Parents who work from home or choose not to work and stay at home need to weigh the pros and cons of this decision.
At first, it seems the easiest option, right?
Staying home can be a fantastic time with your little ones when they only have so many little years. Although you won't have to help them overcome separation anxiety, it does make for long days and no income or retirement benefits.
Hiring a Nanny
Although they offer no specifics specifically for Denham Springs, Livingston Parish, or Louisiana, NannyLane.com puts the average salary of a nanny at $19.14 per hour, making it the priciest option for childcare.
But it's nice to have someone caring for your children at your home, right?
One downfall of relying on a nanny for childcare is that it's generally one person in charge of the care. What happens when that one person needs sick days or vacation days?
Whether in-home or at a child care center, most traditional daycares in Denham Springs typically are open from 6 am-6 pm, with some child care facilities having earlier or later times.
Typically, daycare is most cost-effective if you need full-time care.
Parent's Day Out (PDO)
Parent's Day Out offers parents time during the day for childcare and usually costs less.
Most of these are based in the community, sometimes in local churches.
Usually, they are limited on days and hours; you should check if they are teaching a curriculum, as some do not.
Don't be scared about sending your child to daycare. Those horror stories you hear about are so scarce.
While they will miss you, they will have a group of teachers, staff, and other children to learn and grow with.
When you start looking at daycare centers, it can be overwhelming.
There are all different types:
large daycare centers
in a person's home
Mother's/Parent's Day Out in a church.
They each come at different price points and offer unique things.
Start by figuring out what your top priorities are.
Maybe you want something close to home or work.
Do you want somewhere that has a religious aspect?
How many days a week and how many hours do you need care?
Are you hoping to prepare your child for kindergarten or simple care and play?
How much does money factor into your childcare decision?
If you are looking for the most affordable daycare, Parent's Day Out is the most economical.
For only one child, daycare is so much less expensive than nannies that you may send your child to one immediately.
Consider the Average Cost
The average cost of full-time care in a daycare center for babies and toddlers is over $900 a month. That's just the average cost!
Depending on your location and the center you choose, prices could exceed $1,500 a month per child for full-time care.
Yes, you read that correctly!
According to the recent cost of care surveys, childcare has become less affordable for families.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, most American households struggle to find affordable childcare.
The pandemic has put even more stress on parents looking for options. Not to mention, some centers have had to close, have not reopened yet, or are forced to lower the number of children they can enroll.
For years, the cost of childcare has been rising faster than wages. A weak and uncertain economy may be pushing parents to the breaking point https://t.co/iXL0PBXEkc
Of course, costs vary wildly based on where you live and the daycare's features.
Factors like the cost of living in your area and living in a city or rural area can make a significant price difference.
Things cost more in cities.
The age of your child can change the cost as well.
Across the board, infant care (under one-year-old) has increased rates compared to older children.
They need more time, care, and hands-on attention, which makes parents pay more.
Child ratios are usually set by each state and are a significant factor in the number of children allowed in each classroom.
Other expenses to think about than just the monthly price, registration (usually yearly), supply fees, laundry, and diaper fees.
Don't forget the food cost; some centers provide snacks and lunches while others require you to bring them.
How do I save money but still get the care my child needs?
Evaluating your child's needs can be the best way to narrow down the best place for you and your child.
Think outside the box.
Does your local church offer a program, or is there a local parent's group that offers shared babysitters?
Do you need all daycare?
Look for centers that aren't full-time.
Maybe one of the parents can adjust the times you are at work, sending your child to daycare for a few hours per day.
Some daycares – but not all – will charge you per hour instead of per day or have a half-day rate.
Ask if there is a Military discount or multiple-child discount available.
Some centers offer discounts if you pay in full or half a year.
Daycares usually offer lunch, snacks, and breakfast, which means they need to charge more to include this.
Some in-home daycares or parents' day out programs have you provide lunch and could be better on cost.
Most daycares are not places you can easily cancel.
You have to pre-pay each week, and if your family takes a vacation or sick days and doesn't go to daycare, you still need to pay for the missed days.
Most places have a 2-week notice if you plan to take your child elsewhere.
Some daycares are drop-in type places.
These will charge you per hour instead of per day or have a half-day rate. These can be much more affordable if you are only looking for occasional care, but there usually is no guarantee of teachers' consistency.
Whichever option you choose, remember that choosing a childcare option is personal.
Each option has positives and negatives, and it is primarily about what you and your child need.
Ask questions, and go with your gut feeling.
Money is a significant factor in choosing child care, but don't let it be the only one!
If you're in Denham Springs, Louisiana, or the Baton Rouge Metro area, feel free to check out our program and see if The Way Church PDO and Preschool is the right fit for your family.