How much is too much for Daycare?

Lisa - posted on 07/02/2010 ( 343 moms have responded )

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I am about to go back to work at the end of the month, and I have my daughter enrolled in a private, in-home daycare near my home. But how much is too much?



I am in the military and have looked at base daycare, as well as other in-home providers out in town. I decided to go with this particular daycare provider for a few reasons, but I wonder if it is really worth how much I am going to be paying per month ($650/mo) considering I am planning on moving within the next year.



What are your thoughts, moms?

How much do you pay per month?

Any advice?

This conversation has been closed to further comments

343 Comments

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Celia - posted on 07/15/2010

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It depends on how much you care about the quality of care for your child. I am currently trying to figure out how to swing $940/mo for my daughter to attend a very reputable school in my area run by caring, kind people who are on the same page with me as far as my thoughts and wishes as a parent. I would suggest finding a child care center or provider that you feel is the absolute best possible provider for your family and paying whatever they ask if you can afford it at all. Your child is the most awesome responsibility you will ever have. Go with your gut, not your pocket book.

Veronica - posted on 07/15/2010

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I have an in-home child care center and I charge $10/hr or $50 flat for the day for PT and $190 a week for infants up to a year then it goes down to $180 a week for FT care. Besides my 22 month old son I only care for 2 FT and 1 PT so that I can keep the setting small (and only 1 infant at a time). I take 3 weeks vacation a year and do not charge when I take the time off and I offer 1 week off without pay but feel that you should still pay your provider if your child is sick and doesn't show up for care. They have a budget they need to meet. You do pay for what you get. I know there are other in-home care providers around me that charge $25 a day but they have to keep several children in order to meet their budget so I don't see how all their children get the attention they need from one person. Good luck with your child care provider and don't take them for granted. Remember them at Christmas and let them know how much you appreciate them with a card once in a while. =)

Nekia - posted on 07/15/2010

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Hi Lisa,
Well I guess $650/mo isn't that bad for an in-home day care. I actually have my son in an in-home daycare as well. I pay $135/wk which I think is really good. And sometimes I actually think it's better than good. This fee includes 2 meals a day plus snacks. My provider actually teaches the kids, she only has 5 kids so I really like that. She also has a back-up babysitter system, with a few other providers in the area (5-mile radius) that provide service when my provider is closed, and she pays them I don't. So I don't have to worry about taking off from work when she's closed. That might be something to consider as well. I also like the fact that they get together often and take the kids on field trips. As far as moving goes, that is definitely something to consider because it's hard to find good daycare providers and when you get a good one stick with it. I love my provider she is wonderful. However, being in the military, I understand you don't have alot of choice when it comes to moving.

Jennifer - posted on 07/15/2010

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It really depends on where you live as you notice. When we lived in St. Louis we paid $240/week which comes to about $960-$1000/month for the one month he was there before we moved to KY...now we pay $175/week for a 2 yr old which comes to about $700/week and he is there from about 8:30am-6pm...can be from 6:30-6am but its .01 miles from my work and we don't open until 8:30

Onmywaytocarolshouse - posted on 07/15/2010

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Why do you parents think that your child care provider should care for your children for 2.50 or 3.00 per hour so that you can go out and make 15. 00 to 20.00 and quite often more ! Usually you are two income families ! Is not the provider entitled to have luxuries as well.:) ! :) What are you people thinking :) ! :) Are you all that self-centered ! ? !

[deleted account]

I would have to say that $650/mo is still expensive, but some daycares out there are $325/wk for 5 days.

Stephanie - posted on 07/15/2010

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Do I dare tell you that I pay $245 per week for fulltime care for my 3 year old daughter? This is in the middle of one of the busiest office park districts in town. The program is also rated as the best in the city by parents. I will get 20% off of my older child's tuition when my infant is enrolled this fall. Would you believe the cost for him will be $275 for fulltime care? My hubby and I really need to consider paying a nanny to come to our home but I hate to take her out of the enrichment programs. She has a music, spanish, and computer classes and does more art than I've ever seen elsewhere. This is in Brentwood, TN. Nashville suburbia.

