How much do you pay for child care? - Mothering Forums

How much do you pay for child care?

View Poll Results: How much do you pay for childcare each month? (per child)
$0 --Nobody else cares for my child 11 17.46%
$0 -- a friend or family member cares for my child while I work 2 3.17%
$0 - I get childcare assistance or my child is in a free preschool program 4 6.35%
I use creative scheduling and pay less than $300 per month 6 9.52%
$300 - $500 per month 8 12.70%
$500 - 600 per month 5 7.94%
$600- 700 per month 4 6.35%
$700 - 800 per month 7 11.11%
$800 - 1000 per month 3 4.76%
More than $1,000 11 17.46%
Obligatory other 2 3.17%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll
*MamaJen*'s Avatar *MamaJen* (TS)
09:44 AM Liked: 918
#1 of 39
09-01-2011 | Posts: 5,266
Joined: Apr 2007

So I'm in grad school for public policy and taking a class that involves family and social policy. According to the official "cost of raising a child" charts that are used to calculate all sorts of social services, including child support, a single parent household earning less than $56,000 per year pays about $1,290 per year in child care costs for a 0 - 2 year old and $1,700 per year for child care costs for a 3 - 5 year old. The figures are about the same for a married household in the same income bracket. 

My official, academic policy response to those numbers is somewhere between "Oh, that's BS" and "WTF?!?". I recognize that some people get government assistance towards child care (in my city the line to get childcare assistance is about as long as the line for subsidized housing), I know some people get family members to take care of the child for free, some people manage to avoid the need for childcare by working from home, etc. But in general, if you're not lucky enough to have a grandma who just wants to watch the child full-time for free, and you're either on the list or don't qualify for child care assistance, there's basically no way to pay less than at least $500 per month, which is $6,000 per year. I wound up getting about $600 back on my taxes for childcare expenses, but it barely made a dent in the cost. 

So I'm curious. What do you guys pay for childcare, per child, for kids who are not yet in kindergarten?

rubelin's Avatar rubelin
11:35 AM Liked: 31805
#2 of 39
09-01-2011 | Posts: 5,821
Joined: Feb 2002

I live in Los Angeles. When my youngest was 4, my neighbor babysat him for 6 hrs a day for $600/month and that was about half the cost of most day care/full-time preschools around here. The co-op preschool that my oldest attended was $250/month, but it was only 4 hrs a day and a parent had to work one full day per week (which made it only 16 hours each week of actual child care)

Alphaghetti's Avatar Alphaghetti
12:32 PM Liked: 56
#3 of 39
09-01-2011 | Posts: 302
Joined: May 2005

I don't pay for childcare, but I provide daycare from my home in the largest city in Canada. I charge $250 dollars per week for full time care, and I am considered a deal. Daycare here is very expensive.  Centres charge upward of 75 to 80 dollars per day per child.

Phoenix~Mama's Avatar Phoenix~Mama
01:11 PM Liked: 1902
#4 of 39
09-01-2011 | Posts: 5,230
Joined: Dec 2007

Gee... maybe that's how the "terriffic" government came up with lame cut-offs about who needs aide because someone obviously has no clue what childcare costs!!!  :-O


I pay $1300/month for two kids, and that's at the most affordable care prices in the area for my aged kids.  So yeah... Definitely more than $1290/year, considering that is my MONTHLY cost.  


WTF is right.

tccandlsccmom's Avatar tccandlsccmom
02:14 PM Liked: 32
#5 of 39
09-01-2011 | Posts: 271
Joined: May 2011

My kiddos are in school so it is only afternoons, and I am able to get them from school 2-3 days a I have them in the afterschool program at their school and it is just over $300/month for both of them.  However, in the summer my ex paid well over $2,000 per month to have them in full time care during his weeks with them (I am a professor so during my time I didn't need care, luckily)...

sunflowers's Avatar sunflowers
08:18 PM Liked: 12
#6 of 39
09-01-2011 | Posts: 2,062
Joined: Sep 2006

I currently pay @ $580/mo for before and after care for my Kindy kid- 2.5hr kindergarten at public school so about 7 hours of care there every day.  It's $29/day.  Includes breakfast but I provide lunch.  Days school is closed will cost $39/day.


Summer day camp cost $210/wk- about $840/mo.  5 days/wk for 10 hours/day.  No meals provided.  Trips were extra and there was a registration fee of $52.


Previously, from 3yo-5.5yo, she went to public preschool and had a babysitter (in provider's home) and it cost $135/wk for 29 hours of care with no meals provided.  Approx $540/mo.


I assume that it would have cost $35/day at the sitter's if she did not go to any school and was there 9 hours every day.  Estimated at $700/mo.


Her dad pays 1/2 the cost so I really only pay 1/2 of the above costs but I voted on how much the various providers charge.


