I was reviewing a textbook the other day and I came across this quote, “Child care represents the fourth largest expense for the working family after housing, food, and taxes.” I suppose on some level I knew that, but when you see it in black and white it really is shocking. Two children in child care is like paying rent twice!
Family child care and home based child care may be more affordable for many people, but that is not a foregone conclusion. There are many reasons why there is so much variability in the costs of child care.
1. Geography, age, and the quality of services.
2. Programs that take advantage of available subsidies.
3. Tax Credits
4. Multi-child discounts
5. Extended hours/flexible hours
Child care directors should become well-versed in helping their families understand the ins and outs of the costs of child care. Making programming more affordable for the clients does not necessarily reduce profits. Knowing about and maximizing available subsidies, educating parents on tax credits, allowing for flexible programming, and offering multi-child discounts may make a center the most popular place around. A full program complete with happy families is always going to be richer than all others.