Daycare Center Costs
For most families, child-care is not a choice these days; it is a necessity. The affordability of quality, reliable childcare options is a concern for most parents as childcare prices rise. Childcare has become a major household expense. In many cases, families are spending more money on childcare than on many other household expenses combined. Price, therefore, becomes a huge factor when selecting among in-home childcare, family daycare, or group daycare.
Daycare centers are facilities dedicated to providing childcare to groups of children of a large range of ages, from infants through preschool aged children. Parents choosing to put their children in a daycare center can expect to pay on average $200 to $300 per week per child. However, these figures can be higher or lower depending on a combination of factors.
Factors that Contribute to Daycare Center Costs
Type of Daycare Center
The cost of enrolling your child will vary depending on whether the daycare center is a chain center, a nonprofit daycare center, or a corporate daycare center. It also depends on the quality of care your child will be receiving. Quality daycare centers are state-licensed and often have received other types of accreditation from non-profit childcare organizations. Your cost will increase as the quality of care increases.
Age and Number of Children Enrolled
The younger the child, the more you can expect to pay. According to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), full-time care for a 4 year old in a daycare center can cost up to $10,000 per year, while the same care for an infant can be as high as $14,000. In addition, it goes without saying: The more children you enroll in a daycare center, the more your childcare costs will increase.
Part-time vs. Full-time Care
If your child only receives part-time care or you only need childcare during the summer months, your childcare costs are significantly reduced.
Your daycare center costs will vary depending upon your location in the United States since the cost of living and daycare costs go hand-in-hand. For example, NACCRRA reports that families will pay more for enrolling their infant fulltime in daycare centers in New York, Wisconsin, Washington, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Illinois and considerably less in Ohio, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
As you consider these factors when selecting childcare, also consider that daycare centers are one of the most reliable and safe childcare choices. The programs are usually well organized and structured. In addition, staff members usually have an early childhood education background. Daycare centers are more likely to provide your child with the tools necessary for kindergarten readiness.
If you do choose to put your child in a daycare center, try searching for a school that is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC-accredited programs have demonstrated a commitment to providing high quality programs for young children and their families.