Should you stay at home with your baby?

Personal finance reporter, Jim Gallagher, of the Post-Dispatch looks into the financial impact of staying at home or returning to work once you start a family.

In St. Louis County, a year of care in someone else’s home averages $6,650, according to Child Care Aware, an advocacy group for parents. In a child care center, the average is $10,550 per year, assuming a 50 weeks of care. The price is lower in other parts of the metro area, and the cost goes down slightly for older children.

Some parents pay a lot more. High quality infant care in a center costs $15,000 to $18,000, says Steve Zwolak, director of the University City Child Center. “You may be able to find it for $12,000,” he says.

Read the entire article and see how to get a rough idea of the costs on both sides at the business section of