Where do your childcare dollars go?
Categories include the costs for space, insurance, supplies, food, and utilities. Those costs are fixed and have to be
met no matter if the child is in a center-based program or a family childcare home. Recently many of these fixed costs have
risen, but the fees still being charged have remained stable when adjusted for inflation. Many parents assume teachers and
caregivers are well paid since childcare seems so expensive. However, the reality is that salaries are very inadequate for
most child care workers.
Preschool teachers in centers earned about $25,500 per year in 2011, plus benefits (401K,
Insurance, paid training, etc). Licensed family childcare providers reported total childcare earnings (after expenses)
of approximately $16,000 per year. Such salaries are extremely low even compared to those of other female dominated occupations.
Good childcare is expensive. The number of children per adult must be limited, because young children need close adult attention
in order to thrive. This in turns limits our earning potential in this career. Yet, we choose to do this because we
To shed a light on where your child care dollars goes each week, here is the average daycare budget in 2011:
Liability Insurance.... $.89 cents day (this varies by policy and state)
Homeowners Insurance.... $3.53 day
Vehicle Insurance.... $2.89 day
Health Insurance ... $18.66 day
Toys and Educational Materials.... $7.00 day
Miscellaneous Expenses (includes cleaning, paper, ink, etc.) $15.57 day
Repairs and Home Maintenance & Upkeep... $27.63 day
The average daycare provider in my area earns about $16,000 per year after expenses and taxes. This is for working
60+ hour per week, no overtime, no pension, no health insurance, no 401k. This comes out to be a little over $5 per
hour - not even minimum wage in 2011.
It sounds like Family Daycare is a lot of work and it would be easier just to get a job. Yes, some days we all wonder ourselves.
Usually when we need a vacation, it is taken without pay. But we are all humans, so please respect us for recognizing the
need for a break and taking it.
Just like any other job, it has its ups and downs. We all remind ourselves that we are important to these kids and that
we do like what we are doing. Therefore, at this point in our lives, providing Family Daycare to the best of our abilities
in order to give each child the best possible environment away from home is our goal.
In closing, it is not our intent
to "cry the blues" or "feel sorry for ourselves" to the point that it discourages others from entering the world of daycare.
There is and always will be a need for daycare. It is an opportunity like no other that offers rewards no other job can give
However, awareness to the facts is the key to succeed and success. Writing that daycare check each payday is not
a bit of fun. The only thing that we ask from parents is to respect our policies as a commitment and not just a set of
rules that they must comply with. And by committing to our policies that we are in turn committing to them also by choosing
to stay home so they can go to work each day. When payday comes and it is time to write your provider that paycheck,
take a few minutes to assess in your own mind where each dollar is going, even if it includes days the children were absent.
Remember if it weren't for Family Daycare, many parents would not receive that paycheck.
The happiest of people don't
necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.