The greatest cost is in loss of time and bonding between mother and child. Most day care/childcare workers don’t have the level of training and love as the child’s mother—if they did, they’d be paid higher salaries or they’d open their own business, or become an administrator (who earn about the same as teachers) and hire the day care workers. No one in a nursing home says, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office and less at home with the kids.”
The average annual cost of care for an infant in a day-care center can range from $4,863 in Mississippi to $16,430 in Massachusetts, according to a report last year by Child Care Aware of America. Depending on your state, the average cost of full-time care for an infant in a day-care center ranges from 7 percent to about 19 percent of the state median income for a married couple with children, the report adds. In 2012, in 31 states and the District of Columbia, the average annual cost for an infant in center-based care was higher than a year’s tuition and fees at a four-year public
The median salary of a day care worker is $8.94/hour, less than a receptionist, a retail clerk at WalMart, a cashier, a stocker, security guard, a fork lift operator, photo technician in department store, etc. Unless she has a child in the center and gets a break on her costs, I’m thinking she’ll move on rather than go on food stamps.
And children are resilient, they can perhaps overcome this. But what about Mom? How can she make up for the hours and years her child is in day care, and she’s 20 miles away in the classroom, or behind the computer, or driving in traffic?