CP

What is too much?

My in-home daycare is on the more expensive side ($375/week, 8-5, no meals). They charge for all holidays, and take 4 weeks of personal time (unpaid) that amounts to over 6 weeks off a year. They use to give us 2 weeks a year worth of "sick time" where you don't have to pay if you aren't there. (This at least offset some of the incredibly high price) They just announced that they are taking away all sick leave and no change in pricing. Additionally, if a kid blinks wrong, they send them home "sick". They have been sent our kids home because they were constipated, had an itch on their leg, had a minor choaking on food, had sleepers in their eyes, and "were whinier then normal". My family is lit. They are 1) causing a huge inconvenience in taking 20 personal days a year (my husband and I combined don't get 20 days off!) That we now have to cover 2) basically now having us give them 2 additional weeks of paid vacation (it's $1500 a year more) 3) because they are getting paid regardless, we are worried they are going to be sending out girls home even more for unreasonable reasons. Are we over reacting? Is this par for in-home daycares? When do you know it's time to change daycares?

  • Anonymous
    Jan 16

    Daycare does take a huge chunk out of a family's income, and it's definitely one of the factors to consider before having a child or subsequent children. Looking at it from the daycare provider's POV, if you're paying $375 for a 40 hr/ week for two children, that works out to less than 50 cents per hour per child. How does that compare to what you pay your sitter if you're out for dinner or a movie? I'm empathetic to the tough choices parents have, but seeing daycare providers as greedy isn't a helpful solution. And for the record I'm not now, nor have I been a daycare provider, nor do I know any personally.

  • Maggie Elentukh
    Jan 16

    Hahahaha oh wow. Where do you guys live? I’m in the Bay Area, and $400/week for a nice in-home daycare would be a steal around here. This post just makes me so aware of how unbelievably expensive it is to live here. That aside - I think the overall picture of “is this working for my family” is what matters most. We have also been at a center with lots of vacation weeks. We both with full time with no family around, so covering those weeks was EXPENSIVE. Also their hours were 8-5, which barely worked for us. But, everything else about the place was wonderful (...honestly I could not deal with them sending her home for an itch on her leg - they are great about keeping her unless actually sick). We stayed until we moved to another part of town, and I’m glad we did. And now that we are looking for a new place anyway, we know we need fewer week-long closings and longer hours, but want to keep the things we loved about this place. This place wouldn’t have worked for us forever, so you just need to decide if this is the year it’s just not working anymore. Cost doesn’t matter as much as “fit”.

  • Breona
    Jan 16

    If that’s only for one child, that is WAYY too much in my opinion. Nearly $400/week is a lot, and for them to take away sick days is a joke. I would definitely look around got something else. I use an in-home care provider that charges $27-$29 a day for full time, and my daughter goes about 4 days a week. Plus it’s open 24/7 and they’re good people. My daughter loves going there and I usually stay a while to talk after I pick her up. I pay around $432 a month and live in Arizona. Middle class area.

  • Ken M.
    check_circleChild Care Provider Jan 16

    So I had to chime in here. I own a daycare business in Austin Texas. It combines traditional pre-k with drop-in hourly care so you can come when you want, stay as long as you need. It’s $1035/month for full-time care but if you want to just do drop offs, it goes as low as $7.20/hr. Even our pre-k program is designed for flexible schedules - no small feat...and the program is AWESOME! We’re open until 10pm m-th and 12:30am on Friday and Saturday!!! Did you say date night?!?

  • Casper
    Jan 16

    Just outside of Austin Texas. And we pay $725 a MONTH. They provide one snack only. And folder at the end of the week on things thy learned so you can continue their education over the weekend. And they only provide care from infant to 5 yrs old. I know the pain of moving daycares. I was so hesitant to move. As our original was $1100 a month was so great.. or so I thought. It is worth the research every year. You never know what new little golden egg lies around the corner

  • Jill
    Jan 16

    The amount may be high or low based on your location, but the many extra days off would be challenging. We had twins many years ago and no family in the area so we paid a lot when they were young as we had two. While child care costs are high in general, the actual costs are higher than they were years ago as the $ deduction for childcare put into place in the mid 1980’s has never been adjusted for inflation! While the people watching kids give a lot the majority aren’t in it for the money as it doesn’t pay well. I know as my husband and I retired at 60 last year to watch our grandbabies (for free) so our daughters and their husbands can work. Is we had to do this for money it would barely cover our cobra health care insurance of $1800 (after tax $).

