Save money on daycare

August 18, 2009 5:13:54 PM PDT
One of the toughest decisions a parent makes is choosing the right day care for your child. You want them to be well cared for, and at the same time, you don't want to break the bank.Parents like Kevin Lavorgna know that finding safe, dependable and affordable day care isn't easy.

"The worry is all about being a parent," said Lavorgna.

The first place he chose didn't work out. Lavorgna felt the daycare was letting his two-year-old son watch too much TV.

"They certainly spent a number of hours with TV. When you pick them up at the end of the day, they were watching TV," said Lavorgna.

So he switched to a Primrose school that was known for a detailed curriculum.

"I think his vocabulary has changed a lot, a lot more sentences, a lot more dialogue, he can tell stories and sing songs," said Lavorgna.

"At Primrose schools, children exceed standardized testing averages across the country," said Linda Arthur of Primrose School of Friendswood.

On average, a family with two children spends $12,000 a year on childcare. Lavorgna is spending almost $10,000 a year at Primrose just for his son which is definitely on the high end.

At Primrose, the price for a full time infant is $237 a week. We did some shopping around and found prices at comparable schools in the area were a little lower.

For instance, Kinder Care in Friendswood is $213 a week. Children's Light House is $205 and La Petit Academy in Houston is $195 a week for infants.

Prices are different for preschoolers where they actually go down. At Primrose, it costs $187 and at La Petit it's $155 a week. Both Children's Light House and Kinder Care charge $150.

Shopping around can save you money, but Lavorgna's switch actually increased his cost by $67 a week. Still, he believes for more learning and less leisure, it's worth it.

Keep in mind, there are two kinds of daycares: accredited franchises, like Primrose, and places that are simply licensed and don't necessarily have a curriculum. The latter are usually a lot cheaper.

To check out any day care in the Houston area, click here on abc13.com.

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