Kari - posted on 07/15/2010

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I don't think you can put a dollar value on childcare. It all comes down to the comfort level you have for the childcare provider and the comfort level of your chid also. I have friends who pay more and do not like where their children are but are stuck because of location or some other reason. I have friends who pay less and are unhappy because they want better for thier child but can not afford it. This decision you have to come to peace with and do not let someone else persuade you. Childcare is the number one stress for working mothers and a main reason most end up staying home so please take time and decide what is the best for you and with take away your stress.

Onmywaytocarolshouse - posted on 07/15/2010

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Hopefully the parents in Scottsdale are taking heed ! :) ! My babysitter bought her first car with my money ! I raised five children and when I found someone to trust I paid accordingly !! They are your children ! You tip waiters more than child care providers. Get real ! :) !

Tina - posted on 07/15/2010

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I wish I could find something for that rate. Most of the places here in IL, near Chicago are upwards of $285/week for a 3 yr. old. Infants are over $300/week. I have 3 kids so I expect to be paying a lot so I am currently at $500/week for all 3 in full time. One place I looked would have been $5700/month for all 3. I think $650/month is reasonable for an infant. I was paying $260/week when my son was an infant.

Onmywaytocarolshouse - posted on 07/15/2010

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Arizona moms seem to put more of a priority on things other than their children. Child care providers do not get the respect that they SHOULD command:) Thank you Kristen :)

[deleted account]

That is pretty cheap!! I paid for an in-home daycare for four days a week only and paid $180/week... $9000-something for the year. My son just turned 2 and we moved him into a center where I thought he would learn more with a structured curriculum and now we're paying $220/week for four days!! Its expensive but if he benefits from it, it's worth it!!

Angela - posted on 07/15/2010

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I am in Australia & daycare places are very hard to get where i live. My daughter was going to daycare 1 day a week (she was 3yrs old at the time) and i was paying $59 per day. Because of the wage bracket we are in we could claim some on our tax.The daycare center was very good to her and being there built her confidence a lot. Private daycare costs anywhere from $3 to what ever they wish to charge per hour or per day. It is a difficult to decide what to do. You are putting your little one into someones care other than family.

Rhonda - posted on 07/15/2010

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Honestly I think that price seems reasonable. I worked in a daycare and prices were higher for infants but there are different rules and regulations that have to be followed depending on the age of the child. Infants are more dependant that the older children and require more direct care so prices will be higher. Where I worked our infant room had 12 kids (4 under 6 months, 8 over 6 months) and required two teachers, There was one teacher for 10 kids ages 1-2, two teachers for 16 kids ages 3-4, and two teachers for kids 5+. This is all determined on how much the child can do for themselves such as feeding, being potty trained, walking, talking, and whether they need naps and such. The more attention the child requires the higher the costs will be. As long as you are getting the care you are paying for (such as them having all the standard requirements at home child care facillities are supposed to have in order to operate) and considering your location I'd say your price seems prettty reasonable. I would also look into assistance though as they tend to have assistance for military persons. I hope this helps. : )

Shelley - posted on 07/15/2010

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We pay just under $700/month for full-time daycare. It's at an academy and my son LOVES it, so for right now I am ok with the cost. He gets the attention he needs/deserves, he gets to explore and learn, he is socializing amazingly, and I can go to work in peace knowing my son is taken care of.
I think that if you love the place, your baby loves the place, and you are both getting what you need and deserve, you can never pay too much...

Merceda - posted on 07/15/2010

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Hi Lisa. I've priced child care for my soon-to-be toddler in both FHC and Centers. The costs are high and range from $550 and up. If it makes you feel any better we're paying $180/wk. Unfortunatley I do not qualify for subsidized assistance and I pay even if he doesn't attend for that week. I decided to keep my son where he is because it's a 10-minute walk from the job and I love the diversity of the staff. My concern was that my son is in a clean environment where the staff was professional and display a geniune love for kids. Does the staff provide daily activity reports? How is the communication when you dropp off/pick up? How many children? What type of development toys/activites are available for age? Schedule? What are you paying for and what will your child benefit? Research child care referral networks for your area and get signed up if you qualify? Have you tried signging up for WIC? You can do this while your on disability and it will help in the long run if your child takes formula and when the transition to solids takes place.

