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?

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343 Comments

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Maite - posted on 07/14/2010

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Wow, that is inexpensive! I pay $205/week in Dallas in a regular daycare (my son is 20months), but my friend has her 9 month daughter in a in-home daycare nearby my son's daycare and pays $175, including food and diapers. I had to provide the food until 12months, and we have to pay $60/month on top for diapers. So about $1000/month for daycare per child, though you get a whooping 5% discount if you have more that one child in that daycare ;-) Like you said, depends where you live. He goes full time, and they are opened 7am to 6:30pm, which is great for me because I usually work a "late" (same with my husband).

Jennie - posted on 07/14/2010

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First, if you must use daycare, you can't put a price on any person/place that you know without a doubt will take exceptional care of your child. After all, a child is priceless, right? :) With that in mind, i think the "reasonable" cost for daycare varies by location. I'm in Wisconsin and I pay $210 for 4 days/week. I did find one that was cheaper, but didn't give me that warm/fuzzy feeling about leaving my daughter there. I hope this helps. Good luck!

Yvonne - posted on 07/14/2010

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Since your military They do a Subsidy program, so you wont have to pay the full amount. I am a CDH provider, and my 2 daycare parents pay different amounts. You should go to the Base's CDC and see if they have the Subsidy Program for daycare..

Selina - posted on 07/14/2010

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Quality care is PRICELESS!!! I am a mom of 5 and also A Daycare Provider in my home. Parents can not be home with their child, therefore they need daycare, although you may feel that the cost is extremely high for the length of time, you obviously chose her for a reason! This care provider will be a huge part of your child's life. $165.00 is my weekly charge/per child and parents say I am well worth more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[deleted account]

I live in Northern NH and pay $175/week for my 3 year old at a day care center. When my second son was born, I got a 10% "discount" so now ! pay $295/week. That includes lunch for both boys, but I supply everything else - diapers, etc. It is however a great place that the kids love. The nearly monthly field trips are of course extra $$ as well, but generally fun and educational.

Christy - posted on 07/14/2010

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I run a licensed home daycare and our rate for the kids is $165/week and we have a curriculum for the kids. Here is the thing... your child's care should be priceless...do the math of how many hours your child is in care daily and divide and see how much your care giver makes hourly. If you sit and analyze the situation it's not very much and taking care of children is a HARD JOB!!!!!!!! We provide diapers and formula for our babies under 12 months for our price but I have known certain daycares in certain cities to charge up to $300/wk. Do the math...and then tell me if you think it is justified in how much work goes into a daycare. You care for the kids, maintain the environment clean and once you close your doors daily to the kids... comes the daily clean of the facility and that is tricky too. It is a HUGE responsibility to care for others kids and I think you are getting a great rate. :)

Sherita - posted on 07/14/2010

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Maybe it depends on the area that you are living in. I pay $70/week for an in-home daycare for my son.

Anna - posted on 07/14/2010

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That's a great price.I pay $720 a month for pre-school for my 4 y/o and $960 month for daycare for my 16 mth old. So, a total of $1680. We live in the Washington, DC. and our place is fairly reasonable, considering other schools in the area.

Cindy - posted on 07/14/2010

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WOW..no way would I pay that much. I pay $140 a week for two kids full time. They go to a private in home daycare as well. The woman we have is wonderful and has 2 backups in place. She has only called one time in 6 years to say that she could not watch my kids, but even then she gave me the option of bringing them and her calling one of her backup people to come over to her house. I think it does depend on the location of where you are at as well, so we all have to take that into consideration.

Maria - posted on 07/14/2010

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We live in Eastern Kentucky and our son goes to a center as well, we just provide diapers and wipes and anything that our child may want during the day. They feed them breakfast, snacks x2 a day, and lunch. It is a real good day care. My child does really well there and the staff are very friendly. We pay $350 a month for part-time which is about 3 days a week. If we decide to go full time we would have to pay $450 a month. We thought our prices were expensive, but after reading some of the other responses we are blessed to pay what we do.

Kathy - posted on 07/14/2010

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I can't believe the price people pay for daycare. I live in Springfield TN (near Nashville) I have a babysitter in her private home. $20 a day is what she charges, $15 extra for a second child. She takes care of all the meals and snacks. If one of my children does not go that day we do not have to pay. Also, my son goes to a Mom's Day Out program on Thursday's but $9 aday. !!!! VERY CHEAP !!!!!

