Working Mom Explains Why Paying $5,400 A Month For Full-time Daycare & An Au Pair For Her Kids Is Necessary

Being a parent is expensive, no matter how you slice it.

Last updated on May 01, 2024

nanny holding baby Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

For parents, it can be quite difficult to make sure their children have the necessary amount of childcare, while also balancing their own working life. And while paying for daycare is one option some parents take, not every parent is prepared to shell out that much.

But for one woman, her approach to childcare is a bit unconventional.

In a TikTok video, a mom of four children named Paige Turner revealed the amount of money she spends on her kids when it comes to providing adequate childcare, while also making sure that she can have enough time to be a working parent.


Turner explained why paying $5,400 a month for full-time daycare and an au pair for her kids is necessary.

In Turner's video, the mom-of-four pointed out that paying for childcare while living in Massachusetts with her family is quite costly since the state's overall childcare costs are rather high.

"When people learn about my childcare set up, which is two children in full-time daycare and two children who are mostly cared for by an au pair, they wonder why I am doing both," Turner said.

She then explained that she would be "breaking down costs" to better put them in perspective.

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At the current moment, Turner said she's paying for a full-time daycare for her two oldest children, and then paying "about 25 hours of week of work" for an au pair to watch her two youngest children.

"[The] total combined cost, [which] includes the au pair fee because you have to pay an annual fee, her hourly rate, which is $15/hr in Massachusetts, and two children in full-time daycare is about $5,000 a month," she explained.

Turner also pointed out that paying an au pair an "hourly rate" is only specific to Massachusetts, and anywhere else in the country you don't need to pay an au pair an hourly rate.

She explained that if she uses more hours for an au pair, the cost can go up for some months, adding, "If we do daycare for the two kids and then afterschool care — so next year when my daughter goes to kindergarten, we could send my two youngest to daycare and have my two oldest in after-school care — that is still $5,000 a month."


Turner continued, saying that after-school care for only one child is "about $1,000 a month," so for her two oldest children, it would be $2,000 added to the $3,400 she spends on daycare for her two youngest. Putting her two youngest in daycare wouldn't be as flexible and there wouldn't be coverage if her children are sick or on holiday.

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Turner shut down the idea of hiring a full-time nanny for her children.

She pointed out that some people will ask why she doesn't just hire a full-time nanny, explaining that it wouldn't work for her family. "A nanny typically charges a minimum hourly rate of $25 for one child, and then they charge per child," she said.

When Turner inquired about hiring a nanny in the past, she quickly realized that the universal cost would be around $5,000 if a nanny were to watch all four of her children, saying, "40 hours a week is what we would need minimum for care if we were doing that as our full-time childcare option, and that would be close to $5,600 a month."

@yourtango The extremely high cost of childcare in the United States has put many families in a financial bind #daycare #daveramsey #parenting #momsoftiktok #dadsoftiktok #finance ♬ original sound - YourTango

"When people ask why a daycare and an au pair, it's because it's what works for our family," she continued.

Turner added that she only hires the au pair for "minimal hours," since they are not "professional childcare providers" as they are only in the United States for a "cultural exchange."

She said, "If we used her for the full 45 [hours] she's allowed to work, we couldn't afford that at the rate in Massachusetts."


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Childcare is so expensive that many families can barely afford it.

While many people may scoff at the cost of childcare, parents know all too well how expensive it is to put their child in daycare and/or hire help at home.

Not only does childcare currently cost more than a full academic year of college, but families are spending about 24% of their income on it, which is much higher than the 7% of total income the Department of Health and Human Services says is affordable.

To make matters worse, 35% of families are dipping into their savings to cover the costs. Add that to the fact that federal funding was cut in September 2023, with experts warning that three million children were in danger of losing childcare coverage, and it's no wonder many parents are panicking.

@yourtango Childcare now costs more than college tuition in more than half of US states #childcarecrisis #costofliving #parenting #momsoftiktok #dadsoftiktok #tuition ♬ original sound - YourTango

According to a 2024 Cost of Care report from, Massachusetts, where Turner and her family live, is one of the most expensive states for daycare, nannying, and babysitting, landing in the top five most expensive for each form of childcare.

At the end of the day, Turner should consider herself lucky, as her family doesn't have to forego a second income because they can't afford childcare, and have found a system that works for them.

But one thing is clear: it's time for reform, offering families affordable childcare.


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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.