Where do my child care dollars go?

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The cold hard truth is that child care is expensive.  Child care can easily cost between $5000 - $12,000 a year, per child.  Nearly as much as college tuition.  Some parents see these figures and assume that child care providers' make a huge amount of money.  The truth is that providers run businesses and it cost money to run a business. 

These are some of the costs a provider may incur:


Accounting (tax preparation)

Arts, Crafts, and Preschool Supplies

Books and Magazines

Transportation costs

Education - All training and classes

Field Trips

Food - If the provider is on the USDA food program, some or all is reimbursed.

Gifts for daycare children

Legal Fees - Court fees for collections

Office Supplies

Memberships to Professional Organizations

Replacement and Repairs of Household items damaged by children

Registration/Certification fees

Substitute Care

Daycare Liability Insurance

Daycare Supplies - Toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels, baby wipes, Dixie Cups, paper plates, toys, videos, baby equipment and furniture, storage, tippy cups, ect.

Furniture, Carpet, and Appliance replacment (Yes kids wear these items out faster)

Higher utility costs and more garbage

More laundry soap and cleaning supplies than what would be used for a normal size family

This is only a partial list of some of the expenses incurred by your daycare provider. Keep in mind also that home child care providers get no insurance, no benefits, and no retirement.

If your provider is following Child Care Division rules, he/she is only allowed a certain number of children.  This limits our income potential so if your provider is requiring you to pay whether your child is at daycare or not, please keep in mind that she is trying to follow Child Care Division rules.  She is also trying to keep her business afloat.  There is a huge amount of turnover in this business and its because providers usually fail to protect themselves from financial disaster.

Child care providers are one of the 25 lowest paying jobs in America. Considering that the first three years of life are the most crucial for brain development in children, how much is a good child care provider worth to you?