Projects > How Much Do You Pay For Child Care?

Have you ever had to use a babysitter and/or enroll your child/ren in daycare? Contribute to this project! Choose a coloring page and color it in with your child. Then share your page with me via Instagram using the hashtag #childcarecoststhismuch or by tagging me @c_wirla. You can also email me the image:

I was at a family reunion of sorts recently and a cousin of mine asked me, "How much do you pay for child care?" I was surprised by the directness of his question but he was genuinely interested. He kept hearing about the cost of child care as a talking point amongst politicians but didn't know anyone who puts their child in daycare. He was fortunate to live close to family when his three daughters were little so he never had to pay for their care. Now, his daughters are grown with children of their own and they all live close to each other, making them fortunate to not have to enroll in full-time daycare. When I told him how much me and my husband pay per month ($959) and how the tuition cost rises every year by 4% at my daughter's daycare, he was astonished. In addition, when we absolutely need a babysitter we pay $15/hour. He had no idea how expensive it is. My husband and I talked about how we budget our money to cover our mortgage, student loans, and child care costs each month and he pointed out what we already knew: we essentially have three mortgage payments per month. This conversation with my cousin has lingered in the back of my mind since.

Let's make the cost of child care transparent. These costs are not regulated and vary by geographic location. When we were searching for a daycare center when my daughter was one year old, we looked at three different locations of the same daycare franchise and each location had a different tuition rate, ranging from $1900–$1200 per month. Maybe if we're transparent about these costs and how they affect parents' ability to save and spend money, we can affect social change.