Child care costs are usually second after your monthly rent or mortgage. There are many factors to consider when searching for child care: your budget, the type of care, quality of care and location.
Today we will focus on cost. Your budget will obviously dictate what type of care you may be able to afford. Nanny care is the most expensive type of child care. Dependent on your location rates can be $15-$20 per hour or more for one child and increase with additional children.
Center based care is typically more expensive than a Family Child Care Home (FCCH), because obviously they have more overhead and operating expenses. There are usually more children per classroom in center based care and they are the same age. FCCH's are typically limited to 5 children or less, so there is a variety of ages together.
There is also Relative Care - where a family member provides care for your child - and that is usually a lower cost, negotiable, and sometimes even free!
Keep in mind that you pay tuition even if your child is sick or you go on vacation. Some facilities will offer a break on fees for vacation or waive them all together for a specific time frame once a year.
Most facilities also charge a registration fee, either a one-time or annually. In some instances, both.
Bottom line - no pun intended - if you are expecting or are just now going to start using child care be sure to analyze all of your costs. Including your gas, meals, clothes, time and other miscellaneous expenses that will be incurred when you go back to work.