Poll question: How much do you pay for childcare?

The cost of raising a child in its first year is about $12,000. The bulk of that expense is child care, a price steep enough to make some couples postpone starting or growing a family until it becomes more affordable.

In Georgia, the average cost of child care for a 4-year-old is $5,700, according to the National Association of Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies. The national average is $6,700. For newborn babies, the cost is even greater.

Would the cost of childcare make you wait to add to or start your family?

More important, how much are you willing to pay for childcare?

How much do you pay a year for childcare?

View Results

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82 comments Add your comment

BongWater Slurpee

March 22nd, 2010
8:33 am

Based on todays parents lack of parenting skills it may be better to let ones child be raised by a pack of wolves.

Familyof6

March 22nd, 2010
9:14 am

My babies cost me $500/year — $30/mo for diapers & wipes, plus a few jars of baby food for going out, some clothes to supplement the hand-me-downs and thrift store finds. No playpen. No crib. No high chair. Hand-me-down stroller & car seat. We had been making $100k with 2 incomes. I was considering going back to work until I visited a day care center. I could have afforded day care, just like I could have afforded fancy *shtuff* for my kids. These are personal sacrifices that we chose to make.

BongWater Slurpee

March 22nd, 2010
10:21 am

Famof6…you probably made the correct decision as most daycares are chock full of wombats and miscreants.

Working mom

March 22nd, 2010
12:08 pm

This… coming from someone named “BongWater Slurpee”……

brandon

March 22nd, 2010
12:10 pm

My kid cost me about $500/month. My wife has been home with him from the beginning so there were no daycare cost. The cost is for a home school co op that we work with. I refused to send my kid to public school after they told me he needed be in special ed and they would send the short bus for him. I have no problem with that if it were necessary, but my kid is a healthy 7 year old who is able to do grade level work. We found that he needed more attention than he was able to get in a classroom of 30 kids. The home school co op has worked perfectly. We were able to find a curriculum that was taylored for his learning style and that has made all the difference.

Rush Limbaugh

March 22nd, 2010
12:16 pm

Truth be told, women need to stay home and raise the children. This is another reason how the liberals,and Hllary Clinton have ruined America.

Oh, if you need me?…I’ll be out of the country.

Ben

March 22nd, 2010
12:16 pm

I pay $16,640 / year for one child (a toddler). I don’t know how we’ll pay for 2, but we will find some way. Maybe my wife will quit work and stay home. We have no family in GA either to help out. Maybe Obama can take care of the cost of child care next. Probably not. Only the “rich” can afford it now anyway. No votes to be gathered there.

mugglemikki

March 22nd, 2010
12:17 pm

Brandon they actually used the term “short bus?” LOL

Ham Sandwich for lunch

March 22nd, 2010
12:19 pm

Working Mother

March 22nd, 2010
12:31 pm

BongWater Slurpee sounds like someone who doesn’t have and/or can’t have children. Please excuse yourself from the discussion.

gingergirl

March 22nd, 2010
12:31 pm

We pay about $150-$160/ week for each of our three kids, which for an in-town daycare runs about $100 less than most places around. What I love is that even with the reduced price, we get a better quality of care than I saw at several pricer daycares in town. My kids are pretty advance for their age in terms of reading/ math and social skills, which I attribute to their great care.

Working Mother

March 22nd, 2010
12:33 pm

Kudos to you brandon. I hear that a lot of schools are dumping children in special ed. This tends to follow them their entire time in school. It’s a sad case and I wonder how worse it will get with all the recent talk about school closings.

Working Mother

March 22nd, 2010
12:39 pm

In 2009 I spend about $10,000 for my toddler and infant’s child care. That number will be not change, even with my 4 yo starting Pre-K. Because of before and after care along with a ‘food fee’, maybe I should shop around for some other alternatives.

nestle73

March 22nd, 2010
12:41 pm

My only expense is after school care which cost me around $50.00 per monht. Thank GOD for grants.

Karen

March 22nd, 2010
12:43 pm

My husband and I have decided to remain childless. We’re not willing to devote that much money or time to children or child-rearing. We’re too selfish to do that.

Black Girl

March 22nd, 2010
12:53 pm

@Working Mother, what in the world is a food fee? The food is paid for by the state. I found that a lot of daycare centers offer “free” pre-k, but in reality, it’s not free at all. They slap all kinds of unnecessary costs so that they can make some money off of you. Meanwhile, they pay the workers little to nothing. They barely make minimum wage. I put mine in a private school starting in pre-k. It was a few years ago, but I only paid $400 a month for tuition. The only added costs were for before and after care. Those costs weren’t as bad as the local daycare center though. Some schools wanted nearly $100 a week for before and after care. I don’t think so.

