How much is daycare where you live and how do you budget for it?

posted 2 years ago in TTC
  • poll: How much do you pay for daycare per month (per child)?
    0-1000 : (21 votes)
    26 %
    1001-2000 : (44 votes)
    55 %
    2001-3000 : (10 votes)
    13 %
    3000+ : (5 votes)
    6 %
  • Post # 16
    6874 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    View original reply
    DrAtkins :  mine is in the 600/month range. I was thrilled as I’d always figured it would cost a ton. Although I’m in the ‘middle class’ range, I live in a fairly poor area, so I think they have subsidies to help. For me that’s a bit under half a paycheck, my mortgage is almost a full one. We also have no family nearby… it’s a pain, though I’d never expect the grands to sit every day, it’d be nice to have them now and then!

    as far as budgeting, it’s not a thing I’ve had to plan specifically.  We don’t take pricey trips, eat out often, drive flashy cars or whatever it is that eats paychecks and we live rurally, so city expense is a non-issue. My husband got some plan at his new job that takes money out pretax Just for daycare. That’s a nice little benefit.

    Post # 17
    6874 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    Omg, who is spending my entire salary on daycare?? For just one kid?! Holy crap

    Post # 18
    946 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2020

    I also live in Boston and this is why we’ve discussed me working from home/being a stay at home mom when we have kids. We’re a few years out from that, but no way am I going to work JUST to pay for daycare. It makes sense for some people who want to retain their career status/love their jobs, but since it doesn’t apply to me, I’m just going to be at home.

    Post # 19
    10487 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    We pay $175 a week ($700 a month) for our daycare. It’s a family run daycare that’s been around since the 60s. Not a chain and not the most fancy (no phone apps or things like that) but they care about the kids and taking good care of them which is what’s most important.

    Other daycares in the area ranges from $800-$1200 which $1000-$1200 being the most common. 

    Post # 20
    9388 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2016

    Seattle is pretty much exact same.  Our mortgage is about $3500 (rent was about the same when we were in an apartment).. My work offers daycare for $1700 but not surprisingly there are never open spots so its very unlikely we’ll get in. (Also, while I’m on the top of the list for “contractors”, FTE’s get priority so.. basically if any spot in the 0-17m group opens up any FTE even if they sign on to the list a year or more after I did, gets in first.  It’s not unfair–I get FTEs should get priority–it’s just unfortunate.).  Other daycares are more around $2400+ and honestly aren’t really great from what I’ve heard.  Our plan is to do what a lot of people we know do and get a nanny-share.  Basically team up with another family and hire a nanny to care for our kids.  This is typically $2500 per kid (assuming two infants) so for roughly the same price at least we get someone who we can decide what type of schedule they’ll keep our kid on, etc.  Plus when its our week to host it means I wont have to drop off/pick up baby anywhere.

    How do we budget? Well, we used to put a bit more than that in to savings monthly but now with that plus our new life insurance premiums.. we won’t be saving any money, not really, until baby is 18+ months and daycare starts to get cheaper.. or if a spot at my work’s daycare opens up.  It’s unfortunate we won’t be adding to our savings at all for almost two years, but it is what it is.  Definitely for this reason we’re that much more sure we don’t want more than one kid (we were already pretty sure.. but the finance portion really seals the deal!)

    Post # 21
    4366 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    We pay about 1k/month for our son, who is 2.5

    We just had our second, and i’ll be on mat leave for a year, but then we’ll have a year of both in daycare at the same time, so it’ll be 2k/month.

    Basically we just plan to cut way down for that one year. Less eating out, probably no trips, and we’ll put less away for retirement for a short period of time. 

    Post # 22
    265 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2018

    Dear lord these numbers are insane, especially for infant care!  This discussion is further cementing my inclination to just take a few years off from full time work when hubby and I get around to having kids.  I’d have about the same net income freelancing from home part time as I would working full time and paying for full time daycare.  I’m fortunate that my skill set (front end web/app development, design, illustration) lends itself well to freelancing/WFH contracting, so I wouldn’t have to completely leave the workforce/let my skills atrophy. 

    Post # 24
    345 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2016 - Presidio Log Cabin

    Another Bay Area/SF bee here. I am having twins, so we had some MAJOR sticker shock at realizing the “good” daycares that take infants would run us $5k-6k/month for both babies. Not gonna happen! Luckily we are in a financial position where my husband can become a Stay-At-Home Dad when I go back to work, because that trade off is seriously not worth it!

    Post # 25
    9795 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I live in the midwest so it’s lower COL but I might be the “highest” COL area in the state (city suburbs).  My 1 year old is $300/wk and my 4.5 year old is $211/wk (including sibling discount).  After 2.5 and potty trained kids are all the same rate but otherwise infants are the most and then it lowers at 1, 2, and again at potty trained from everything I have seen.  So for 2 it is about $2200 a month.

    I am able to do the $5k pre tax into the dependent care FSA which for most people is better than the child care tax credit.  Too bad it’s not more though!!

    I make enough and I carry all of our insurance so it’s not worth it for me to stay home.  Even though on paper it might look like most of my take home pay is going to daycare it’s really not when you include my benefits, retirement savings, etc.

    However we have a fairly small house (1400sq ft) which we didn’t pay that much (it seems the markets everywhere have gone up the past couple years) for so our mortgage is only $1k/mo which helps a lot.  Less to clean as well which is good with small kids even though it has its downsides.  

    Post # 26
    536 posts
    Busy bee

    We’re just south of Boston and paid $1K per month when the youngest was a baby.  Move.

    Post # 27
    9204 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    View original reply
    macbride :  in the Boston area the demand FAR outweighs the supply of infant care. Waiting lists can be years long for the good centers. We got lucky in that my best friend uses the same center and talked us up to the owner to help secure our spot. I’m not sure what the regulations are elsewhere, but in Massachusetts you need 2 teachers per 7 infants. That ratio expands as the kids get older and my daughter’s toddler room now maxes out at 9 kids per 2 teachers. Until recently our center only had 1 room for infants even though every other age group had 2 rooms just because it’s harder to get licensed for infants so they had to go through a whole process to get the new room opened. 

    Post # 28
    2416 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I live in a less expensive suburb of Minneapolis, which itself is a moderate COL metropolis. Our daycare center was just over $1K per month when we enrolled our daugher in 2012. We do not get a break for having two kids in the daycare but prices do go down slightly as they get older. At the height of our daycare costs we were paying just under $500 weekly for preschool and toddler aged kids. Now my daughter goes to before and after care at her school and the costs are significantly lower. I think she is about $70 a week and my son is $240 a week.


    Our daycare provides lunch, morning and afternoon snack, and milk. We have to bring in diapers, wipes, and formula or breast milk. Also, in the infant room, until they can eat regular food that the older kids eat, parents also have to bring in their own baby food.

    Post # 29
    558 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

    We’re in OH, and pay a nanny (so in our home care) 17/hour.  It ends up being around 500-600 bucks/week (variable hours) so around 2000-2400/month. 

    Post # 30
    4114 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I’m in the DC suburbs and infant is $352 a week. It drops as you get older. 

    Leave a comment

    Find Amazing Vendors