Carmen - posted on 07/14/2010

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I think it depend on the location your in that no a bad price at all for an infant.
I pay 873/mo for my 4yrs but it’s worth every penny they take good care of my princess at the end that what you have to look at. The location, how your baby is around the care givers, cleanliness on the facility, and most of all the staff is a key person on your baby life.

Rachel - posted on 07/14/2010

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it's not bad....montesorri in corona, ca is also 650 a month, plus extra for lunches and potty training...in cerritos i found a great daycare/preschool for $500 a month and they can go from 7am to 6pm mondays thru fridays....
i used to have live in nanny and THAT was more than double so i am actually saving quite a bit
just see if it works for you, if not there are always other options.

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I just went back yesterday from maternity leave (8-weeks PP) and have my daughter going to the care center that my son went to years ago. The cost is over 1,000/mo! It is ridiculously high but I am trying my hardest to make it work since the facility is amazing.

Sarah - posted on 07/14/2010

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In CT that would be considered cheap!! especially for in home!!! i work at state and NAEYC licensed center and we charge $193/week, $772/month. however, luckily in CT we also have an awesome income-based, state funded program called Care 4 Kids which will pick up the majority of the bill. Many of the children in my center their families pay no more than about $30/week after Care 4 Kids.

Stephany - posted on 07/14/2010

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It all depends on where you live. In Philadelphia, a cheap daycare facility is $185 a week, home daycare is usually $125 a week.

Dianne - posted on 07/14/2010

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I'm going to do childcare for my daughter [ our first grand baby] but I'm charging her 25.00 a week so that way if they need diapers or I do for the baby then we have the money. And after we are potty trained then it will go for schooling.

Dianne - posted on 07/14/2010

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I do in home childcare in a very small town in OHIO and I charge 125.00 a week for 1 child .that isn't the going rate here it is 200.00 a week so I guess that isn't to bad for in home I've done childcare for over 30 years

Annie - posted on 07/14/2010

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My mother takes care of my daughter and I pay her $180 a week. She left her job to take care of my daughter so I figure that's the only money she is making, so the $650 to me sounds good. What you have to check is the ratio of child to care taker at the daycare, but the price sounds good. You can also deduct that from your taxes, I can't in my situation.

R. - posted on 07/14/2010

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I daughter is in plubic scholl now. But I've paid upwards of 800-900 for school and after school care. That just one of this thing where you have to pay up when you are dealing with little ones. As they are estblished and older you can pay a little less. It's costly but worth the care and foundation when they are older.

Beth - posted on 07/14/2010

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My son will be a year old next month, and I went back to work when he was almost three months old. We were fortunate enough to have my MIL watch our son full time. My husband then got a job closer to home, and it wasn't going to work to have him take our son to his mom's on his way in to work.
We were at a different center, and were paying $225 for three days. I can't even begin to explain how bad the situation was. When we did the tour we were really happy. The day that we dropped him off; they had nothing ready for him, as if he wasn't even on the list to start (even though we had pre-paid over a month in advance).
We now pay $235 a week (Full Time) for our son to be at a wonderful center. They provide his diapers and formula. They are also a no juice, no meat (we eat meat at home), no added extra sugar facility. The staff is amazing, and we have noticed over the past few weeks how his attention span has increased (which could also be his age).
The bottom line is, it is so important when making a decision about childcare that you find the right fit not only for your budget. When you drop your child off, you need to feel 100% confident that your child will be safe, nurtured, while also learning from his interactions with his peers and caregivers.
So we can't eat out as often; who cares. $940 a month I'm sure seems steep to most of you out there; we thought the same thing too. You get what you pay for, and at the end of the day we are happy, and he is too.
Good luck in your decision making!

Karen - posted on 07/14/2010

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My son is currently in a daycare, but only half day. He does not get anything to eat or drink at daycare, I have to pack his lunchbox and supply his drinks. She closes every school holiday and on a Friday I have to collect him a half an hour earlier. For this I am paying R780 per month. I like this daycare because it is not a big group of kids and they are very christian like.

Adrienne - posted on 07/14/2010

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I work at a daycare so I get a staff discount so I pay about the same as that. With no discount it would be over 800 a month. I believe what you are paying is a pretty good deal.

Lucie - posted on 07/14/2010

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I pay $1,650 Canadian dollars per month for a toddler. That's in downtown Toronto, Canada at a regular daycare. I think that Toronto is probably the most expensive city on planet Earth in that regard.

Sara - posted on 07/14/2010

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I have an in-home daycare in the midwest(ND) My infant rates for full time are 120.00 a week and i provided the food and formula IF your child is on the brand i provide. Which i have found alot of infants are on that so it works out.My older child rates are 110.00 a week for 2 yrs and up.I love doing daycare and love all my kids.