AtlLaw

March 22nd, 2010
1:00 pm

After student loans (JD and a finance degree), car payment, health insurance, rent and groceries, we simply can’t afford to have children. In this economy, we live pay check to pay check, and that’s with an advanced degree (it doesn’t gaurantee a salary, people). There is no money left for the luxury of having a child. Be grateful if you can afford your children. The next childless couple you meet may not be as selfish as you presume them to be….

Nicole

March 22nd, 2010
1:01 pm

Fortunately I get to stay home with our children. But it takes alot of hard work. I was making 30k, and when our first child came along we realized, after car upkeep, gas, food for work, daycare and bottles, and disposable diapers (because I highly doubt the daycare would wash cloth ones? ;) ) and clothing for work I would basically be working just to put our child in daycare. So, I stayed home. This meant buckling down and only buying necessities at the grocery store, only going somewhere if I absolutely had to drive. No trips, extras..like coffee at starbucks, we had to wait for that brand new flat screen tv and car :) But its well worth all the effort and budgeting and buckling down. I am the main force in my children’s lives, I am the their caregiver, I am their role model. And I’ve dropped 40lbs walking everywhere…we even invested in a fisherprice wagon for those short trips to the grocery store (a block from my home) we walk to the park, or ride bikes, we walk to the ice cream shop (2 blocks-3 blocks) and I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything. You find yourself going back to ways of tradition..good home cooked food with fresh ingredients from the garden you finally got the courage to start. Your kids learn the value of a picnic in their own backyard and how to make bubbles from hand soap :) it really brings you back to a way back when that was simpler, and I love it. I realize there are couples who have a mortgage and car payments and they can’t afford to not have two people working. This is what I have to say to that….your car should be older and paid off (mine is a 96 and still running) and your house is to much for you, you should have bought a cheaper one. The one thing my husband and I did when we married in 99 at the ages of 19 and 23..we made a pact that I would stay home with the kids and we would only buy a house if one paycheck could afford it. We now have a nice little house in a great community that we love. Its about basics and love and commitment and realizing..bigger and more is not better. The simpler things are the better.

Hawk

March 22nd, 2010
1:04 pm

We pay $11k per year for child care alone. My wife and I have custody of our grandchild(8 months) because our son and his “girlfriend” just were not ready? Lazy *&%))%&, but that is another story. Anyway at our age, it is probably more affordable, but still very expensive. We have no choice though as my wife could not run her business and keep the baby, plus there is some good social interaction she gets at daycare. We of course get no help, but there is also the diapers, formula, etc. I really don’t know how young couples cope with the costs, it is pretty outrageous.

kathy

March 22nd, 2010
1:06 pm

I don’t know what our daughter pays for our year old granddaughter’s childcare–but it is worth every dime. Sophia goes to an in home Daycare and Cheryl is just wonderful with her and all the little ones. They are happy, secure, clean, and well taken care of. In additional she is great with new parents in helping them learn the ropes of parenting

Hawk

March 22nd, 2010
1:08 pm

Nicole,
Great job!!, you are an inspiration to me. It is so refreshing to see young people who know what they want and what is important to them. Your children are truly lucky to have parents like you two.

missy

March 22nd, 2010
1:13 pm

I was paying $200/week = $10,400 per year until my daughter started Pre-K.
Then I paid $100/week for before and after care = $5,200.
Now that my daughter is in Kindergarten I pay $35/week / 5 days = $7 per day x 180 days = $900 per year for the after school program (ASP) at her elementary school.
Summer Camp costs me $150/ week for 10 weeks = $1,500.

I’m thankful my daughter is school age and only pay a fraction of what I used to pay. Paying $2,400 for summer camp and after school care is refreshing!!