Onmywaytocarolshouse - posted on 07/15/2010

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Baby sitters are making 10 to 15 dollars per hour ! , FOR HEAVENS SAKE ! A provider should make a minimum of five dollars per hour for a nine hour day payable the first of each month with no makeups for missed days. AND that would be a bargain! Don't economize on your provider ! Get cheaper cars ! Thank you for my voice ! It's about time !!!

Kelly - posted on 07/15/2010

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how many hours is that for?in uk i'd have to pay £42 for a 8hr day which is roughly $84!which equating to five days a week then for a month is £1680!!which is why i dont work lol x

Onmywaytocarolshouse - posted on 07/15/2010

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Really ! Do you moms realize what that comes to per hour ! ? ! For someone taking care of your most precious entity !!! Not much ! I'm sure that you wouldn't consider working for that wage ! You are free to work, yet you expect your provider to work for way less than minimum wage per hour ! Incredible !

Robin - posted on 07/15/2010

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I use to run a home based dayhome. If the child was under 5 years old and required full day full time care the cost was $800 per month, that included all food and treats that were home made. If it was a child over the age of five and was in school the monthly charge was $500 per month. The cost did not change whether they were in school or on summer/Christmas vacation.

I think that the price you are being charged is very reasonable.

April - posted on 07/15/2010

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My daughter is 1 and I pay 160 a week for 2 days at a Kindercare facility outside of Philadelphia. I am very happy with the place. She is learning so much and the children have a schedule everyday. For what I get and how well she is doing I can not complain. I hate spending all that money but she loves it.

Kristin - posted on 07/15/2010

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We send our daughter to in home daycare and it is $160/week, which includes breakfast and lunch. We are in Columbus, OH. Public daycare runs about $220/wk plus additional fees for infants.

Amanda - posted on 07/15/2010

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You may also want to look into any state subsidies you qualify for. They're usually income-based, and sadly, the income requirements are pretty low (at least they are here in Akron, OH). You may qualify for some assistance to help offset the cost. For example, instead of paying $150/wk for my son to go to daycare full-time, I would pay $150/month. Check with your local Dept. of Job & Family Services.

Genna - posted on 07/15/2010

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i pay 200.00 a week and will be going to 325.00 a week after my second one is born. i know i pay too much but the lady is so good with my son and teachs him so much. but is it worth the money thats the question.any advise?

Kelly - posted on 07/15/2010

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I pay $125 a week per child at daycare, which is the cheapest my in area. I still think it's too much.

Beckie - posted on 07/15/2010

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WOW thats a lot! I have my 4 month old son in a private in home day care from 7:45 to 5:15 m-f and only pay $100/week...... seems Im lucky to be in Central California....

Leslie - posted on 07/15/2010

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I'm close to Portland, OR where the cost of living is a lot higher than most of the rest of the country but wages are not - My 2 year old goes from 7 am to 5:30 and I pay $45.00 a day! $225 a week, $900 a month. But that does include all meals, juice cups, baby wipes, etc. Consider yourself lucky if you can get anything full time for less than $800.00

Robin - posted on 07/15/2010

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how old is your child? Pricing is usually based on age. However, that sounds about right for what is the going rate. I pay $612 for my 5 yr old. She starts kinder this fall and I can't tell you how glad I will be to only pay $200 a month for after school care. The most important thing is that you're comfortable with the environment and your child is happy. Don't sacrifice that because of cost.

Courtney - posted on 07/15/2010

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I am not sure where you reside or how old your daughter is, but I have a 4 year old enrolled 5 days per week full day care in the PA area and I pay $860 per month, the day care provides 2 snacks and lunch as well as milk, juice & water. When he was an infant, I paid over $1100 per month and i still had to provide diapers, wipes and all his food. In my opinion $650 is a deal.

Wynona - posted on 07/15/2010

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That is entirely too much! Based on your income look into Childcare Parnterships (CCIS) They offer help with daycare if you meed the income guidelines. Good luck!