Rita - posted on 07/14/2010

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Not sure what area you live in but that sounds really good compared to what I pay. I'm not in a home daycare and I pay $820/mnth. It is very expensive but trust me you pay for what you get so...

Tabitha - posted on 07/14/2010

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This is a touchy subject for me. Why? I am an in-home childcare provider. I charge $125 week. My first child arrives at 6:45am, and my last one leaves at 5:30. I only have 3 children that I care for other than my daughter. You have to think: 11hrs a day at $125/week is only $2.27/hr. Yes, I have more children, so multiply that by 3. $6.81/hr. I am making LESS than minimum wage to take care of the most precious thing in the world-children! NOW-I provide meals for my babies. I have a playroom full of toys that I paid for. My overall bills are higher (electric, etc.) When I take vacation, I DO NOT charge. When you take vacation, YES, I charge-you are paying for a space. I can't help it if I am open for business, and you decide not to bring your child-I have bills to pay, too.
When you get a provider that only charges about $75/week, the chances are greater that they are taking on multiple children. You do tend to get what you pay for. Daycare providers are worth SO much more than we get credit for. You know how difficult it is when your baby is having a bad day-multiply that by several kids. Sometimes they all have a bad day at once. This is what we get paid for, and it seems that it is totally unappreciated when you read some of these posts!

Samantha - posted on 07/14/2010

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We are expecting to pay $1500/mth in DC for infant care. I haven't looked into in-home daycare, but I imagine within the beltway that it is going to be in the $1300-$1500. My 4 yo will be going to preK in September and full time school and aftercare will be $1200/mth. I don't know how people actually afford good care for their kids, I know we are wondering how we'll get through.

Suzie - posted on 07/14/2010

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Wow dose it even pay to work with Paying that much in Day Care i live in Montana and i pay 20.00 a day for my daughter who will be Three at the end of the Month her food is provided but i provided pull ups then we have another child coming and he is due in september and day care will go up to 32.00 a day we only pay for days that she is there so the six weeks i have off with the two of them i will pay nothing to hold her spot. and they are turning away other new mothers for the baby spot as it is being Held For my son

Raghad - posted on 07/13/2010

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It all depends on your location whether this is a fair price or not, plus everyone have different experiences with daycare centers. You should speak to someone who uses this day care center,bc u will get tons of opnions over here.
My opnion, try it out and see how ur daughter copes with it before u leave ........

Kimberly - posted on 07/13/2010

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Bottom line, childcare is just too expensive and sometimes I really don't understand why. When the child is a baby it's understandable because there are so many things that you have to do; but from the ages of four and up I feel the prices need to drop.

Claudia - posted on 07/13/2010

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In the Houston area, I pay $420 every two weeks for full daycare for my 6 yr old (summer time) and my 16 month old. It's a very nice family owned daycare.

Elissa - posted on 07/13/2010

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Yup I work about 50 + hours a week, single mom, i pay for EVERYTHING and i have friends that can sit back and put the kids in daycare and they stay home cause the govt helps with food, and shelter.

I get frustrated sometimes after a 10 hour work day and bedtime battles :( but it is what it is.

Kim - posted on 07/13/2010

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I pay 160/week so pretty close to what you will be paying but that is for two kids. I think that if it's someone you trust there is no price to high for that trust.

Jennifer - posted on 07/13/2010

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I dont know exactly how much is too much however I do know that its getting really freaking expensive as it is. I can't even afford it, thank goodness I have family willing to help me cause I dont know what I would do... .Can you believe were almost driven to the point to have to quit working and collect unemployment let alone welfare cause its so damn expensive... Once were on welfare they finally grant us with some assistance for daycare but if your responsible working mother then your screwed. Its just wrong.

Elissa - posted on 07/13/2010

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Agreed! I live in Dallas and I am paying $1000 for a toddler and that is NOT the most expensive!!!! EeeeeeK!

Elissa - posted on 07/13/2010

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I paid $1300/mo for infant and now as a toddler I pay $1000 (includes breakfast)/mo. Its a "private" daycare in Dallas.

Its an excellent facility and she is so incredibly advanced its worth every penny. She has been speaking,(english & spanish) writing and doing sign language since she started.

Its amazing what a structured "school" enviornment can do.

And for whoever was asking about family - not all people have large families (or any at all) I thought that response was rather odd.

