This is a very common question! After hearing the answer, the response is usually, "I can't afford that!"
How much will child day care cost?
The answer: Well....It depends...Below is a list of the most important factors
- Where you live (east coast, west coast, NYC) [this is probably the biggest factor]
- The type of care (center, home, babysitter, full-time nanny)
- The age of your child or children
- Does your child require special needs? (when Taylor started child care she was 2-1/2 and couldn't walk yet)
There are other factors, but the above list are the biggest ones. Child care is expensive! Here's my
story: (for specific daycare rates in your area please click here: Average Child Daycare Rates)
My daycare pricing story
I live in a suburb of Atlanta, GA. My child was 2-1/2 when I enrolled her in Goddard Preschool. I went to at
least five child day care centers, before I started her at Goddard. Two out of five out right refused to take
her, in fact, one of the them (Discovery Point) was extemely rude about it. My daughter was born with
JMML which is a form of leukemia. She also has a birth defect called noonan's syndrome. At the time I was looking
for a child day care, she couldn't walk and required tube feedings. She also had limited communication skills. She
had her cochlear implant, but at that time she only had been listening for about six months, so her listening and speaking
abilities where about the same as a six month old infant. Below is a picture of my daughter when she attended Goddard
Preschool on Bethelview Rd in Cumming, GA.
Now, as I said, only three out of the five child care centers would take Taylor (I was pressed for time and I
didn't look into any home child care facilities). Discovery Point said they wouldn't be comfortable with her.
She has leukemia, not leprosy! Yes, the chemotherapy had left her deaf and extemely weak, but she technically
didn't require any special care while attending. I had told each child care that I would come every day at lunch
time and feed her (using her milk pump). My choices were Goddard, Kids Depot (Ivy League Academy) or Building Blocks
child development center. I actually enrolled her in Building blocks the first week. I don't remember the
exact pricing, but it was around $140-$150 dollars a week. They also did not require payment if the child was
absent so they were very reasonable in the pricing area. However, the first day I picked her up she was in the back yard
playing and I witnessed another 2 year old pushing Taylor. Building blocks has been there for a long time and it shows.
It's not the cleanest facility, but I really liked the child care providers working there. They seemed very
intent on providing Taylor with the attention she needed. However, because Taylor doesn't have a spleen, I was
worried about bacteria and the fact they don't provide enough discipline to the children.
Goddard required a note from her doctor, so that's why Taylor attended Building Blocks for a week before going to Goddard.
The pricing at Goddard was almost double of Building Blocks. They charged around $1000 dollars a month to watch
Taylor full time. You had to pre-pay monthly and they didn't care if she came one day or every day. Once enrolled
in full time care, that was the cost. They also had fees if you didn't pick her up on time (that was never a
problem for me, but I could see it to be a problem with some parents). All in all, I was happy with Goddard. It
was cleaner than Building Blocks and the teachers seemed good (although there seemed to be a lot of turn-over of teachers).
My biggest complaint wasn't the pricing (although it was expensive) it was when we finally decided to take her out
of the preschool. Taylor was turning 3 years old, so she was actually ready for pre-school, since she was special
needs. I had failed to mention this to Goddard and just stopped paying. Around the 22nd of that month, I
received a call from their director. She told me we were responsible to pay for that month, even though absolutely
no services had been given. According to her, I was suppose to give them 30 days notice before taking out of
Goddard. I politely apologized to her for not telling her about Taylor starting Forsyth County Schools, but she
insisted I still needed to pay for the month and the next 30 days. She said as long as I paid for that month
she would drop the next 30 day requirement. I brought them a check the next day and Taylor's keycode to get into the
daycare was already changed! Why did they change her keycode if they didn't know she still wasn't attending the
school? There were still two or three more day I could have brought her in that month (I was giving them 1000 dollars
for two days worth of services!!!!). So, anyway, if you decide to enroll your child in Goddard just give them
30 days notice every month and you don't have to worry about this. Then at the end of the month, just tell them
you changed your mind and you want to keep your child in the school. As long as you do this each month, you don't
have to worry about this charge. It seems to me to border on criminal to charge for services that were not
My story is for pricing in Cumming, GA and child day care centers. Babysitters, nannies and home child care
would all have different costs associated with them. To give you some idea of the cost of home child care,
the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) states that home daycare averages
around $474 a month for pre-schoolers and $525 a month for infants and toddlers. If you live in California, New
York City or some other populace location, daycare pricing will probably be more money (hopefully you make more
money working there too). If you live in rural Kansas, or have a family or neighbor watch your child, you might be
able to get away with paying much less. However, expect to pay from at least $500 dollars a month and up to $1200
dollars a month for good child care. Was your response, "I can't afford that!".
Here's a link to average child care rates in all 50 states in 2011: 2011 Average Child Daycare Rates