Taking your child to daycare is one of the practical decisions you have to make as a parent. As your work schedule becomes more demanding, you’ll likely end up sending your baby to one of the daycare facilities near you.
One question that will linger in your mind is, “how much is daycare or how much will I pay for daycare on average?”
Understanding the average cost of daycare will prepare you for this exciting yet anxious journey of entrusting your child to a new caregiver. Here is a guide to how much a daycare program will cost you.
What Is The Average Cost Of Daycare?
If you’re doing an internet search on daycare prices, you’ll find different figures in different articles. However, one thing that you’ll find constant is that the cost of daycare in America is shockingly high.
According to MoveOn.org, the average daycare cost per week is $216. If you do your math, daycare will cost you over $10,000 per year on average. This cost will vary depending on the cost of living in your state.
Your child’s age and your schedule will also affect the cost you pay for daycare. For example, if your kid is over four years old, you will pay an average of $175 per week. The only reason you’ll pay more for younger kids is that they need more hands-on care than older kids.
Which States Have The Most Expensive Or Affordable Daycares?
Data shows that you’ll pay a higher average daycare cost if you live in Washington, DC. You will pay approximately $21,678 per year, which is around 26 percent of the median household income in the state. You will also pay more in Massachusetts, where the average is $18,004 per year.
If you live in the southern states, you’ll find that daycare is more affordable. For example, you will pay a yearly average of $5,593 for daycare in Alabama and $5,110 in Mississippi. You may also find the cost more affordable in South Dakota, as it is approximately $6,430 per year.
However, before you decide to move to states where childcare is cheaper, do your research on the quality of daycare services. You wouldn’t want to compromise your child’s health or pre-school education to save a few thousand dollars.
What Additional Fees And Costs Will You Pay For Daycare?
When preparing your child for daycare, you should determine whether you’ll pay extra fees. Some daycare centers will require you to pay an additional fee for the food and snacks they provide to your child. You’ll be better off if you work with daycare programs that allow you to pack your child’s food every day.
You may also pay additional fees for extracurricular activities that are not part of the standard daycare services. These activities include art, karate, gymnastics, and learning a second language. If you want your child to have an all-around experience in daycare, you can break the bank for these extracurricular activities.
Some daycares will require you to pay additional supply fees on a bi-annual, quarterly, or monthly basis. The supply fees will cover expenses such as diaper and laundry assessments. The daycare will also spend this extra fee on training its staff to sharpen their skills in taking good care of your baby.
If daycare tragedies scare you, you can pay an additional fee to observe your child while at daycare. The childcare center will allow you to log in to their protected website and monitor your child. This way, you’ll have more peace of mind after your daycare drop-offs.
What Can You Do To Save On Daycare Costs?
Once you know the average cost of daycare in your state, you should consider whether you can take measures to pay a lower price. There are a few options you can consider. These include:
Talking To Your Employer
Many employers understand the benefits of daycare and how quality daycare can improve their employees’ productivity. Your company might be in a position to negotiate daycare discounts for its employees.
In such cases, your company may make special arrangements to pay for daycare costs, especially if you and your colleagues work long hours. Find out whether your employer has such arrangements and take advantage of them.
Due to the pandemic, many employers prioritize family care benefits that make daycare affordable. For example, your company may provide child care subsidies to help you cover the full or partial cost of child care. Ask your employer if they offer these benefits and start leveraging them.
Taking Advantage Of Tax Breaks
If you spend a lot on child care, you may be eligible for the child and dependent care tax credit. If your children are over 13 years of age, you’ll get tax breaks that will help you cover the cost of daycare. The only qualification is that you and your spouse should be earning an income.
The current cap on childcare expenses to be eligible for tax credits is $8,000 for one child and $16,000 for two or more kids. With a write-off of up to 50 percent, you could get a credit of $4,000 if you have one kid. Find out whether you’re eligible for such tax benefits as they will reduce your daycare cost burden.
Looking Into Childcare Programs And Subsidies
Your family may qualify for programs that help you spend less on child care. For example, you may be eligible for state assistance subsidies or military family assistance programs.
You may also be eligible for various employer subsidy programs. These include child care network programs that allow you to get a discount from particular daycare centers.
If you’re a student, you can take advantage of school-sponsored subsidies. For example, some universities will offer you subsidized on-campus daycare.
Know The Average Cost Of Daycare And Start Planning
One thing that can make parenting more difficult is the cost of daycare. If you’re already planning to send your child to daycare, you need to understand the average cost of daycare in your state.
Now that you have an idea of how much you might pay for daycare, your next question might be, is there a daycare near me? There is a high possibility that there is a Kid City USA Daycare in your hometown. Contact us today to enroll your child in a quality daycare program at the most affordable price.