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Child Care Costs in the U.S.: Expensive and Rising

Quality care is difficult to afford for working families as increases in the cost of child care outpace increases in family income.

Arlington, VA, November 4, 2013 - The cost of child care continues to rise while families struggle to afford quality care, according to a new report from Child Care Aware® of America.

Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2013 Report reveals that families are paying more for child care, and are paying a significant part of their earnings for this care. In the last year, the cost of child care increased at up to eight times the rate of increases in family income.

“Child care is an increasingly difficult financial burden for working families to bear,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America. “Unlike all other areas of education investment, including higher education, families pay the majority of costs for early education. Too many families are finding it impossible to access and afford quality child care that doesn’t jeopardize children’s safety and healthy development.”

In 2012, the average annual cost of full-time care for an infant in center-based care ranged from $4,863 in Mississippi to $16,430 in Massachusetts. For an infant in a family child care home, the average cost ranged from $3,930 in Mississippi to $11,046 in New York.

For a 4-year-old, the average annual cost for center-based care ranged from $4,312 in Mississippi to $12,355 in New York. The average annual cost for a 4-year-old in a family child care home ranged from $3,704 in Mississippi to $10,259 in New York.

The Report also showed the cost of child care for the following states:

Child Care Center (weekly)


Infant 4-Year-Old School Age
Iowa $174.09 $149.80 $83.17
Nebraska $149.94 $125.34 $81.94
Missouri $160.00 $111.20 $70.26

Family Child Care (weekly)


Infant 4-Year-Old School Age
Iowa $128.59 $123.59 $78.38
Nebraska $115.44 $108.34 $77.24
Missouri $107.98 $94.11 $61.63

*Child Care Aware: Nov. 5, 2013

© 2017 Midwest Child Care Association

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