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The Costs of Child Care

Looking for someone to care for your toddler is an excruciating job. Finding the right person to trust is even harder. You want only the best for your precious one and a child care provider can offer a secure, warm and fostering environment. And in this modern world where finances are tight, learning the costs of child care is imperative to help you plan for the extra expense.

Important Factors

Where You Live

Child care varies from city to city. Hence, your geographic location is the number one factor in determining the cost of child care. Rates are based on a certain city’s cost of living, the population, annual salary income, unemployment rate and modernism. States with the least expensive child care costs are Alabama, Idaho, North Dakota, South Carolina and Texas. While states with very expensive child care costs are California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin.

A Toddler’s Age

Age is another consideration. Child care costs for babies from 0 to 11 months old are more affordable since lesser work is required in a child care provider. All the caregiver has to do is to feed, bathe, change the diapers and put the infant to sleep. For toddlers from ages 1 to 4 or for those in their preschool years, the cost of child care is higher. At this point, taking care of children is a bigger obligation since caregivers have to prepare meals, help with your toddler’s homework and stay up late to wait for you to come home. Plus, it is not an easy job to run after a hyper child and manage other household duties at the same time.

Operating Hours

Whether your little one’s child care provider is a stay in or a stay out caregiver, an establishment or a relative, the hours put into looking after your toddler is meticulously observed. Some child care providers may have a fixed salary while others may not. This depends on the agreed schedule of the parents and the provider.

The Type of Child Care Provider

Day Care Centers

The cost of a day care provider still depends on where you live and the quality of the day care center. In most cases, a day care center costs anywhere from $10 to $40 an hour. Since it is a professional center, you do not only pay for the caregivers’ services but you also pay for the day care’s operating cost and their reliability.

Typically, day care centers for infants and toddlers are very expensive since children at this age entail more hands-on care and one-on-one attention. Plus, a day care center accepts 25 to 30 children in a single class which requires more caregivers. The average child care rate in a day care ranges from $975 to $2,000 a month.

Day care centers for preschoolers are technically lower as toddlers are more self-sufficient. Child care costs are between $333 to $1,000 per month.

Home Day Care Centers

A home day care is located within the neighborhood so rates are more affordable. This child care provider is a smaller establishment than a day care so a maximum of 7 children are accepted and only 2 caregivers are employed. Average cost ranges from $300 per month. However, for a licensed home day care center, standard child care rates can go as high as $1,500 to $2,000 a month.

Relative Care

This type of caregiver is tricky as you do not want to offend your relative by paying her services. Basically, you do have to pay for relative care. But if she refuses to accept your payment, then cost of child care is free. In most cases, a relative is more willing to accept any token of appreciation. For example, gift certificates to her favorite boutique, salon or spa, movie or Broadway passes, grocery baskets or even a simple thank you card will do. Giving her a day off once a week is also good.

Nanny Care

Nanny care is the most expensive child care provider. Under the law of the U.S. government, a nanny is a legal employee and you are her employer. If she is a full-time nanny and lives with your family, a typical salary ranges from $400 to $700 a week. A part-time or stay out nanny’s salary averages between $350 to $650 per week. Aside from her monthly salary you have to pay for her taxes, health insurance, vacation leave, sick days and even open a bank account for financial aid.

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