Costs of placement agency services

Fees for child care placement services vary widely, depending on the type of services the agency provides. Agencies specializing in placements of live-in caregivers usually charge fees of between $500 and $3,000, based on a percentage of the caregiver's annual salary. Some charge 20%, for example, or ask for the equivalent of the care-giver's first two to four weeks' pay. Agencies that provide emergency or sick-care services employ caregivers and charge you a daily placement fee plus an hourly salary for the caregiver ranging from $10 to $18 per hour.

A growing number of agencies (especially those making out-of-state placements) expect clients to pay a non-refundable deposit at the time a contract is signed. The amounts tend to range from $25 to $250. Some agencies adjust this deposit for "returning customers" - those parents who have used the agency previously.

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