Average Child Care Cost

Before deciding on adopting and child rearing, find out about the average child care cost, child care expenses and the cost of raising children.

If you're a single woman and you're thinking of adopting a child, one of the most important things to look into is whether you can afford to bring up a baby. Unless you are already a single mother, you might think that the cost of raising a child is simply what you pay your babysitter or day care center every week to have your child taken care of while you work.

But in fact, average child care cost goes far beyond simple day care or babysitting fees. The cost of daycare can "go away" to some extent when your child enters school, especially if you send him or her to public school. Nonetheless, the cost of raising children up to the age of 18 will run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Most experts estimate that low to modest income households can expect to spend at least $15,000 a year raising a child. The cost is higher if there are special needs to be considered, including extra medical expenses, or even "simple" remedies like braces for the teeth or eyeglasses for nearsightedness.

Now, that's not to say that you should be deterred from adopting a child or otherwise becoming a single mother if you so choose. But it's wise to sit down and figure out how much it's going to cost to raise a child in every aspect before you decide to undertake the job at hand.

In fact, the cost includes not just your average childcare cost per week, but also the costs of food, clothing, toys, education, medical expenses, and so on. It'll be more than "average" during those times when your child is growing especially fast. A kid requires more nutritious food, as well as frequent wardrobe replacements.

Other child care costs besides money.

Those are just the monetary, on-paper costs. There are other expenses to be considered, too. There will be times that you as a single parent, have to make yourself available for your child should day care not be available. You might have to stay home from work on days like school snow days or when your child is sick to care of him.

Many employers are indeed sympathetic toward single parents who must have personal days off to care for children. But experts still say that many parents, especially single mothers, must take jobs that pay somewhat less than they would otherwise have, but have flexible hours. This is to make it possible for them to be available for their children.

This may mean that you put your career on the "slow track" for several years, at least until your child is in school, or until you can devote more time to your career. Of course, that usually means a drop in income as well, which further increases financial pressure.

Again, it can be very, very rewarding to raise a child as a single parent. Many children are desperate for adoptive loving homes. You as a single mother may certainly be up to the task. You should not let the figures on the average child care cost discourage your dream of becoming a mom.

Nonetheless, it is wise to be aware that you'll need at least $15,000 a year, as a conservative estimate, over what you live on now as your average child care cost. It would cost you about $200,000 in total as the cost of raising a child to the age of 18. Those are sobering figures indeed but no reason not to adopt or have a baby as long as you know you can afford to do so.

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