Nicole

March 22nd, 2010
1:14 pm

Forgot to add our cost…we have a 9 year old in 3rd grade, and cost for her lunch runs me about 1.00 a day. Thats with a sandwich, a fruit, and her water bottle. School supplies this year cost us 50 bucks. She takes basketball in the fall and soccer in the spring and then dance the rest of the year. so thats 710 for the year (this includes, uniforms and dance attire and pictures) she goes to upward and dance at First Baptist Church of Woodstock. I only shop consignment sales (because she has 3 sets of grandparents who supply us with new outfits) Shoes this year cost me 40 bucks. They were new and that included a new pair of sneakers, a pair of boots and a pair of dress shoes. We also have a 2 year old. We used clothed diapers, so, never any diaper cost for us. I made homemade food, so our food bill went up about 30 bucks a week. (we spend 150 total) I did have to use formula for her due to medication but I cannot remember what that had cost us, not much though because we did not struggle to buy it. Now she is potty trained and is in dance class which is 180 for the year..which includes her dance clothing, recital outfits and pictures. Our kids right now cost us a total of: I’m going to round up and add alot of extra to it, just in case I’m missing anything (like not factoring in ice cream walks, and movie treats, etc) but total I’d say about 5,000 for both kids. Right now. When the 2 year old starts school, then her supplies will add to it. But I don’t anticipate it to be more than 100 bucks.

Aggrivated

March 22nd, 2010
1:14 pm

Heck, we just passed national healthcare; why not angle for nationalized childcare. What do you mean it isn’t in the Constitution to do that??? Nobody has read that archaic relic in years….

Nicole

March 22nd, 2010
1:24 pm

Hawk :) Thank you. Its just all about planning and organizing and being ready to be considered odd and weird and far out there :) I mean today…who amongst my age grows their own veggies? or uses cloth diapers? eck! :) but, when it comes to if I’m going to raise my kids or if daycare is..then I’ll wash the nasty diapers :) its only for 2 years, and now she’s potty trained, no biggie. Making food was a process, lol, lots of mishaps, but in the end, it was awesome! Learning that I didn’t need a car for everything was really hard the first year, but now? I’m like drive? to the end of the road? are you kidding me? Its just all about reteaching yourself and coming to realize not to long ago, these things didn’t exist and people lived…imagine that! :) I’m not putting anyone down, its really hard to make the changes, but once you do? its so easy. Does my house have a brand new remodeled kitchen or bathroom? no, they are 10 years old, but so what? when I die is God going to give a crap what my kitchen looked like? no. My car is a 96, the paint is still shiny…it gets me from point a to point b…and I have no car payment…yippeeee! :) in 15 more years My house will be paid for! I’ll only be 49! Its all about sitting down and saying…do we “need” this? no? off it goes. I owe alot of it to my husband. He owns his own business and has kept us going for the 10 years all on his own. And that business does not have any loans attached to it…all merchandise and supplies is paid for in cash, no business loans. He is really smart with his money. We’ve never had a credit card, ever…we’ve never purchased anything on credit except for our house and first car. Its about being smart with money. It can be done, you just have to be willing to do without that morning 5 dollar coffee..that brand new 100 dollar skirt or purse, that 20-50k new car. Live in squallor? not what I’m saying…live simply. You’ll like it much much better…and in reality? so will your kids. My children have no idea what a playstation is, but my 2 year old can ride a 2 wheel bike.

WOW

March 22nd, 2010
1:30 pm

We pay $5,000 a year. Which is great for what we are getting. She is not just being cared for physically but they are teaching the children. She started when she was about 15 months. She is 22 months now and she already knows her numbers 1-5, primary colors, and alphabet (a-h). I didn’t realize she knew to cover her mouth when she sneezes or coughs until last week when I saw her do it and she says excuse me. They are assisting with potty training and she loves going, which says a lot because my child is much like her mother. Just because everyone likes it doesn’t mean I have to like it. I love them. If I have questions or concerns, they are addressed immediately. This place was an answer to my prayers

WorkingMom

March 22nd, 2010
1:34 pm

Nearly $16,000/yr for one toddler in daycare, and this isn’t even near the most expensive center around! The prices charged at the better centers intown are outrageous. We though the cost would go down as our child got older, but the yearly fee increase took away all hope of that. It enrages me that daycare centers are increasing tuition when many of the professional parents who use their service have seen salary cuts and/or job losses in the past year.

Working Mother

March 22nd, 2010
1:42 pm

@Black Girl, it’s everywhere I’ve turned to. Food fee and before and after care is anywhere from $75-$90 a week. The food fee is monthly. We’ll pay about $115/wk for her to go Georgia’s Pre-K program (including before/after care). It sucks. I’m looking into other alternatives even though she’ll be placed in what I’m sure is a nice facility.

