Pricing Guide: Average Cost of Child Care

Did you know that working families in the US with children under five will spend about 10% of their yearly income on child care?

Are you pregnant or planning to go back to work? Whatever your situation may be, finding child care can be a difficult task. 

Being able to afford that child care is an issue that plenty of parents struggle with. However, knowing what to expect when you start your search will make it easier. 

Keep reading below to learn more about what your options are for child care and how much you may expect to spend.

What Are the Different Types of Child Care?

Depending on the age of the child, there are different ways that you can obtain child care. Some of the most popular options include child care centers or preschool programs. However, these aren’t the right choice for every child or every family.

All of the types of child care you can find in the US include:

  • Family child care homes
  • Child care centers
  • Preschools
  • Family or friend care
  • School-aged care programs

How Much Is Child Care in the US?

It’s hard to put a specific price on the cost of child care because each option comes with its own costs and fees. Your location will also impact the overall cost. 

Typically, family or friend care is going to be the least expensive option for families searching for lower-cost child care. However, this doesn’t make it the best option for every situation, especially since these individuals likely don’t have the specialized training that employees at other programs would.

Daycare centers, which would include family child care homes or child care centers, also are able to set their own prices. Although you may find that many prices are within the same range, these prices will depend on the specific location. Part time daycare is typically a more affordable option.

School-aged care programs are only appropriate for children that are of school-age, and they only are available before or after school hours. Some of these programs are also available during the summer months. You may find that these programs are contracted with other provides, like the Boys and Girls Club, so the prices are very specific to your area.

On average, parents are spending about $8,355 on each child for a year’s worth of child care.

How to Afford the Cost of Child Care

Some centers or programs will have payment options available for families that feel they might struggle with the prices.

Alternatively, you could try to get help from your friends and family if you know someone that has experience with children that you trust. If it’s available in your area, you may try babysitting services as well if you feel comfortable with that option. Some neighborhoods, for example, may have a babysitting co-op that will let you get the help you need, but also help other families in your area.

There are some state programs available that will offer child care assistance as well. This is supported by the federal government and will require you to meet specific eligibility requirements for funding. 

Get the Best Child Care for Your Family

Now that you have a better understanding of the cost of child care, you can see it’s hard to put an exact price on how much it will cost. It’s not a secret that child care in the US can be expensive, but know that there are options for you to make it work.

Did you find this information useful? If so, be sure to take a look at some of the other parenting articles we have today.

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