Pay to Hold Your Place at Daycare or Lose It: The Daycare Dilemma

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For working moms and dads, securing a spot in a good daycare can feel like winning the lottery.

But once you have that golden ticket in hand, you may wonder if you should pay to hold your spot—even if your little one isn’t born yet.

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of paying for daycare upfront.

*FYI, some of the links in this article about paying for daycare to hold spot may be affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, we may get a commission (at no extra cost to you). For more info, please see our disclaimer.

Should I Pay the Daycare to Hold My Baby’s Spot?

As hard as it might be if you’re going to need a daycare spot, you’ll have to pay the fee to guarantee you’ll have a spot when your child is ready to go to daycare or when you’ll have to return to work. Not paying it may be gambling and could cause you a lot of stress later.

Find a Good Quality Daycare
Find an affordable and qualified daycare center that fits your needs.

Dealing with Childcare Just Sucks in General

children with woman

Paying for daycare upfront has its perks. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that it guarantees you a spot in the daycare of your choice. This is especially valuable if you’re looking at highly sought-after programs with long waitlists.

By paying a deposit (or other fees) to hold your spot, you can rest assured knowing that come the due date, your child will have a place to go while you’re at work.

Of course, there are downsides to this approach as well. For one thing, you’re shelling out money for something your child may not even use if he or she ends up being born early or late.

Additionally, many families experience financial changes between the time they sign up for daycare and when their child actually starts attending.

If this happens to you and you can’t afford the daycare anymore, you may not be able to get your money back (even if you have signed a contract).

Ultimately, whether or not to pay the deposit for daycare is a personal decision every family must make based on their unique circumstances.

If you choose to pay it, read any fine print carefully, so you know exactly what you’re signing up for—and what will happen if things don’t go as planned.

Key Takeaways

As a working mom, making sure your child has a safe and enriching place to go during the day is important.

But securing a spot in a quality daycare program isn’t always easy—or cheap.

Paying the daycare deposit is a good way to hedge your bets and know for sure your child will have a place to go.

Find a Good Quality Daycare
Find an affordable and qualified daycare center that fits your needs.

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