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Jun 7, 2024 22 min read

Child Care Costs by State 2023

Scott Shelton By: Scott Shelton

Child care costs by state vary dramatically, understanding the cost of child care in America is important for both parents and child care providers.

If you’re a parent, getting familiar with the average daycare costs near you can help you find the best value and the best deal when seeking care for your family.

If you’re a child care provider, you’ll need to be aware of the average child care cost so you can price your services competitively. Millions of parents across the country struggle to find child care services for their children, creating a massive business opportunity for daycare centers that can deliver quality care.

National Average Cost of Child Care 2023

Child Care Aware of America issued a report that found the national average price of child care for 2023 was $11,582. 

The report also states that the number of licensed centers totaled 91,553 in 2019 and 92,786 in 2023, in the 41 states for which the group had data. Between 2022 and 2023, the number of licensed child care centers increased by 1.3%.

Of course, don’t expect child care costs in your local area to align with the national average. There are significant differences in child care costs by state and by the age of your child.

How We Break Down Daycare Costs in This Article

In this article, we’re taking an in-depth look at child care costs by state using the best and most current data available for 2023.

Scroll through our list and find your state (they’re in alphabetical order) to see the average yearly cost where you live for an infant and for a 4-year-old child:

Procare is here to help.

We know the business of child care. For more than 30 years we’ve been guiding child care professionals just like you to help stay connected and in control.

 

Alabama

Annual Child Care Costs in Alabama
In Alabama, the average annual cost of infant care is $8,771 per child, while a year of child care tuition for a 4-year-old costs an average of $8,186.

More Information on Alabama Child Care
Minimum wage workers in Alabama make as little as $15,080 per year or less, contributing to Alabama’s poverty rate of 16.9%, the sixth highest in the U.S. Families in Alabama would benefit significantly from the increased availability of affordable, quality child care in their communities.

Alaska

Annual Child Care Costs in Alaska

In Alaska, infant care for a single child comes in at an average yearly cost of $11,760. For a 4-year-old, the average cost is slightly less at $9,600.

More Information on Alaska Child Care
Alaska is one of the least populated states, with just 734,000 residents. It’s also sixth on the list of states with the highest cost of living, right behind Hawaii, California, New York, Oregon and Massachusetts. Affordable child care services can help expand the workforce in Alaska and grow the Alaskan economy.

Arizona

Annual Child Care Costs in Arizona
In Arizona, infant care costs an average of $14,040, while the yearly cost for a 4-year-old typically costs around $10,920.  

More Information on Arizona Child Care
Arizona’s population grew by 2.88% in 2020, making it one of the fastest-growing states by population for that year. Growth for Arizona means new opportunities to create communities with affordable and accessible child care for families.

Arkansas

Annual Child Care Costs in Arkansas
Residents of Arkansas pay $8,869 per year on average for infant care. Child care for a 4-year-old is slightly more affordable, costing $8,219. Child care in Alabama costs less than any other state.

More Information on Arkansas Child Care
Arkansas has the second-lowest cost of living in the United States, yet child care services remain unaffordable for up to 82% of residents.

California

Annual Child Care Costs in California
California is one of the most expensive states for parents who need child care services. Annual child care for a single infant will cost families an average of $19,547, while the same care for a 4-year-old costs an average of $14,396.

More Information on California Child Care
California is the most populated state, the most densely populated state, and the state with the second-highest cost of living. Nearly 93% of California’s 40 million residents are unable to access affordable child care services.

Colorado

Annual Child Care Costs in Colorado
Families in Colorado struggle to afford the cost of child care services. Infant care for a single child costs an average of $19,573, while the same care for a 4-year-old would cost $13,809.

More Information on Colorado Child Care
Colorado is one of the few states where the average child care cost for a four-year-old child is more than $1,000 per month. Families in Colorado can spend up to $50,000 or more on child care before their child can begin attending school.

Connecticut

Annual Child Care Costs in Connecticut
Child care in Connecticut is characteristically unaffordable, with infant care costing $17,888 per year and child care for four-year-old children costing $14,716 per year.

More Information on Connecticut Child Care
Despite being one of the smallest states by geographic area, Connecticut has an extremely high population density. This makes it one of the best places to offer in-person services like child care.

Delaware

Annual Child Care Costs in Delaware
Infant care in Delaware costs an average of $14,995 per year. Annual child care for a 4-year-old is somewhat more affordable, with a price tag of $12,084.

More Information on Delaware Child Care
Delaware’s minimum wage is pegged at $9.25 per hour with no signs of a coming increase, and child care workers in the First State typically earn just over the minimum wage. A typical child care worker would spend 53.6% of their total salary to place their own child in an infant care program.

Florida

Annual Child Care Costs in Florida
Annual infant care in Florida costs an average of $12,639, while the same care for a 4-year-old child would cost families an average of $9,139.

