Cost Of Care Survey Methodology
This scientific sample of 3,000 US adults who are all parents paying for professional child care was surveyed between May 4 and May 6, 2021. The margin of error is ±1.8%. No additional weighting was done to the initial sample, and no post-stratification of results was applied. DKC Analytics conducted and analyzed this survey with a sample procured using the Pollfish survey delivery platform, which delivers online surveys globally through mobile apps and the mobile web along with the desktop web.
- 100% of respondents are parents of children under 15 years-old who currently pay for professional child care, as verified by both consumer data and respondent self-confirmation.
- 39% have a youngest child under 4 years-old and 61% have a youngest child between 5 and 14 years-old.
- 35% have one child, 42% have two children, 15% have three children, and 8% have four or more children.
Care Deserts Are More Prevalent As A Result Of The Pandemic
Before the pandemic, more than half of American families lived in a child care desert, in which the demand for child care outweighs the supply of child care centers and providers. And things have only gotten worse.
According to our survey:
- 46% of families say that finding available child care providers is more difficult now, compared to pre-pandemic.
- Of the 51% who used either a child care or day care center before the pandemic:
- 61% report that their provider is not yet fully open and operating.
- 14% say their provider has reopened, but not fully.
Breaking This All Down For Your Family
Looking at the annual in-home daycare cost for your state can feel a little overwhelming at first, so its important to break it down into monthly or weekly budget items that are easier to manage.
Most daycare centers will also explain pricing as a weekly or monthly rate, so youll want to know the conversions ahead of time to avoid being caught off guard. Heres how to figure out weekly rates from the data weve provided above.
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Subsidized Child Care In Houston
Paying for child care is expensive, and Houston does provide options for families to receive financial assistance for care. In Harris County, aid is provided by Workforce Solutions, in partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission. You can check your eligibility and see instructions for applying for aid here. Financial assistance is subject to the program’s current funds, so exact benefit is hard to calculate in advance, but qualified families are encouraged to apply to get details on what assistance they can receive.
How Much Does A Nanny Cost
An in-home babysitter, or nanny, may be a better solution for some families, especially those with multiple children. About 5% of young children with a child care arrangement are cared for in their home by a babysitter or nanny.
The nanny market is competitive, with more experienced workers demanding higher pay. Families also try to woo nannies with good benefits, like health insurance, paid vacation and guaranteed pay on days or weeks when he or she isnt needed, like when the family goes on vacation or a grandparent is visiting.
The average salary for a nanny is $19.14 per hour , according to a 2017 survey of mostly U.S.-based nannies done by the International Nanny Association. It ranges from an average of $14.08 per hour for a nanny with less than one year of experience to $21.98 per hour, on average, for those with 20-25 years of experience.
About 62% of nannies are compensated for overtime at time and a half, and 60% receive an annual bonus from their employer. More than 70% also get paid vacation and paid holidays. Only 17% of nannies get their health insurance costs paid either fully or partially.
U.S. families who pay a nanny more than $2,300 per year are responsible for paying social security and Medicare taxes of 15.3% of the cash wages, according to the IRS. This amount can be split between the employer and the employee.
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How Much Does A Baby Nurse Cost
New parents without access to maternity or paternity leave benefits might have to go back to work when their newborn is still waking up every three hours. Others, with cash to spare, might also appreciate the assistance of an experienced newborn caregiver. Enter the baby nurse, who can come to your home for 12-hour shifts or even round-the-clock help during those early weeks of your babys life. Some stay for just a week or two, while others for up to six weeks or longer.
New mothers report paying a baby nurse, or night nurse, rates that start at about $11 per hour in lower-cost-of-living parts of the U.S. Baby nurses hired through agencies tend to cost more. In some expensive cities, families pay up to $30 per hour.
Where Does Your Child Care Dollar Go
For many families, spending $1,230 a month for center-based infant child care is a significant strain on their budget or is entirely out of reach. However, even this high monthly cost leaves child care centers struggling to cover their costs. The sample budget in Table 2 below uses data from CAPs cost model to illustrate the breakdown of expenses in a child care centers infant classroom:
As shown above, even if the infant classroom is fullwith all eight children paying tuition in full and on timethere is slightly less than $74,000 available annually to pay the salaries of the two teachers in the classroom and to cover the share of nonteaching staff such as the director or administrative assistant.
In a family child care program, the problem is similar. In small, home-based programs, the entire family child care program can be viewed as one classroom. The family child care sample budget in Table 3 below shows that even with families paying $800 per month, there is little left over for the provider to purchase benefits or reinvest in their program. Assuming the provider enrolls six children, its income would be only about $33,000 per year.
Looking at the data in this way, it becomes apparent that the system is broken: Parents are stretched thin, teachers are underpaid, and programs are struggling to stay solvent.
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National Average Weekly Rates
* Rates are based on the national data from The Cost of Child Care During the Coronavirus Pandemic calculator by Center for American Progress.
** Rates for two children calculated by adding the weekly rate for one child and the weekly rate for the second child with a national average sibling discount of 10%.
Tennessee’s Cost Of Child Care Among Highest In Nation
Tennessee ranks among the sixth highest states for child care as a percentage of household income, according to a 2016 New America Care Report. Tennessee families pay $7,406 on average for child care at a center and if they hire a nanny, the average cost nearly quadruples to $27,438 annually. The average costs consumes 37 percent of a family’s average household income in Tennessee, or 108 percent of a minimum wage income.