  • Natasha
    Jan 16

    I live in Utah and do an in home daycare. Keep in mind our cost of living is a lot less. I charge $175 a week that includes snacks and meals for older kids but parents provide diapers and wipes and formula if needed. Unless they are really really sick I don’t send them home and usually if they are truly sick then my parents keep the kid(s) home. Kids need to build up these immune systems and since I only take up to 4-5 kids i don’t nit pick on colds or whatnot. Our group feels like a family and most likely the kids will get sick either way so I keep them and do extra cleaning in the day and deep clean after they leave to keep things sanitized. My husband works at the same company most of my parents do so we only take off the shared/federal holidays to spend time alone as a family. Most higher notch daycares in my area charge $215 for infants (5days up to 10hours a day)and it gets cheaper as they age and move up classes. There are some daycares both centers and in home that charge $150 a week so I try to keep it competitive but still make some profit.

  • LAsDad0515
    Jan 16

    My wife and I pay about $1,200/mo per child in South Jersey. No lunches included, snacks are. The daycare allows for a week of vacation time. We pay for holidays/in-service days. Discounts for two kids and ages are minimal. We saved money with a home daycare, but we couldn’t find one that made us feel like our kids were getting enough to do. The one home care put our son in front of a tv all day, the other said our newborn needed to be more independent and that we baby him. We hated to keep moving our kids around, so we sucked it up and went a chain daycare. More dumb rules than a home daycare, but the kids enjoy it and we talk more about the letter of the week type stuff rather arguing with our boys about less tv time.

  • Jackie
    Jan 16

    Hi I’m a family home daycare and we provide breakfast,lunch,2 snacks and I’m in the south Bay Area.. We only close Holidays, and my fee start at 0-1yrs 250.00 week mon--fri 7-530pm.. 2-4yrs 200. 00 week and we potty train..

  • Darlene H.
    check_circleChild Care Provider Jan 16

    For the weekly charge that really depends on location. You’d have to look around in your area to figure out what typical rates are and what is included. I have talked with some providers in CA who charge more weekly. Your provider may have been in business many years and have added more days off over time and more paid over time. It is always the parents responsibility to provide back up childcare. The provider most likely realizes that she will probably lose some clients due to this change. I’m in northern IL area and rates vary widely for homes from 100-250 per week per child - more in the city of Chicago. What does your provider give you? I have long 12+ hr days, a low ratio of kids to adults, all meals and snacks, and extra training in early childhood and early intervention. There are tons of expenses that parents don’t see- some states charge fees to childcare’s first licensing, some have fees for even minor violations (some rinsed dishes piled on a counter where kids cannot reach them, toys on the floor, a doctors form improperly completed), and licensing seems to be requiring more and more every year. Testing water sources for lead, radon testing, more trainings required and less state funds helping pay for any upgrades or improvements and many many hoops to jump through for anything. Most of the state ratings systems I’ve heard of are mostly more paperwork and unrealistic requirements (we have 14 steps to change a diaper!). If you really can’t accommodate the changes or just want to investigate, look at other places in your area to see what they offer and what they cost.

  • Syed M.
    check_circleChild Care Provider Jan 16

    Like anything else cost of providing child care is going up! We own a Montessori School it combines Pre-K with monthly, weekly, and drop-in hourly care. It is in Farmers Branch/Dallas/Carrollton Texas area. Our monthly rates are around $900 infants, around $800 for ages 18 months to 6 years. Breakfast, lunch, and AM and PM snacks included. Drop-in daily rates are $55 a day infants and $45 other age groups. Check us out at: http://www.montessories.com/contact.html

  • Anonymous
    Jan 16

    I operate a school age aftercare program and can say that pricing is always going to be an issue when you look at the difference between a professional and licensed center and someone who operates out of their home and or as a babysitter. I do not understand parents who allow care in a private home unless its 1-1. In NJ there can be up to 6 children in a private home setting (more if not certified)... with one adult... in a 12 hour day... what does that say about level of care and attention....I can also tell you that the regulations (space, staffing, record keeping, etc. ) that apply to licensed centers are unbelievably stringent and definitely an issue in driving costs. Younger children require higher staffing rates, and you don't want 16 year old kids being solely responsible for caring for your kids. Here in NJ we just passed a minimum wage bill - further increasing the cost of entry level assistants, and creating an equity issue for those who are paid above the old min wage but should be bumped up as well. Training must be paid for (mandatory training is paid time), CPR training for example (that public school teachers are not required to have). Add to this benefits and insurance and operating a licensed center is a costly and complicated endeavor.

