Daycare More Expensive Than College?!?

Avatar for cmkristy
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Registered: 07-05-2005
Daycare More Expensive Than College?!?
Fri, 08-24-2012 - 10:26am

The bad news for parents is that paying for college just keeps getting more expensive. Even worse -- college may actually seem like a bargain if you’re used to paying for daycare. According to a new report by Child Care Aware of America, daycare costs for an infant are now higher than a year of in-state tuition at a four-year public college in 35 states and D.C.

Even if your kiddos are a little older and you’re no longer paying the newborn premium rate, there’s still a good chance you’re paying more for daycare than you would if they were earning college credits.  After all, daycare costs for a 4-year-old are still more expensive than a year’s worth of college tuition in 19 states and D.C. These comparisons are for childcare centers. In-home daycares, while still pricey, often tend to come with a bit less sticker shock.


YIKES! What are your plans for child care when you go back to work?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2006
Sat, 08-25-2012 - 8:45am
Thank the sweet lord my mom is going to babysit him for the first year.

I anticipate the transition back to work being much easier on me knowing he's with her and not a dc provider I don't know well yet. But aside from the peace of mind, we will bank the heck out of the money we would have otherwise spent on dc during that time. Which will help when he does start up full time dc.

Luckily I'm on track for a fairly substantial promotion early next spring that will essentially pay for daycare. It's sad that I have the money spent before it even starts arriving in my paycheck! But it's great timing for when we're starting a family.


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Registered: 02-16-2008
Sat, 08-25-2012 - 3:45pm
I work for one of the least expensive (tuition-wise) universities in NC, and while it's true that tuition for a year is less than what I pay for daycare, I always wonder if this type of thing includes room and board, fees, etc.

For instance, I pay $8,900 a year for an infant in daycare ($170 a week + $60 registration).

Tuition and fees at our university are $7,557 a year for 2012-2013. But room and board is $6,412 a year for the cheapest room and meal plan for freshmen. Since freshmen are required to live on campus, that money really needs to be added in.

So, while it may seem on it's face that daycare is more expensive than college, it really isn't. Still crazy how much it is, though!
by sara photo sigbysara.jpg
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Registered: 01-27-2012
Mon, 08-27-2012 - 5:36am
Definitely crazy! That's one of those perks about living in Germany. Every child is guaranteed placement in a gov-funded daycare, and they're even discussing paying parents who don't use them!

Colleges are starting to raise their fees, but it's still drops in the bucket compared to tuition and fees in the US. Instead of doing a study abroad program, I arranged to register myself and then transfer the hours for credit back home. The tuition savings offset the added costs of living arrangements and other extra incidental expenses. So, I had a full course load for only a few hundred dollars of tuition and fees vs the thousands I would've paid in the US! The fees even included a bus/train pass, and the student ID entitled you to the highly discounted student cafeteria meals, insurance plans, etc. Sure, it costs more here now, but it's still no comparison.

With things changing so dramatically, I'm not even sure how much to save for a US college education 18 years from now!

- JM