Everrgreen's Avatar Everrgreen
11:11 AM Liked: 65
#7 of 39
09-02-2011 | Posts: 2,806
Joined: Feb 2007

I'm in Canada and in the city I'm in I've got a full subsidy for daycare.  The costs in this city are $30-37/day for a preschool age child.  I'm actually going to be commuting to go to university in a very large city where daycare is $65/day and I've been on the wait list for MONTHS for a subsidy and haven't heard anything.  And that's why I'm choosing to commute from this city instead (and my mom  lives here so double bonus)

Coconut Chronicles's Avatar Coconut Chronicles
11:16 AM Liked: 15
#8 of 39
09-02-2011 | Posts: 1,250
Joined: Aug 2006

I pay $540 a month ($135 a week) for "half days"... 8 am to 12 pm Monday to Friday. That costs includes breakfast, 2 snacks and lunch.


ETA: Sorry for crashing guys... I saw this in new posts and totally missed that it was in Single Parenting!

MadelinesMama's Avatar MadelinesMama
11:20 AM Liked: 24
#9 of 39
09-02-2011 | Posts: 221
Joined: Mar 2011

I currently pay $418 a month for my 4 year old.  Once I have this baby his care will be $600 a month.  So a little over $1k a month for both.

animegeekmom's Avatar animegeekmom
05:52 PM Liked: 11
#10 of 39
09-03-2011 | Posts: 35
Joined: Aug 2011

i pay about 650 a month for my three kids to be watched on two different nights a week for me to attend school.

kylie1's Avatar kylie1
06:17 PM Liked: 5
#11 of 39
09-03-2011 | Posts: 80
Joined: Sep 2011

$0. My DH is a WAHD so he cares for the kids while I'm at work.

PatioGardener's Avatar PatioGardener
06:28 PM Liked: 137
#12 of 39
09-03-2011 | Posts: 4,993
Joined: Aug 2007

$80/day. It's really killing my finances, but I have no other options right now other than a sitter. Thankfully she's awesome, and my little guy loves her. That and rent eat up most of my paycheck. I can't wait until he's old enough for daycare ($40/day) in a few more months. In my town it's hard to find a daycare spot for a child less than 18 months old.

Shanny2032's Avatar Shanny2032
08:35 PM Liked: 17
#13 of 39
09-03-2011 | Posts: 321
Joined: Aug 2009

I have a feeling that a situation like mine is why there is such a huge range and disparity hence the average seeming so "off".  I pay nothing for child care because I take my daughter to work with me.  I am a Nanny and Household Manager for 2 children.  Their parents pay me about $70,000 a year so if we were 2 families surveyed the average would come out to be $35,000 a year!  Not sure how common my situation is but I am sure it is just 2 extremes that tip the scales when trying to figure out what is "normal".

Mylie's Avatar Mylie
07:19 AM Liked: 682
#14 of 39
09-04-2011 | Posts: 1,581
Joined: Mar 2004

I pay $95 dollars a week for part-time care..she goes to preschool until about 2:30 in the afternoon 5 days a week..So she needs afterschool care 4 days a week(I am off 1 day so I get her) from 2:30-5:30.So I basically need care about 12 hours a week unless school is out for vacation/breaks ect...But she is covered there also..

provocativa's Avatar provocativa
03:24 PM Liked: 7106
#15 of 39
09-04-2011 | Posts: 2,778
Joined: Jan 2005

I answered 0, because I get childcare assistance, but I can't ever find anyone for Sundays, and I've had to change child care providers twice because they sucked (driving 6 kids in the backseat without seatbelts, 2 of them under the age of 3!).  So really I spend just under 300 a month.  It runs between 100 and 250 a week here, and the quality of care in my state is abysmal.


nanamar's Avatar nanamar
08:26 PM Liked: 10
#16 of 39
09-04-2011 | Posts: 30
Joined: Apr 2009

I pay $779/mo for my 2yo and $736/mo for my 4yo.

Total: $1550, and yes, that is more than my mortgage. Sadly, I will pay more than that since I have to pay with student loans that are accruing interest... mecry.gif

saoirse2007's Avatar saoirse2007
05:33 AM Liked: 35
#17 of 39
09-06-2011 | Posts: 1,287
Joined: Sep 2007

I have only been working full time over the summer so that I can quaify for Canada's 50week paid maternity will be my first time -soooo excited!!!


I pay $170 per week for each kiddo ( I have 2)

For my youngest (2) it includes lunch and snacks - for my oldest (4) it includes snacks.

It is a professional public licenced daycare in Ontario Canada.




eta: I voted wrong - I voted 3-500, but I was thinking of how I pay - every 2 weeks d'oh ...can I blame it on pg brain????