Michele - posted on 07/15/2010

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Like yourself Youa my husband is at home so we save on childcare there plus his mom helps out a lot if needed. But as you said you get what you pay for plus if the child is still happy when you pick him/her up then thats all that matters.

[deleted account]

Hi,
I have a 2 year old in daycare and I'm paying about 850 a month for full time. They provide all his food; for younger years you did have to provide diapers and wipes. It is worth it because he gets to interact with children his own age and he learns so much there. They even have spanish class. There is always some kind of fun activity they have for the children as well, twice a week they have water days where sprinklers and pools are set up. So not only does he learn so much but he has fun too. And he's made so many friends already.

Leigh-ann - posted on 07/15/2010

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My children have been in in-home, private day care since they were 10 weeks old. I pay $200 each per week. It's steep (we live in Los Angeles), but it is a small place (three adults and 12 children) and the woman who runs it has a degree in child development. My children have really flourished there! I found places that were cheaper, but I really didn't feel comfortable with them. I will be sending my older child to pre-k in the fall, and will actually be paying the same.

Youa - posted on 07/15/2010

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Yikes, that is really high. My son is almost 2 and when he was an infant we found this really great lady (an in-home day care) who charged us $120/wk. Then in the winter my parents and his parents switch off watching him. Right now, his mom watches our son 3 days a week and we have him in an actual day care center. Which we pay $96/wk. I think it varies on where you live. We live in MN, and in a very I mean VERY rural area. So most in home day care ranges from $30-60 a day. If you choose to go with an actual day care center they run from $48-115/a day. So it all depends. I also believe you get for what you pay and you have to almost really like the provider. Always go with your mommy instinct. Hope everything works out for you! We have been blessed that both our parents are willing to pitch in. :) Not really sure if this helped.

Michele - posted on 07/15/2010

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At least you get a discount if you enrol another child. It would be the same for the second child and we dont get a discount.

Nikki - posted on 07/15/2010

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I am checking on daycares now and I just got a price quote for 120$ a week. That is full time 7a to 6p 5 days a week. I can't afford that!! That is more than my car payment. Its not like I get any help from his dad as it is... wow. These are the time I get pissed about him not paying child support. What can u do tho? I got a price for 3 days a week for $85. I dont know, If day care is this expensive, Im in the wrong buisness!!

Julia - posted on 07/15/2010

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I live just outside Washington DC and we have our child enrolled in a private daycare center. We pay $1500 per month for our toddler. It is full time - and it feels like a break because it was more when our son was an infant. If we enroll a second child, we get a 7% discount - so 2 kids is just under $3,000 each month.

Jessie - posted on 07/15/2010

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I have a 4 yr old and a 9 yr old, I pay $1000/mo. It is a daycare center. It's a pretty typical price for centers around here.

Samantha - posted on 07/15/2010

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we live in S. Dakota, So WOW! those prices are way to high we pay 400 a month for two kids, ours it doesnt matter weather they are 1 yrs old or 10 its the same price the only down fall is we have to pay that amount every week no matter what. we have a priv. in home also.

Pam - posted on 07/15/2010

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By the way, although I suppose everyone has a right to pitch in their 2 cents here, making this woman feel guilty because you have "made the decision to stay home" isn't really answering her question. Or nice. Not everyone has that option. There are plenty of single parent families out there, and the parent has to work. Or people live in an expensive city and would not be able to afford expenses without paychecks. Or maybe both parents just have rewarding careers they don't want to give up.

Amanda - posted on 07/15/2010

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I live in Kansas too, and I am only paying $100/week for my infant, $90/week for my 3 year old, and $75/week for my 6 year old. I do like Day Care Centers rather then, in- home daycares, but my provider gives us the cheapest rates and the flexibility we need. I wish all the working mothers good luck with their search for the right provider.

Lucy - posted on 07/15/2010

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This is a hard one to answer. I have used the same daycare for the last 15 years and it seemed as though we had just gotten our younges out about a year when we found out and had to put our name back on the list. The cost for him per week is 173.00. I understand that to be about the going rate. We live in Kentucky.

Good luck on your search. It is always a tough decision.
Lucy

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