NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Having a child is an emotional event, just as going back to work after having that child is a very emotional decision.
So what's the best way to ensure your child has the best care?
We tried to break down the numbers for you, to see if it can help you make a decision that will never be easy.
After calling various daycares in Hampton Roads, the average rate in our area is about $7 an hour. That becomes about $275 a week for one child or about $14,000 a year.
For Beth Hickman -- a new mom who wanted to keep her real estate career -- despite a deployed husband, she chose the live-in au pair program.
With AuPairCare of Hampton Roads, the numbers reveal a similar report, according to local director Michelle Creelman.
"Host families pay about $8 an hour for live-in childcare, which the Department of State regulates with a maximum of 10 hours a day and 45 hours per week. The cost includes the agency fee and the weekly stipend paid directly to the au pairs ($195.75) program," said Creelman.
She adds, "Fees include an in-person English interview by our overseas partners, background and health check, travel to and from the U.S. medical insurance and three days of training before the AP arrival to host families home that includes Red Cross CPR/first aid training, driving safety and cultural/childcare expectations. AuPairCare also provides local support and 24 hours emergency support. The J-1 visa requires participants, au pairs, to earn 60 hours or 6 credits of continuing education and an accredited institution. AuPairs can extend for six, nine, or 12 months after a successful year."
The nanny rate for one child in Hampton Roads is about $12 an hour according to payscale.com. That is about $25,000 a year for one child.
We also interviewed Phillip Maliniak of Virginia Beach Financial Planning who says there is no perfect formula. Each family has to figure out how financially supported they are after taking away one income.
He says if you're a parent who wants to continue working, ask your employer about the culture toward parents in the workplace. They might allow you to bring your kids to work when they're sick.
"The benefits attached to working, like health insurance, may be enough of a reason to stay if it's too expensive to get on your spouse's plan," he said. "Realize that many companies are trying to attract talented 'millennials' by being more family-friendly since they know this generation is much more about life experience than they are about hours spent at work to feel accomplished."
For a list of the best places to work if you are a parent, click HERE.