Whether you have a young child or are about to become a parent for the first time, you might be wondering about the average cost of daycare. If so, you’re on the right track. Child care prices are often forgotten when new parents are researching finances. Unless one parent is planning on staying home with the kids, this is a very important thing to consider.

How Much is Daycare?

Before you can get a good grasp on daycare prices, it’s important to understand how much they can vary. The price is based on:

  • What type of childcare you need.
  • Your location.
  • The age of your child and how much supervision he or she requires.
  • The amount of time per week that your child will need care.

Due to these variables, it’s difficult to give an exact quote for child care rates. If you live in an expensive city, such as San Francisco, Chicago or New York, you can expect the high cost of living to be reflected in your daycare costs.

How Much Does Daycare Cost at a Daycare Center?

1. Infants and Toddlers

Young children require constant care and attention, which means you can expect to pay more. The average cost for infant and toddler daycare in the United States is $972 a month.

2. Preschoolers

For preschool-age children, you can expect to pay an average of $733 a month in day care costs.

What about Home Daycare?

Some people run daycare centers out of their homes. Sometimes these home daycare centers are licensed, and sometimes, they are simply private babysitters. The child care cost for this type of service is an average of $646 a month for young kids and slightly less for older kids. Home daycare might be a good option if there are stay-at-home moms offering this type of service in your neighborhood.

Are Daycare Costs Higher for Private Nannies?

A private nanny is a great option if you can afford it. Not only will you be able to find a person who is right for your family, but you’ll also be able to get a better grasp on the level of care your child is receiving as time goes on. Daycare centers are often very busy, and with a private nanny, your child is guaranteed to be the center of attention at all times.

However, private nannies are definitely the most expensive option. Depending on where you live, you may pay as much as $3000 a month for this type of care. On top of that, hiring a nanny will make you an employer, which means you will be expected to pay Social Security, taxes and sometimes health insurance for your employee.

Another negative about choosing a private nanny is that there will only be one person responsible for your child. If this person needs to take a day off because of illness or a personal problem, you will be out of luck. You won’t have that problem with a daycare center that employs more than one childcare worker.

Determining Your Day Care Cost: Research is Required

This page is meant to provide basic figures for what childcare will cost, but you will have to do a bit of research on your unique situation to get an exact figure. Always check out a few different options to make sure you get a good grasp on prices in your area. Also, be sure to factor in location. If you find an affordable daycare center that is on the other side of town, the gas prices may add up over time. Always factor in fuel, commute time and overall quality of the care option before making a final decision.

Enrolling Childcare Centers