Angie - posted on 07/13/2010

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When my kids were in a home daycare I paid $8/hr for both children together, so $56/day. That was back in 2000--2003, in Connecticut.
I also would make sure that the daycare is licensed and, if so, check the state website for any inspections it's had--in CT home daycares were inspected and you could find the results of that inspection online.

Megan - posted on 07/13/2010

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We're in Indianapolis and we are only paying $160/wk. The babysitter provides everything but diapers! I think it is very reasonable pricing. Many of the centers near us are closer to $200/wk and are not located anywhere near us! Good luck!

Toni - posted on 07/13/2010

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I don't know about the US - have you got the Montessori system there? We do in Australia, and it is $65AUS/day, whether it is for 2 hours or 10. Generally we look at anything FROM $100AUS/day, and I have heard of some daycare providers asking $150AUS/day, which is just ridiculous. I am a SAHM, but we have started to look around for my son for when he is around the 3- 3.5yo mark (he is currently 18mo), and I always loved the Montessori 'way', but thought it would be far more expensive than the usual daycare/kindergarten system.

Keep in mind that you do not necessarily 'get what you pay for'. Always interview the group leader/s and, if you can, the daycare leader, get in there at least twice, at different times of the day, and see how the place operates. Take your child, see what their reaction is - their senses are pretty accurate. Have a list of what is important to you (what foods are we allowed to pack/do you provide; what equipment is a/v; sleep times; child to carer ratios; opening hours; waiting times; booking in fee; payment options; activities through day; bottle/breast milk options (many will not allow breastmilk!!) bottle to sleep (many will not allow a child to fall asleep with a bottle (milk or water), only a dummy/pacifier)).

So write out this list, and don't feel like you need to rush to book. If it is a solid child care provider, they should never make you feel like you should book then and there, unless you want to. Also, don't be made to feel like you're overbearing or 'silly' for having this list. Would you give your precious bubba to a random stranger on the street?? Because we don't normally have the luxury of knowing who our child will be cared for prior to meeting them at that first interview, or even on your child's first day of care, and this can be extremely distressing to both you, but more painful, to your little one.

Good luck, I hope this jumble helps :) x

Amanda - posted on 07/13/2010

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When i had my daughter in daycare i paid anywhere from 120-140 a week. I know here in ohio for and infant up through potty training age daycare center gets around 250 a week. In home daycare's i have found run about 100 a week less. I don't know if this helps but i also perfer the in home daycare because they usually have less children and more one on one time with the child especially infants. The other down fall to the daycare center is that most have 6 infants to one aid so they basically get a change a feed and then down for a nap there really isn't much time for interaction. My oldest is now 9 and at school age but summer daycare is a killer for my 2 kids to go back to a daycare setting i would have to make about 800 or more a week for it to be worth it because it will cost me around 400 a week for both in a private home daycare and around 600 a week for daycare center.

Kathy - posted on 07/13/2010

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Wow...some of you are really lucky... Here in Northern Virginia my daycare provider (who is amazingly awesome!!!) actually charges $190/wk ($760/wk) for my infant son. And this is about $20-$25 less than most of the providers I interviewed, and she was the most impressive as well.

Tricia - posted on 07/13/2010

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We went the stay-at-home mom route, we live near Green Bay WI and pay 145/week and when #2 is born will only pay $200 / week...

Amanda - posted on 07/13/2010

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it really depends on the age. But honestly when it comes to daycare you get what you pay for.

Christina - posted on 07/13/2010

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i live in austin tx and i have my son at a good daycare and the infant room is 850 a month

Karen - posted on 07/13/2010

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My daughter was in daycare for 2 days a week from 4 months old. Mainly due to the fact that we are self-employed and I was needed back in the business. At 16 months she went up to 3 days a week. We pay $150NZ per week which includes food & nappies etc. She is a very social child which we believe is due to the interaction she has with her carers and other children in her class. Our decision to place her in daycare polarised many people but we can't fault their care. She has built wonderful relationships and is eager to attend. It was probably harder for me than her!! Our 2nd child is due in October 2010 and he will go into daycare around the same age as our daughter. I have no regrets :-) At the end of the day, you do what is best for you and your situation :-)

Nicole - posted on 07/13/2010

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you get what you pay for...I am going back to work in October and will pay 275/week for someone to come to my home and care for my kids

Elizabeth - posted on 07/13/2010

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Can I just say you are lucky, in Australia I have family day care which is inhome care and that is very cheap at $300 per week... childcare is at least $380-500+ per week, nanny share for $150 per day...

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