6 tips:Budgeting for a young family in Nashville
Demand for infant care is especially high because the teacher ratio is higher. Many centers don’t offer infant care because it costs more to operate those rooms, increasing the demand for that particular stage of life.
Some programs had been able to balance infant costs with a large number of older children, but one of the unintended consequences of Metro’s expanded Pre-K program is that it has pulled older kids from daycare programs, making costs untenable for some operators, Tek said.
For the Munsons, the cost of operating and staff incomes have increased during the past 10 years, but reimbursements from the Tennessee human services department have stayed the same.
“The person who has to make up the gap are these families we are trying to serve,” Sue Munson said.
For some, the cost of daycare, especially with multiple children, may cancel out a paycheck for a parent, prompting them to choose to forego an income and stay home. Or it means cutting back on other needs.
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What Is The Going Rate For Babysitting A Newborn
average babysitting rateBabysitting pricesnewborn20 ways to save money on child care
Talk To Your Employer
Due to the pandemic, many companies are now prioritizing family care benefits that provide affordable and accessible child care and senior care services to their employees. From access to subsidized digital care memberships to backup child and adult care, find out if your employer offers family care benefits. And if they dont, ask for them.
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Search For A Reliable Child Care Costs Calculator To Help
There are some handy child care costs calculators available online nowadays. A quick web browser search will provide you with several options, even some that are efficient enough to narrow down the search and costs to the area you live in.
This is more of a helpful tool for folks looking for how much is reasonable, in your area, to pay babysitters either in your home or at the providers home.
But some of these calculators will help with average rates for childcare centers, to provide you with a perspective of whether you are paying too much.
Of course, youll want to research any childcare center or provider, and its a good idea to ask other parents you know and find out who they have chosen. This way you can have some ideas of the best options and of course or providers to avoid.
Finally, before choosing a childcare center, definitely check into their credentials and qualifications. Visit the facility and do so with a list of questions to make sure you make the right choice.
How Can I Save Money
There are some government programs that help low-income families with the cost of childcare.
Most daycares have a discount plan for multiple children who are enrolled.
Some centers will give discounts for families that are able to pay for a year of childcare up front.
You may also want to consider a private babysitter.
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How Much Your Family Should Expect To Pay For Daycare
Daycare centers are a practical choice for many working families. It is reliable , may offer longer hours or flexible schedules and may offer after-school care or part-time rates. Downsides can include high staff turnover, an “institutionalized feel,” or higher staff-to-child ratios. But daycare is usually reasonably priced compared to other options.
Streamline Financial Management With Procare Select
Procare Select takes the stress and paperwork out of managing every aspect of your child care center, helping you save time and reduce costs while improving the accuracy and completeness of your data. Child care centers with Procare Select can streamline classroom management, track check-ins, simplify fee calculations, monitor payment accounts by family, manage billing and payroll, and automate financial reporting. As a result, child care centers spend less time on administration and can pass those cost savings on to parents.
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Daycare Centers Face Slim Margins Abundant Risk And Regulation
Sue and Bill Munson, owners of Leaps ‘n Bounds Preschool on Trinity Lane, started their child care center nearly a decade ago to provide options to North Nashville families. With 100 students, age six weeks to 5 years old, enrolled in their program, they have 100 more children on their waiting list.
“Many of them are meeting us before their kids are born,” Bill Munson said. “Some even come and meet with us before they conceive a child because there is such a shortage of facilities.”
But it is not surprising to them that more stand-alone centers do not open in response to the heavy demand. The profit margins are thin and the risk is high. They entered the business in part to give back, not to make a large sum, they said.
“The problem is there is a whole lot of liability,” Bill Munson said. “We are so highly regulated. You have to have a heart for this.
Tek estimates that 55 programs have disappeared in the Middle Tennessee area in the past four years. State regulations, though in place for good reason, can be burdensome, especially for small operators, Tek said.
“What happens over and over again that we hear is that people don’t know how to make ends meet,” Tek said.
After insurance, facility costs and paying staff, there is not a lot of money leftover. Leaps ‘n Bounds charges between $180 and $275 a week per child, far less than many Nashville centers, because affordability is a top priority, Sue Munson said.
Cost You Can Save On A Shared
You can reduce your infant child care cost through nanny share, where the children of two or more families are cared for by one nanny at the same time. Nanny share works in many ways, starting with a full share where one nanny takes care of the children of two families without giving individualised care. It is a financially viable option but sometimes not practical. The partial nanny share is another option where the nanny takes care of the children of two families sometimes together and sometimes individually. For example, if you are paying your nanny $15 an hour, through sharing you can lower that to $11.
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Key Findings From The Carecom 2021 Cost Of Care Survey
New data from the eighth annual Care.com 2021 Cost of Care Survey reveals:
- The cost of child care is higher for families in 2021. 85% of parents, compared to only 72% in 2020, report they are spending 10% or more of their household income on child care.
- Hiring a nanny became a more feasible option for many families in 2021. Theres only a $14 a week difference now between the cost of having two children in day care versus hiring a nanny.
- Quality child care is only harder to come by as we begin to recover from the pandemic. More than half of American families already lived in a child care desert, and now 46% of families report that finding child care is more difficult now, compared to pre-pandemic.
- Parents are struggling to pay for child care so they can get back to work. 62% of families say they have more concern about the cost of child care now. Plus, 94% of parents have used at least one major cost-saving strategy to save money on child care in the past year, including reducing hours at work , changing jobs , or leaving the workforce completely .