The cost of having children in Cayman can vary wildly. With the help of Cayman Parent Magazine publisher Joanna Boxall, we have approximated a range of lifetime costs for some of the main expenses.
Our budget is far from definitive and many families will fall outside of the ranges here. Some have no choice but to make things work for less, others have the resources to spend far more. Costs here are based on one child from birth through university.
Starting a family usually means additional housing costs. Organized real estate data in Cayman is in short supply but it is clear that a two- or three-bedroom house costs significantly more than a one-bedroom condo. Based on a sampling of rental costs on CIREBA’s website, we estimated the cost of that upgrade at somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000 a month.
Lifetime cost: Low: $216,00, Medium: $324,000, High: $432,000
The additional electricity and water costs of having at least one child are hard to quantify. Those extra baths, laundry runs and meal times do add up however. Based on the experiences of parents we interviewed, we put that cost at between $30 and $100-a-month.
Lifetime cost: Low: $6,480, Medium: $12,960, High: $21,600
Costs can vary immensely depending on where and how you shop. Based on the experiences of contributors to this article, we put the range at between $50 and $100 per week.
Lifetime cost: Low: $46,800 Medium: $70,200, High: $93,600
Cost of Living
For the basics we estimated $300-500 per year, though many parents spend more in reality.
Lifetime cost: Low: $5,400, Medium: $7,200, High: $9,000
The cost of childcare in the early years can vary from the no-cost support of retired grand parents or a stay-at-home parent to the support of a full-time salaried nanny. In between, private day care centers and pre-schools come at a range of different costs, from around $6,000 per year up to $12,000 in some cases.
Lifetime cost (5 years): Low: $5,000, Medium: $50,000, High: $100,000
Public schools are free to parents who can access them, though there are some costs involved in paying for books, school trips, uniforms and other equipment. Private school costs range form $10,000-a-year, to $20,000-a-year up to age 18.
Lifetime cost: Low: $6,500, Medium: $130,000, High: $260,00
Scholarships, loans and summer jobs can ease the burden for some students, but the cost of getting through university is significant. The average tuition costs for a four-year degree at a US college is $40,000-a-year. In the UK it’s approximately $12,000 annually for a three-year degree.
Lifetime cost: Low: $0 (with full ride scholarship), Medium: $36,000 (UK university), High: $160,00 (US University)
Health insurance broker Jeanette Verhoeven estimates the multiplier for adding a child to your health insurance at between 1.6 and double the single rate, depending on your plan. At the lower end, for those on the Standard Health Insurance Coverage, that would likely mean additional costs of around $200, she estimates. The range and complexity of more comprehensive packages make precise costs hard to determine. For simplicity we put the range between $200 and $600.
Lifetime cost: Low: $43,200, Medium: $64,800, High: $86,400
Additional medical costs
Those with less comprehensive policies are likely to face higher co-pays for drugs, doctors visits, dentists and unexpected emergencies. We budgeted $500-$1,000 annually for this, though specific needs like occupational or speech therapy can take the costs well above that.
Lifetime cost: Low: $9,000 Medium: $13,000, High: $18,000
After school clubs/activities
A surprising extra cost for a lot of parents, the total for after-school clubs cost can depend on the number and extent of the hobby. The YMCA’s subsidized after-school program can reduce costs and some sports like football and rugby are cheap, while others like horse riding and tennis are less so. We put the range at $100-500 a month from years 5-16.
Lifetime cost: Low: $13,200, Medium: $39,600, High: $66,000
While many hobbies and sports are elective, swimming is considered an essential expense in an island surrounded by water, we put the cost at $50-a-week for between 6 and 12 months.
Lifetime cost: Low: $1,200, Medium: $1,800, High: $2,400
Adding the costs of vacations depends on your definition of essential expenses. For some expat families, travelling back to their home country with children, is a necessary expense.
As a rough estimate we included in our budget an annual two-week trip to Florida, budgeting an additional $500 for plane tickets and $200-a-day for 14 days of accommodation and activities compared with a similar trip without children.
Lifetime cost: $46,200 (based on 14 trips)
Another elective expense that can be as high or as low as each parent decides or can afford. Everything from iPads to sports equipment costs money and there is the added expense (surprisingly high for some) of friends’ birthday parties. We put the cost at between $200 and $1,00 a year up to age 16.
Lifetime cost: Low: $3,200, Medium: $8,000, High: $16,000