Breaking Down Childcare Costs in Austin, Texas

Breaking Down Childcare Costs in Austin, Texas

The cost of childcare can feel like a shock to parents. Whether you’re hiring a nanny for your family, organizing a nanny-share, or joining a daycare, childcare becomes the most expensive cost that a new baby brings. The Center for American Progress reports that 18% of a family’s income is used to cover the cost of child care for an infant, and cost 13% of a family’s income for a toddler. This article will cover guidelines for much you can expect to pay for various childcare options, and what you can expect to get in return for your investment

Nanny Costs in Austin, Texas

Nannies in Austin, Texas commonly charge between $18-24 per hour, and an additional $2 dollars per child. You can find nannies that cost less or more, but a nanny’s rate is based on:

  1. A Nanny’s Experience
  2. Job Responsibilities

Remember that these caregivers will spend as much time with the baby as the parents and truly become part of your family. While budgeting is critical, keep empathy and humanity to why costs are what they are, and remember that your employment of a nanny is likely their only source of income. At Village Childcare, we classify nannies into two main categories, Caregiver Nannies and Enrichment Nannies.

Caregiver nannies are newer in their career, with 1-3 years experience caring for children as either a babysitter, nanny, or daycare teacher. These nannies focus on activities that keep the children happy, healthy and engaged, but daily planning will not normally include curriculum or a lesson plan of any kind. You should expect nannies to be CPR/First Aid certified, but they may not have pursued a degree relevant to childcare. A caregiver nanny is generally not responsible for any work outside of watching the child and light housekeeping tied to the child’s activities. The rate for a caregiver nanny is around $18/hr.

Enrichment nannies are more experienced, with 3-5+ years caring for children as a nanny or a daycare/preschool teacher. These nannies focus on structured learning and development activities, with a routine that can include weekly art, reading, outside learning, and more. You should expect these nannies to be CPR/First Aid certified, and often they’ve studied a discipline like early childhood education, a general education degree, or somehting creative like theatre or music. A caregiver nanny may participate in housekeeping like cleaning or laundry, but it is critical to discuss your expectations with a nanny upfront. The rate for an enrichment nanny is around $22/hr.

Which nanny is right for you? Consider the age of your child, your budget, your realistic expectations for learning and enrichment, and assistance you need around the home. Finally, start talking to nanny candidates, and learn who gives you confidence to hire for your family.

Part Time Nanny Considerations

Not all parents need full-time care and reducing the number of hours you hire a nanny can reduce your costs. Parents must realize, however, that nannies who take part-time work are usually attending school or working another job. Although we speak to families who would prefer otherwise, it’s unrealistic to find someone who is willing to make part time wages and not seek supplemental income.

Another situation that allows some nannies to work part-time is when the nanny is a parent who also brings their own child when watching your child. The benefit to a nanny who brings their own child, is increased socialization for your child, a potentially reduced hourly wage, and sometimes a willingness to work part time hours.

Nanny Share Costs

The most common nanny-share structure is that two families hire one nanny to watch their children together, at one of the families homes. The benefit to a nanny-share is that is that you can get the attention and control of private care, socialize your child early, and cut your costs nearly in half. If you’re considering a nanny-share, read about pros and cons of hosting a nanny-share here.

As stated earlier, the rate for nannies go up on average $2 per child. As an example, If one family was paying for an enrichment nanny $22/hr, the rate go up $24/hr to add a second child from another family, and both families would split that rate and each pay $12/hr.

There are additional costs to consider for nanny-shares which include:

  • Pack & Play OR Addiitional Crib: The child who is visiting the nanny-share home will need a play to take naps. Usually this is managed by placing a Pack & Play or an additional crib in a guest room.
  • Double Stroller: In order to take both kids on walks, some parents invest in a double stroller. An alternative is to have the nanny walk one child in a stroller, while wearing the other child in a baby bjorn carrier
  • Extra snacks: This isn’t unique to a nanny-share vs a nanny, but families must prepare to have food for the children throughout the day. For older children families will often rotate who is responsible for snacks, while each family maintains responsibility for daily meals.