More Information on Florida Child Care
In Florida, the average cost of tuition and fees at public colleges for in-state applicants is $3,898 – yet the annual cost of infant care is $4,782, nearly 23% more. That makes Florida one of the 33 states where getting a college education is less expensive than paying for infant care.

Georgia

Annual Child Care Costs in Georgia
Infant care in the Peach State costs an average of $11,066, while child care services for a 4-year-old are more likely to cost around $9,666.

More Information on Georgia Child Care
Georgia has over 10 million residents, making it the eighth-most populated state. Millions of Georgia residents would enjoy massive economic and social benefits from access to affordable child care.

Hawaii

Annual Child Care Costs in Hawaii
Child care costs are expensive in Hawaii. Infant care costs an average of $22,585 per year. Child care for a 4-year-old costs an average of $13,156.

More Information on Hawaii Child Care
Hawaii has the highest cost of living in the United States with the most expensive groceries, housing, utilities and transportation. Hawaii is 12th on the list of states with the most expensive infant care costs.

Idaho

Annual Child Care Costs in Idaho
Infant care in Idaho costs an average of $10,108, while placing a 4-year-old child into center-based care is likely to cost a family around $8,496 per year.

More Information on Idaho Child Care
Idaho’s minimum wage of $7.25 per hour makes it difficult for low wage earners to access affordable child care services.

Illinois

Annual Child Care Costs in Illinois
Annual infant care in Illinois will cost families an average of $16,373 per year, while placing a 4-year-old child in center-based child care is likely to cost around $11,987. 

Monthly Child Care Affordability in Illinois
In Chicago, fewer than 10% of families make enough money to spend less than 10% of their gross income on child care expenses. For families near the median household income level of $5,730 per month, placing an infant in child care costs more than 20% of gross income. The outlook is even worse for minimum wage earners in Illinois, who make just $1,430 per month and would have to spend more than 80% of that to place an infant in center-based care.

Indiana

Annual Child Care Costs in Indiana
If you’re searching for child care services in Indiana, here’s what you should expect to pay. The average yearly cost for center-based infant care is about $13,736. To place a 4-year-old child in center-based care costs an average of $9,421. 

More Information on Indiana Child Care
Minimum wage workers in Indiana struggle to access affordable child care. The state’s minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, combined with high child care costs, means that low-wage earners would spend nearly 85% of their total income on center-based infant care for one child. 

Iowa

Annual Child Care Costs in Iowa
In Iowa, the average cost of placing an infant in center-based child care has been measured at $12,168. For a -year-old child, the figure is closer to $9,745. 

More Information on Iowa Child Care
Iowa’s low population density makes it difficult for parents to find affordable center-based care for their kids. Increased access to child care would create new opportunities for kids in Iowa and allow their parents to enter the workforce.

Kansas

Annual Child Care Costs in Kansas
Parents looking to place an infant in center-based child care should expect to pay an average of $15,071 per year in Kansas. For a 4-year-old child, the cost of care averages out to $9,724.

More Information on Kansas Child Care
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment oversees child care services across the state. Their website includes licensing information and resources for child care providers and parents.

Kentucky

Annual Child Care Costs in Kentucky
Kentucky has some of the lowest child care costs in the United States. Infant care for a single child in a center-based program costs an average of just $9,685 per year, while care for a 4-year-old is likely to cost around $8,525.   

More Information on Kentucky Child Care
Kentucky’s low housing and grocery costs make it a great place to start an affordable child care center. There’s plenty of opportunity to provide services to the community and help more parents join the workforce.

Louisiana

Annual Child Care Costs in Louisiana
Child care centers in Louisiana (and all states) vary in cost depending on their location, staff experience and the services they offer. Infant care costs an average of $10,101, while care for a -year-old is likely to cost around $9,183.

More Information on Louisiana Child Care
Louisiana has some of the lowest child care costs by state, yet a full-time minimum wage worker earning $7.25 per hour would still need to work for 89 hours to cover monthly child care costs for a single child.

Maine

Annual Child Care Costs in Maine
Center-based child care for a 4-year-old child in Maine costs an average of $8,580, while care for an infant is slightly more costly at $11,960.

More Information on Maine Child Care
The Pine Tree State is one of the least populated states in the U.S., with just over 1.3 million residents. Half of the state’s population lives in the Portland metropolitan area, making this the best area to start a center-based or in-home daycare.

Maryland

Annual Child Care Costs in Maryland
Child care services in Maryland are costly for families. Infant care in a Maryland child care center costs an average of $19,906 for families, while care for 4-year-olds costs around $12,771.

More Information on Maryland Child Care
Child care workers in Maryland, on average, earn just more than minimum wage. The typical child care provider would have to spend 64.5% of their gross pay to place their own child in a center-based child care facility.

