOT more of a juggling act, than just being in school as a non-parent. I've truly enjoyed it, though. In my case, having a supportive spouse has been a key factor, but I do know other people who even manage as single grad-student parents (personally I don't know how they do it, but they do).

So I guess I haven't really provided any advice at all, but just wanted to offer encouragement and wish you all the best, from one grad-student-mom to another! Good luck!

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I got my undergrad degree as a single parent, and about to head off to a graduate program with my family including my husband and our 4 kids. For both of these adventures as a family in academia, I found that attending a school with family housing was key. It creates a really engaged and mutually supportive community, and you can get your rent (and usually most of your utilities) covered with financial aid. We are planning to take out a loan for the entire first year's rent, and hope that my husband will have found employment by then so we aren't going too deeply into debt. I am willing to take on the debt if necessary though. It is an investment in our future. Our kids are all in school at this point so daycare is no longer an issue. For my undergrad degree, having an on-site daycare with a grant program was also critical.

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I'm going into my PhD with 2 kids (3 and 1). Luckily my husband has a good job (he's a prof actually! LOL) so daycare costs aren't an issue as we are already paying them now. In fact it will be better my my oldest will be in school come Sept.

My plan is to work at least 9-5 during the week, as though it were a job and keep weekends free for family time. I'd rather pull long days (possibly later than 5) to keep the weekends sacred. This is what my husband currently does, getting up at 4am to do his research.

This worked quite well for me in my Masters (no kids then, but I liked to have time to myself on weekends).

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I have 3 kids and a husband who came along for the ride. My kids are older, the youngest was in 4th grade when I started. It is tough but doable. The bad part is the cost of living. I got into a sweet program in Chicago but turned it down in favor of middle of nowhere. It was about the same stipend but there was no way we could afford Chicaog on it. Which was a bummer because it was a better program.

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I don't know how much this would cost in NYC, but one thing I've heard people discuss in Boston when talking about childcare affordability is a "nanny share", in which you and a couple of other families jointly hire a nanny to take care of the kids, and split the costs. One of my close friends who is a nanny in Boston (and is the one who first explained the concept of nanny shares to me) says that a typical wage for a nanny here is around $18/hour, and covering half of a typical individual health care premium would be, say, $1500/year, which comes to approximately $37.5k total for full-time care (and presumably accordingly less for part-time care). Split that three ways with two other families and each is paying $12.5k/year (the same math for half-time care would be 18k wages +1.5k health insurance divided three ways = $6.5k). Which is less than daycare for one kid costs around here. If the math works out similarly in NYC, this might be something to look into.

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