Working Mother

March 22nd, 2010
1:45 pm

@Hawk you and your wife are awesome parents/grandparents. Other grandchildren wish they were so lucky. :)

Working Mother

March 22nd, 2010
1:49 pm

@Nicole I bow to you. That’s awesome :)

lexi

March 22nd, 2010
1:50 pm

Working Mother – that’s about how much I paid for my daughter for before and after care – and we had to pay the food fee as well – it was $12/week – for a total of $112 per week. Daycare centers know the parents don’t have another option which is why they charge the fees they do…also, it’s dependent on where you’re located. When I lived in Stockbridge, I paid $90/week for care, I then moved to East Cobb and paid $200/week….until my daughter started Pre-K.

Ohio GIrl

March 22nd, 2010
1:50 pm

I think that if it is affordable that one parent should stay home to raise the children! Many people do not want to make that decision but if you know what daycare are about then it would be reall easy to make the decision with no questions asked! I lost my job about three years ago, house in forclosure, car got repo! And now I have no choice but to live with other people!!! I am currently workingon my Masters degree and I am still here!! So, I value the time that I am able to spend with my children! Lessons learned!!!

CantonMom

March 22nd, 2010
2:00 pm

My kids go to a daycare that is not a chain, and we paid $12K for the year of 2009…and that was for a 2yo and a 4yo who was in the Pre-K program. They are on the cheaper side when compared to the chain daycare centers.

Kaye

March 22nd, 2010
2:00 pm

It does not seem to stop the welfare queens…oh, thats right they make money by having more kids while others, like me, wait to have a family when we can afford it.

Just me

March 22nd, 2010
2:14 pm

@ Blackgirl

Not all child care facilities get food costs covered by the state.

Working Mother

March 22nd, 2010
2:15 pm

@Lexi I figured as much. My 4yo (soon to be) will be at Primrose. We wanted more diversity and more hands on activities. I am not thrilled about the current school (which isn’t a chain like @CantonMom) but they have a few good teachers and they care for my child well considering what I pay. My 2yo would cost me $250/wk to attend Primrose. Safe to say my children will be at two different locations starting in August. But my baby girl will still be close to me and my big girl close to my husband. But just like many other working moms, I do my part at home (homework, additional work, extra reading, no tv, etc.) to make sure they’re ahead of the game.

ATL Mom

March 22nd, 2010
2:16 pm

I have just returned to work from maternity leave. I have a 2 1/2 yr old and 2 month old – we pay $20K a year, plus the two time a year $120 supply fee and $50 month music tuition for my 2 1/2 old to attend music class. I really want a third, but not sure I want to approach $30K in daycare….

Broke'snoJoke

March 22nd, 2010
2:17 pm

I currently live in the DC metro area and will be relocating to the Atlanta area this summer. The daycare that I use is an independent, church run center that charges $200 per week. Unfortunately, that’s a steal in this area which is why I’m in a hurry to get back to Atlanta. When I used to live in the Atlanta area, silly me thought it was expensive. Then I moved up here…one doesn’t know expensive until they know this area!

Whatdoiknow

March 22nd, 2010
2:17 pm

Lents not worry about this too much. Obama is going to take care of us!

Just me

March 22nd, 2010
2:18 pm

Um thanks Nicole,

The question was about childcare costs. Not dance class, soccer balls, fertlizer for the vegetable garden and a pimped out Radio Flyer.

Donna

March 22nd, 2010
2:23 pm

Money is absolutely one of the reasons I decided to *not* have children!

Sarah

March 22nd, 2010
2:31 pm

My husband and I have postponed until this year. I am a teacher and the one with health insurance so I have to go back to work (I am on planning.) We would like to start trying this summer/fall if I have a job. It worries me about daycare. I have to work. My husband cannot find a job with insurance and works as a freelance textbook writer/editor. I hope the daycare by my school is a great one.

a_mom

March 22nd, 2010
2:31 pm

Familyof6 & Nicole – I agree with you guys 100%! I quit my professional job when my first was born. It was a big adjustment at first, as my husband & I were used to eating out every week and taking lots of trips. But I always knew I wanted to stay home with my kids, at least while they are little. I was introduced to the bargains to be found at consignment sales, and I’ve bought 95% of everything for the kids this way. You can find very nice clothes & toys – very gently used – not at all like Goodwill, where you have to pick through some nasty stuff sometimes. Also, I’ve always grown tomatoes (can’t beat the taste!) & have tried adding a few other veggies each year with great success. This is just in the backyard of my typical small subdivision lot. It’s not as hard as you think, the taste is so much better, you won’t have to wonder about how much pesticide is on it from some other country, and might make a small dent in your grocery bill. Oh yeah, check out couponmom.com and Dave Ramsey, too.

