For many parents, the cost of childcare is a major and sometimes painful consideration. Times are hard and many of us are counting the cents.
However, if you’re searching for “affordable day care near me”, it’s worth remembering that there are many factors that need to be taken into account.
How affordable is day care near me in overall terms?
True, geographic proximity is a potentially significant factor.
It’s a no-brainer that if you’re driving your children say 15k to a daycare centre, then it’s going to cost more in fuel and wear-n-tear on your vehicle than if you’re only driving them 5k. So, that’s a higher cost – assuming all other cost factors are equal, which they may or may not be.
Fees and ancillary charges
There’s no real alternative here other than to carefully read the potential provider’s proposal and fees. Some might offer an all-inclusive daily or hourly price that just requires some quick arithmetic to understand. Others might have a more complicated tariff that shows individual costs for things like hours, food, optional activities and so on.
All these things need to be added up and compared against the commuting cost alone of getting your child into a daycare centre that’s closer or further away in kilometres.
Compare hours and cost your own time
Not all daycare centres operate over identical hours. Some may only be able to take your children for a few hours each day.
If that means you’re losing time off work to take them later or pick them up earlier than your corresponding income stream, that cost needs to be added to your equation.
Something impossible to quantify is just what the effects are of selecting the lowest-cost childcare option if that option subsequently struggles to develop your child’s latent abilities to their full potential. That doesn’t mean the selected centre is necessarily ‘bad’ but just that perhaps they lack the experience to deliver modern early learning centre approaches.
There is evidence to suggest that early learning improves many children’s subsequent academic performance in school and that such children statistically require far less remedial tuition and related activities later. That may well have a knock-on effect downstream on parental time and costs.
Taking a ‘helicopter view’
Simply searching for “day care near me” and then looking at the headline prices might be insufficient in the broader scheme of things.
In reality, it may be better to research daycare options based on the services the provider is offering and then, even allowing for today’s economic realities, to take a broader top-down view of the totality of the position. What appears to be the most affordable in the immediate future might, in the longer term, prove to be less so.
If you’d like to know more about our services and costs, why not contact us for an informal chat and perhaps consider making an appointment to pop along to see us for an inspection? We’d welcome the chance to discuss our costs and options in more detail.
Simply call (08) 6189 1616 and one of our friendly team members will happily assist you. Alternatively you can book a tour of our centre by clicking here.