PoetryMom's Avatar PoetryMom
05:58 AM Liked: 11
#18 of 39
09-06-2011 | Posts: 115
Joined: Mar 2009
DH and I use creative scheduling and still pay 135 for 3 days a week.
lunarlady's Avatar lunarlady
06:08 AM Liked: 104
#19 of 39
09-06-2011 | Posts: 1,324
Joined: Jan 2010
WTF is right. around here, infants run $52/day,toddlers $45/day, and preschool $35/day. So their annual cost is close to our monthly cost, regardless of our income bracket. Even bottom basement care is $30/day.
UpSheRises's Avatar UpSheRises
08:17 AM Liked: 10
#20 of 39
09-06-2011 | Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2011

We live in the Detroit area. DS just started Kindergarten today but before this we paid $1400/month. He's in a tuition based school now and we pay $800/month after our scholarship otherwise we'd be paying about the same. By the time DS finishes highschool we'll have spent $182,400 (assuming tuition never increases). That seems like quite a bit of money for a family who only makes $50k/year but i guess that's just the cost of high quality care and education.

Blanca78's Avatar Blanca78
09:23 AM Liked: 263
#21 of 39
09-06-2011 | Posts: 2,078
Joined: Jul 2009

I replied in the $300-500 range, but we only use part-time care. We use an in-home daycare provider who charges $30 a day and we do 3/occasionally 4 days a week. We live in a relatively low-cost area (Columbus, OH). Full time at a commercial daycare would have run us around $900 a month ($240/week).

Halfasianmomma's Avatar Halfasianmomma
02:44 PM Liked: 423
#22 of 39
09-06-2011 | Posts: 3,713
Joined: Nov 2007

I chose 300-500$, but I pay 700$ upfront and get reimbursed roughly 400$ from the Quebec government so it comes out to about 300$ per month.

MnMtm's Avatar MnMtm
08:44 PM Liked: 38
#23 of 39
09-06-2011 | Posts: 238
Joined: Jan 2008

I work 2 double shifts per week, for a total of 32 hour per week. I work every Saturday for 16 hours and then I alternate between working Sundays and Wednesdays, also for 16 hours. That way my husband is with the kids when I'm not except for every other Wednesday when my parents watch them for us. I offered to start paying them when my dad lost his job, and even though they initially refused to be paid, I insisted and pay them $50 for each day they watch them. They watch them from about 3pm to 11pm. So I only pay around $100 per month, but I have to work from 6am-1030pm every Saturday to do it.

eper's Avatar eper
11:56 PM Liked: 0
#24 of 39
09-06-2011 | Posts: 246
Joined: Nov 2005

I wonder why don't you just find out the childcare costs from the actual childcare providers.  There must be a central place where you live that can tell you about the various childcare providers, from family child care to group daycare etc.  They probably would know the range of money providers charge for child care.  The numbers you were given are obviously incorrect.  

Sweet.Bee's Avatar Sweet.Bee
06:29 AM Liked: 13
#25 of 39
09-07-2011 | Posts: 930
Joined: Feb 2010

I didn't answer the poll because I'm not in the US, so it would skew things. I'll tell you what we pay, though, just to show how outrageous things are here. Sigh.


For our 2-year-old, we pay over 600 Francs per month (something over 700 USD at the current exchange rate). . . for 2 mornings per week. Full-day/5 days per week would be over 3000 (err, over 3500 USD) per month for one child. This is the typical pricing here, and there are still long waiting lists at every place!


We are very satisfied with his preschool (bilingual, nice caregivers, children are all happy, he's learned so much), but it's still quite a lot of money.

rushesCBE1's Avatar rushesCBE1
11:01 AM Liked: 11
#26 of 39
09-09-2011 | Posts: 8
Joined: May 2011

Wow, really? Is there a reason it's more expensive in Canada?

Halfasianmomma's Avatar Halfasianmomma
11:32 AM Liked: 423
#27 of 39
09-09-2011 | Posts: 3,713
Joined: Nov 2007

Originally Posted by rushesCBE1 View Post

Wow, really? Is there a reason it's more expensive in Canada?

 I'm assuming you`re referring to Sweet.Bee's post, which I assume was written by someone living in France. The high cost of childcare there doesn`t surprise me, as everything is ridiculously expensive.

maeby's Avatar maeby
01:16 PM Liked: 107
#28 of 39
09-09-2011 | Posts: 625
Joined: Nov 2007

i thought i heard on NPR that preschool was compulsory in France and therefore government funded...?

lunarlady's Avatar lunarlady
05:20 PM Liked: 104
#29 of 39
09-09-2011 | Posts: 1,324
Joined: Jan 2010
France is on the Euro, not francs, so it has to be an ex-French colony country that is not in the EU. Or, I suppose, someone writing with poor translation to English.

I think Canada is a "dollar" county, even the French parts. We need Sweet Bee to chime in and help us out. smile.gif

bella99's Avatar bella99
08:55 PM Liked: 20
#30 of 39
09-10-2011 | Posts: 418
Joined: Sep 2008

I pay $1520 a month right now, about to go down to $1212, after we move from the older one to a preschool program instead of daycare.

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