  • Jill
    Jan 16

    Unfortunately I am right there with you. We live in a big city and quite an expensive city so our daycare costs are basically a second mortgage and only continue to increase each year. Our daycare is also set up similar where you get "one week vacation" which is basically one week where you let them know in advance and you won't pay that week you are gone. Otherwise - you always pay even if the kid goes home sick or didn't go at all due to whatever reasons. With that said, this particularly daycare sounds even pricier than some of the ones we have used or are near us especially if there are no other perks - such as meals being included, programming, etc. It can't hurt to start researching and comparing other options near you especially if this place is more of an inconvenience than a help.

  • Cassie G
    Jan 16

    We are in Portland, OR and pay $1515/mo regardless of sick days for one child. Daycare closes for holidays and one training day per month. It is hard! We started at the end of Oct and our LO has been sick non-stop. We are lucky and both have pretty generous leave packages but we are out of time. It makes it beyond stressful because not only are we paying a ton of our income to care, but now we risk being unpaid due to having them sent home.

  • Allen Tracy
    Jan 16

    I believe you can get an AuPair for around $1,600 a month. That's only $100 more than you pay now and they will cook for the children and do their laundry. They do live with you so you'd be paying more in utilities but it may be something you want to look into.

  • Anonymous
    Jan 16

    With the au pair, really do your research. When you have an au pair, they can only work a set number of hours that begins at 20 hrs/wk for the first few weeks and then slowly graduates. You also have to plan excursions for them and allot for some form of education for them. There are A LOT of rules and guidelines around having an au pair and I've known many families who have been disappointed after signing up to have one because they thought that they were receiving a qualified nanny who could work 40-60 hrs/wk and do chores and errands, but depending on which country your au pair comes from s/he may not even be able to get an American driver's license during his/her stay with you.

  • Christine
    Jan 16

    I am a Large Family Child Care Provider in the SF Bay Area. You get what you pay for and the fit is the most important after love and safety. We are opened almost all year except for legal holidays and a few days at Christmas. Serve 2 meals and 3 snacks. I have 5 employees + myself & a Papa. I like an above average ratio so eyes are on the kids in our large indoor and outdoor spaces. Minimum wage is $13.50 an hr so pay rate is above that. There are payroll taxes, workers comp, insurances, repairs, cleaning services, utilities, yard expenses, mortgage, repairs and a lot of hours spent in a business that I love. I have an $11 an hr rate, 4 hr daily minimum and 2 optional contracts that are for 12months and bring the rate down to 9.50. It is hard to find good employees. Our kids are healthy charge minimum day rate when kids are sick.

  • Our Loving Village H.
    check_circleChild Care Provider Friday

    As a quality child care provider, I want to chime in with the fact that parents need to be mindful of their work-family-life balance as well as ours. Regardless of price, I am privileged that I am available to care for children most of their waking hours, day in and day out. I get it, parents have to work! I am a first time mom of boy-girl twins. 14 months old now. I have ran my home daycare since they were 2 months old. Previously, I was a Child Care Director and Teacher for over 2 years each and respectively. I've worked in big centers with hundred of children and small centers with 25. The work is hard. To care for children everyday who are not your own. To treat them with respect and dignity without question. To show them the world, essentially, is no small task. Children are with me 6-8 hours everyday. They rely on me for breakfast, lunch dinner and 3 other snacks. Currently, I run Montessori inspired home daycare that uses positive guidance such as Conscious Discipline. I provide 3 meals and 3 snacks and of course, anytime a child is hungry, they are fed. I teach certified curriculum and tutor. Now it's kind of shocking to read the prices some of you have experience but I'm in Texas. I charge $125/week/child for preschool and $100/week/child for school age. I run a preschool program in the mornings and after school tutoring program in the evenings. $400-500/ month is a fair rate since we are raising other people's children most of the time. I have had less than 5 sick days between my family of 4 this year. When I worked in centers, I had less than that. We took a 2 day vacation in May, Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year's eve and day. Those were less than 2 weeks combined. My husband and I are college educated, I have my CDA credentials and other child development accreditation. In my opinion, quality care starts with providers being educated in child development but moreover, you need a certain kind of spirit to tend to children. I set my prices affordably because I KNOW how important this work is. Regardless of payment, I rest easy knowing I run a developmentally appropriate program that parents and children can benefit from. My investment in each child's life is just as much as their parents. Parents seem to be looking for the cheapest but also the well-run programs for their kids. I urge you to realize quality child care programs cost money! For parents who are fed up with the price of child care, just know that if you want QUALITY care, please respect your child care providers and appreciate them for all they do. We are literally raising the next generation with YOU. We get to influence and teach them about the world with YOU. We couldn't do this without you and you can't without us. That relationship will never cease. If I had to put my children in daycare, I know I would respect this profession, regardless of my experience in it. Just a little perspective.