Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Cost of Daycare in Toronto

I guess it's time to rant.

I mean, the amount of money that you should pay someone to take care of your child should be in the millions of dollars. That's how precious my little baby is to me. However…

We are not all born fiscally able to take care of our kids at home forever (as nice as that might be… or not, depending on what kind of person you are), so then we must turn to others to look after our kids while we work. Some of us are lucky enough to have relatives who are willing, able and responsible enough to look after their kin. Some of us (like me) don't have anyone like that living close by.

Options, options, options. In Toronto, there are many. There is the Nanny - live in or live out, depending, and also the possibility of a Nanny share with others in a similar situation. Pros - the child stays in their own, familiar surroundings and is always looked after by the same person. Cons - pricey, difficult to find someone you can trust, and you have to rely on the Nanny to socialize your darling.

The licensed City of Toronto daycare. That's the option we chose. The workers are paid well, have good benefits and are happy, the ratio of caregivers to kids (in the infant room) is 3 to 1, and they don't really say no to anything. Cloth diapers? Sure! Naps whenever the child needs them? Sure! Dietary restrictions? No problem! The cons- $100 per day. Yes, that's right. One hundred dollars per day. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. More than my mortgage, car payment and property tax bill combined. More than most people I know can afford. But we are gritting our teeth and doing it. If only for the first six months, after which is goes down to $86.

The third option is a licensed for profit daycare, which are also fine, but many don't accept kids until they are 18 months, and there were none in our area that we could get into.

Last, and most affordable (besides the free grandparents) is the home daycare. Licensed or not, they seem to be everywhere in my neighbourhood. Our problem with a home daycare was twofold. First, we didn't know anyone who had their kid in a good one. Second, we didn't want to abruptly have to transition M to one nap a day, and most home daycares have the kids on a pretty tight schedule.

That is why we are bankrupting ourselves via childcare.

What it has taught us is this:
When we finally stop paying for daycare, we will surely be able to afford that dream kitchen.

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