I have so many friends who say they’d like to do what I did but can’t afford it. But they also buy a new car every 4 years, still eat out weekly, go on trips, etc.. My husband drove his car until it was 18 years old, and it still looked good (no rust or accidents) but we decided it was time because it was needing more work done. I told him to pick something he really liked because he’ll be driving it for 15 years! ha!

The point is, it CAN be done if you’re wishing you can do it, even in this economy. For me, I just felt like I wanted to be the one raising my child during their impressionable years. And I’m not saying these things to demean working parents. I honestly don’t know how my friends have the energy to come home after all day & still do all the household chores plus spend time with the kids. I’d be so exhausted.

Just me

March 22nd, 2010
2:33 pm

Childcare is absolutely about how much you’re willing to pay for it. I pay $6760 at a facility that I love and that our little girl loves, and while its pricey, its worth every penny. We’re constantly told about how ‘advanced’ she is in comparison to other children her age. WE LOVE THE PLACE. Five mins from downtown atlanta and the families will vary from welfare queens to Ph.D’d parents, including everyone in between. Hey, I call it ‘diversity’ and it’s important to us to have our child see many different walks of life, as we did growing up. As long as its safe, we’re happy.

I’m also acutely aware that I am married and our combined income is too high to receive darn near any type of assistance including this new families subsidy coming down the pipeline from ObamaCare in 2014. My divorced sister raises her four children on FAR less money and they’re just as happy and healthy as our girl. Its all about how much you’re willing to pay.

P.S. – I worked at Primrose, and while its a lovely school, the facility our daughter attends is comparable in every way.

AJ

March 22nd, 2010
2:35 pm

I use to pay $1000 a month for daycare. Finally, my daughter went to middle school and my baby is in kindergarten, her brother is in 2nd grade. So I only have to pay $110 a week, or $440 a month. A big difference from $1000. I will pay this until I don’t have to anymore.

Lori

March 22nd, 2010
2:44 pm

You pay what you’re willing to pay for quality service. I put my child the the most expensive day care in the area because it was the only one in the area I felt comfortable leaving my child. Most of them I wouldn’t even consider leaving my dog, much less my son.

Working Mother

March 22nd, 2010
2:50 pm

everyone has a price and many are not willing to pay anything thus they swear to never have children (a choice i cannot debate) but even with all the expenses, i love my two babies more than life itself. and that type of unconditional love comes simply from being a parent. welfare queens get rewarded and i work everyday and can’t get a high five. oh well, that’s life.

@Just Me Discovery Point was my first choice. I met the owner/director and she was awesome but the location is not at all convenient for my husband. Primrose may be comparable to most but it’s a little better than where she is now. And there is more diversity which is important to me.

I’ll never be @a mom or @Nicole but if either of you open a home school I’d like to come talk to you…that’s if you’re in my area. :)

No regrets childcare

March 22nd, 2010
2:58 pm

Except for the first year, our childcare was free–unless you consider the salary I did not earn. I never even remotely considered staying at home with my children until a wake-up-call a few months after our first child was born. I quit my teaching job and stayed home the next 24 years, until our youngest started college. I have absolutely no regrets. I am very thankful for those years.
Some people say they cannot afford it. For most, that is just not the truth. They really could afford it if they were willing to be objective about their expenses and budgets. Children are more important than the “fulfillment” one gets from working outside the home. You get one chance to raise your children; you turn around, and they are gone.
From a proud mother of four young taxpayers: a teacher, a financial analyst, a pilot, and an executive assistant (who is soon to be a stay-at-home mom herself)

AtlLaw

March 22nd, 2010
3:17 pm

It’s a completely different world these days. It’s no longer 1985. What if your husband has lost his job? What if it’s your income, without employer-offered health insurance or maternity leave that keeps your household afloat? What then?

Working Mother of Two!

March 22nd, 2010
3:18 pm

I currently pay $271/week for my two daughters (19 months and 3 years old) at Discovery Point in Snellville. I stayed home with my first daughter for a year and my second for 8 months. I was VERY selective in choosing a daycare that I believed met my children’s needs. The care they receive is excellent and the staff is very loving. My children are learning so much that it amazes me – my 3 year old is teaching me Spanish! As far as the cost, my husband and I look at it as an investment, as we will be sending our children to private school. As a parent, you want the very best for your child and that usually comes with a nice price tag. It’s definitely a personal choice.