Why is Daycare So Expensive?

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Recently, a parent asked this question . She was paying $115 week for an infant. Both center and family daycare providers responded. Three main issues were raised: expenses, time and value. What follows are excerpts of their responses.


"...Many centers are non-profit and simply charge what they need to in order to cover expenses. Look at the expenses of childcare - food, insurance, salaries (which by the way are WAY TO LOW in comparison to today's standards in most professions... cc is barely above minimum wage in many areas), equipment, supplies, some have transportation costs(buses/vans/maintenance/gas/etc) , rent of property, property taxes, to name only a few. Many people who work in childcare end up leaving a profession they love because the salaries are so low..."

"...Parents don't understand My over head- We have to pay for everything your child eats, drinks, uses and plays with. All the crafts and papers your child brings home, videos they watch, As well as quarterly income taxes, our extra insurance, Social security, gas and car maintenance, cleaning supplies, time spent "off the clock" doing paperwork or shopping for the supplies ...well just about everything - so you see we don't get to keep most of what we get paid by the parent, and we don't get workman' s compensation or Health insurance...so If one of my kids ends up in the Hospital I am in big trouble. I actually make less than 1/3 of the minimum wage if I have a house full of kids-And that Wage doesn't begin to cover the stuff my kids need let alone my Mortgage.If more parents understood the true cost of Daycare they would understand that we providers are in this line of work for love of kids-not money!..."

"... There is a fixed cost to running a child care facility whether it be home or center. Many of the "invisible" costs have already been mentioned. They include, insurance, bookkeeping, depreciation of equipment, transportation costs ( even if you don't transport children, you do drive to the store for supplies), education and training (required for license in most if not all states), curriculum materials, landscaping upkeep, cleaning supplies, facility maintenance (fixing broken doors, etc) and advertising. I may have missed some. The costs most people (non providers) notice are food, craft supplies, paper goods (napkins, etc.) and teacher salaries.."

"...$115.00 IS cheap...on a 5 day week/10 h our day, that's only $2.30 per hour. Babysitters get paid MUCH more than that. On that $2.30 per hour, take out your self-employment tax; mortgage use; water, gas, electric, wear and tear on home and furnishing; food; activities; vehicle maintenance; gas;..."
~ SUE124


"...We work horribly long and hard hours. Twelve a day with children in our home. Then the shopping trips we have to do because your child will need something next week. Tomorrow we will spend the day cleaning all the outdoors toys and fixing the yard and the deck so your child will be safe in our care. Sunday after some time with our kids we will go shopping for the needs that we can think of for the week. Monday night I'm sure we will again have a list of more that we need. So one other night during the week will be shopping for these..."

"...Even during nap time, I sit in the room with the children while they nap and work on the computer. Usually working on newsletters, calendars , etc., all to keep me and my parents up to date. Even coming here is for their benefit. The more informed and educated I am, the better it is for their child. So from 6:45 in the morning until 6 in the evening, I am with their children..."
~ SLK41

"...Oh, not to mention we work those 11 hours a day (or more for some providers) with no break. Most people get two 15-minute breaks and an hour lunch where they can actually LEAVE work. Not us..."


"... it seems so expensive, but really is an investment. A good childcare program is so needed by the children, but a bad one that costs a little less can do so much damage to a child just the same. It's not worth saving money to damage your child...."
~ SLK41

"...Yes, $115/wk is a lot of money from your pocket. But, let's gain a little perspective. As said before, does the monthly amt. you pay for your child to be protected, loved, stimulated, entertained, socialized, nursed, educated, fed, changed, and on and on even begin to compare to what you might pay for your mortgage/rent, auto(s), food, medical care, clothing and utilities each month?..."