I agree with pattiG, if it is the end of the road and you are going to have to go into debt to take them to childcare, the “best” centers really shouldn’t be top priority and as long as the basics are met - safe, workable hours, clean, child does well in the environment - the differences at a young age for good, better, best centers just don’t really seem to have
Much of an influence later on in education.
The thing about college student loans is that a college degree is statistically proven to increase earning potential over time, thus the thought of it being “good debt” that will be able to be paid off with better jobs that require specialized degrees and more skills. The differences in a toddler’s preschool aren’t going to have those same results. I do not see a debt for a college degree and debt for a “better” preschool as the same.
It seems that if all you need is a cushion of $200-300/mo that could easily be found with a couple side hussles. Work a small part time job on Saturdays or a few nights a week, sell things on Etsy, drive for uber, find jobs on Craigslist, babysit for friends nights/weekends (then your child could even have a fun play date), the opportunities are out there to avoid debt and still work full time.