Two Babies

Nanny Taxes for Families

On top of a nanny’s hourly rate, parents must budget an additional 7.65% for Social Security and Medicare for nannies who are paid more than $2,100 in wages in a year. Parent’s may be eligible to use up to $5,000 in pre-tax dollars from their FSA (Flexible Spending Account) to pay for childcare expenses. We are not tax experts and refer parents to an article at HRBlock called Top nanny tax questions for “household employers” aka parents or to our top recommended payroll provider Poppins Payroll

Day Care Costs

Daycare costs in Austin, Texas usually fall between $1,100-1,500 per month. To understand why childcare has such a big price tag, it’s helpful to understand the costs that these facilities incur. [AmericanProgress.org] shares that 60-80% of an early childhood program’s expenses come from salary and benefits. After that, the remaining funds come from 1. Occupancy (rent/untilities), 2. Office and Administration (internet/fees/permits) and 3. Classroom Expenses (Educational Supplies/Food).

Two Babies

A registered childcare home

You’ll find that registered childcare homes are the most affordable childcare option. This is largely due to the fact that they have higher student-teacher ratios, the business is run out of their home, and the business owner is the main employee.

In order to qualify as a registered childcare home, the following guidelines must be met:

  • Childcare occurs at the primary caregivers home
  • Care is provided for children between 0-13 years old
  • Daytime childcare may be provided for no more than 6 children under 5 years old
  • Afterschool care may be provided for no more than 6 additional elementary aged children
  • The is a maxmium of 12 children This is an abbreviated list. A complete set can be found at the Texas Childcare Licensing website

Caregiver/Child Ratios for a registered childcare home allow for the following options:

  • 1 caregiver for up to 6 children between 18 months and 5 years.
  • 1 caregiver per 4 infants under 18 months AND 2 toddlers between 18 months and 5 years.
  • 1 caregiver per 2 infants under 18 months AND 4 toddlers between 18 months and 5 years.

A licensed childcare home

Licensed childcare homes don’t differ too greatly from a registered childcare home, except they allow for an additional caregiver to supervise children

  • Childcare occurs at the primary caregivers home
  • Care is provided for children between 0-13 years old
  • The is a maxmium of 12 children This is an abbreviated list. A complete set can be found at the Texas Childcare Licensing website

Caregiver/Child Ratios for a registered childcare home allow for the following option with one caregiver.

  • 1 caregiver for up to 8 children between 18 months and 5 years.
  • 1 caregiver per 4 infants under 18 months AND 2 toddlers between 18 months and 5 years.
  • 1 caregiver per 2 infants under 18 months AND 4 toddlers between 18 months and 5 years.

Caregiver/Child Ratios for a registered childcare home allow for the following option with two caregivers.

  • 2 caregiver’s and 12 children 18 months and older
  • 2 caregiver’s and 10 children under 18 months
  • 2 caregivers watching 6 infants under 18 months AND 6 toddlers between 18 months and 5 years.

A Licensed Childcare Center

Licensed childcare centers are often more expensive than childcare home’s because of the stricter caregiver/child ratios, the fact that the business is not run out of the owner’s home, and there is usually staff beyond the employees. Each licensed childcare center must have a designated child=care center director with experience and education in the field.

In order to qualify as a licensed childcare, the following guidelines must be met:

  • Childcare must take place at a location other than the licence holder’s home
  • Childcare and supervision can be provided to 7 or more children 13 or younger This is an abbreviated list. A complete set can be found at the Texas Childcare Licensing website

Caregiver/Child Ratios for a registered childcare home allow for the following options:

  • 1 caregiver for up to 4 children between 0-11 months
  • 1 caregiver for up to 5 children between 12-17 months
  • 1 caregiver for up to 9 children between 18-23 months

Caregiver/Child Ratios for a registered childcare home allow for the following option with two caregivers.

  • 2 caregiver’s and 10 children under 18 months
  • 2 caregiver’s and 12 children 18-23 months

In the end, childcare is an expensive but often required and worthwhile choice parents must make. We hope you found this outline useful and invite you to ask questions or share different experiences in the comment section below.

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