How Much Should I Pay for Childcare?
People who work taking care of children receive a wide range of compensation. Some people earn as little as $35 per child per day, for day-homes, and some earn over $18 per hour, more than double minimum wage. As a parent, how do you decide how much you should pay for childcare? How does the difference in cost effect the quality of your childcare? Here is a short guide, based on cost, to help you decide what kind of childcare is best for you.
$35 per day – Dayhomes
Day homes are commonly run by stay at home mothers who offer to take care of children, in addition to their own. They are inexpensive because they are a way for mothers to make money when they would otherwise have been taking care of only their own children for free. They are a great option for people on a tight budget but often don’t offer the structure or professionalism of a daycare.
$8(minimum wage) to $12 per hour – Introductory level care
Minimum wage is often paid to people who have very little experience and no childcare educational background. It is possible to find a childcare worker who is young, creative and responsible who you could pay minimum wage.
$14 to $16 per hour – Moderate experience or education
If you are willing to pay more than minimum wage for childcare then you can afford someone who has 3 – 5 years of experience or who has recently graduated from a early-childhood education program. The quality of their care will be higher than someone with no experience.
$18 per hour or higher – Career nanny
You should only pay someone $18 per hour or above if they have many years of experience and/or a strong educational base such as a teaching or nursing degree. If you can afford a nanny with this level of experience it is a worthwhile investment.