In many northeast metropolitan cities, simply finding high quality child care is a challenge. Now add an accessible location, experienced staff, and competitive pricing and you have gone from challenge to boldly going where few parents have gone before. Reasons why the cost of child care is high in the Northeast, specifically in Boston, Massachusetts range from tax codes that strain businesses to stringent child care regulations requiring lots of staffing; however, if you were to narrow your scope you would arrive at the two most common: the high cost of commercial real estate & the cost of recruiting / maintaining qualified child care managers.
Even with the economic slow down and it’s affects on the housing market, businesses still face a major investment when purchasing or leasing commercial real estate in a convenient, accessible location for parents while finding money in their budget to pay top notch directors and administrators.
ARE FAMILY OWNED CHILD CARE CENTERS THE SOLUTION?
With many family owned and operated child care centers, the issue of qualified administrators is solved right away due to length of time many families have been working in the industry. Competitive pricing for child care is something that many center based family operations can also offer simply because many family business don’t carry the same administrative baggage as some of the large daycare chains. Without an army of receptionists, bookkeepers, and assistants, family operated child care centers tend to pass on the savings from those extra administrative employees directly to their customers in order to remain competitive with those large child care chains.
One example is Boston based Tartt’s Day Care Centers, family owned and operated for more than 6 decades, Tartt’s offers convenient locations, Directors with a combined child care resume of over 50 years experience, impressive child care facilities, and pricing 15% – 20% less than many of large child care chains in Boston. Over the past 12 years Tartt’s has had to quadruple its capacity as a result of more parents looking for high quality child care without the price tag shared by many of the large corporate day care chains.
“Riley has been cared for and loved by all her teachers at Tartts since day one. The experience has been wonderful. The Staff has been incredible and accommodating to cloth diapers, food from home, special instructions, and even to accommodating full time breast feeding for over four months. These items are of great importance to our family and Tartts was wonderfully accommodating and supportive.”
Jamaica Plain, MA
Tartts, specializing in Infants & Toddlers, offers the curriculum and socialization advantages of center based child care while still giving parents the feel of a small family operated business. Your best strategy when searching for child care in the Boston Area is:
- Visit as many child care centers as possible.
- Grade them 1st on the quality of care provided (is it a learning environment or are they just babysitting)
- Ask about the longevity of their supervisors and teaching staff. Rate their friendliness and attitude. (If they can’t muster a smile during a guided tour it’s probably not going to get much better once you enroll)
- Look at their facilities (child care equipment, cleanliness, security)
- Find out what you feel the going rate for child care is based on the places you have visited. Don’t make cost the total focus of your decision but keep your budget in mind so that you can maintain continuity of care once you do make your decision.