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the Price of Daycare for a Child Between 2 and 4 years old

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$ 1318
Mar 2008
Los Angeles, CA
Child care and preschool  more... close row

Description of service

This is a childcare-only facility that accepts infants through pre-school, and recently added a licensed kindergarten. The fee is for monthly care, and once you submit an application and are accepted (usually after being on a waiting list) the committment is month-to-month, with at least 30 days notice required to terminate. The center is open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, with drop-off and pick-up available at any time in those hours. The ratio of caretakers to children varies by age; at the infant stage there is one caretaker for every three to four children, and for toddler the number of children increases to six. At the preschool stage, the maximum number of children per caretaker is eight, but in our experience the actual number is usually two caretakers for every six to eight children present. A "snack" which is generally cereal or bagels or other breakfast items is provided between 9 and 9:30 am, parents are asked to send lunch, and then two more snacks are available in the afternoon (at approximately 3:00 pm post-nap, as well as again at 6:00 pm). The snacks are always healthful, and the center does not serve high sugar or fat foods. The facilities were designed from the ground up for the purpose of housing a childcare center. Books, toys, and equipment are frequently updated. The facilities also include a garden where the older children participate in gardening.

Review of Service

The service received here is excellent. The three teachers in our son's room all have advanced degrees, and they are very dedicated to their positions. They have each been with the center, in the same room, for at least 7 years. They individualize each child's "plan" to tailor that child's specific strenghts and developmental needs. They are excellent at communicating their concerns about the child to each parent. At first blush, the cost is high, but for this level of care and such long and flexible hours, this facility is worth every penny. It was evident from the first moment we walked in to tour the center that it was designed and run only with children in mind.


One of the most important questions to ask when touring any center is: "What is staff turnover like?" The last center where our son was attending daycare was also very good, and well-regarded. However, the staff turnover was very high. If the teachers are unhappy and leaving, something is wrong. They key to providing children with world-class care is to have a happy, well-compensated staff. In any given classroom, find out how many teachers have been in that room in the past 5 years. If the number is high or the center is reluctant to give you the actual figures, be wary.

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