Massachusetts

Annual Child Care Costs in Massachusetts
Infant care costs $24,005 and center-based care for 4-year-olds can cost as much as $18,760. Massachusetts has the highest average child care cost of any state in the country.

More Information on Massachusetts Child Care
Families can use the Massachusetts government website to find a licensed family, group or school-age child care program through the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).

Michigan

Annual Child Care Costs in Michigan
Michigan is near the median for child care costs by state. Infant care in a child care costs an average of $12,667 every year, while the same care for a 4-year-old would cost $10,414 per year.

More Information on Michigan Child Care
The Michigan Department of Education manages child care licensing with strict requirements and provides valuable information and resources for parents and child care providers.

Minnesota

Annual Child Care Costs in Minnesota
Minnesota has one of the highest child care costs by state. Infant care services cost an average of $20,129 per year, while care for 4-year-olds typically costs $15,544.

More Information on Minnesota Child Care
If you’re a parent in Minnesota who needs help finding open child care, the Minnesota government provides resources that can help you discover licensed child care providers in the state.

Mississippi

Annual Child Care Costs in Mississippi
Mississippi has some of the lowest child care costs by state. Infant care costs just $8,186 per year, and child care for a 4-year-old comes in around $7,309 at most child care centers.

More Information on Mississippi Child Care
The Mississippi Department of Human Services provides parents who meet income eligibility requirements help with child care payments. Visit their website for more information and a link to the application page.

Missouri

Annual Child Care Costs in Missouri
Child care in Missouri costs an average of $12,907 for infants and $9,681 per year for 4-year-old children.

More Information on Missouri Child Care
The Missouri government supports families with child care subsidies to assist with tuition payments. Check out their website for eligibility information and how to apply.

Montana

Annual Child Care Costs in Montana
Infant care services in Montana cost an average of $11,700 per year, while center-based care for a 4-year-old costs $10,400 on average.

More Information on Montana Child Care
Child care providers in Montana are regulated by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. The department is providing support for child care centers whose businesses were negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Nebraska

Annual Child Care Costs in Nebraska
Families in Nebraska pay an average of $13,000 per year for infant care and $10,920 for a 4-year-old child.

More Information on Nebraska Child Care
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services helps connect parents with accessible child care facilities in their communities. Child care providers can find information about licensing, child care grants and subsidy programs for Nebraska residents.

Nevada

Annual Child Care Costs in Nevada
Families in Nevada pay an average of $13,024 per year for infant care and an average of $10,928 per year to place a 4-year-old child in a center-based program.

More Information on Nevada Child Care
The Nevada Early Care & Education Office oversees child care licensing in the state. Parents can visit their website to discover early education guides, child care assistance applications and other resources.

New Hampshire

Annual Child Care Costs in New Hampshire
When you’re ranking child care costs by state with the most expensive options at the top, New Hampshire is about a third of the way down. Infant care in New Hampshire costs an average of $17,250, while the average cost of child care for a 4-year-old is $14,618

More Information on New Hampshire Child Care
New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services oversees center-based and home-based child care services, providing child care management requirements and licensing guidelines for providers.

New Jersey

Annual Child Care Costs in New Jersey
A year of infant care at a child care center in New Jersey costs families an average of $19,634 . For a 4-year-old child, the average price is closer to $17,002.

More Information on New Jersey Child Care
New Jersey is one of the smallest and most densely populated states, with the seventh-highest housing costs in America. Parents can visit the Child Care New Jersey website to learn more about child care subsidies, how to choose a child care center, and how to find child care locally.

New Mexico

Annual Child Care Costs in New Mexico
New Mexico is on the lower end of child care costs by state. Infant care costs an average of $13,521 per year, while care for a 4-year-old child costs an average of $9,486.

More Information on New Mexico Child Care
Families in New Mexico may be eligible for child care assistance programs offered by the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.

New York

Annual Child Care Costs in New York
New York has some of the most expensive child care costs by state. A year of infant care will cost families an average of $19,584, while monthly care for a 4-year-old child costs an average of $16,415.

More Information on New York Child Care
The NY Division of Child Care Services manages child care subsidies for the State of New York. New York State has also invested heavily in Early Head Start (EHS) programs and continues to offer partnership opportunities and award grants to child care providers that agree to meet the EHS performance standards.

North Carolina

Annual Child Care Costs in North Carolina
North Carolina’s typical child care costs are near the national average. Infant care will cost families an average of $12,251 for tuition at a child care center, while centers charge an average of $10,206 per year to care for a 4-year-old child.

More Information on North Carolina Child Care
Subsidized child care is one of North Carolina’s longest-running social programs, having been first offered in 1964. Visit the North Carolina DHHS for eligibility requirements and application information.

North Dakota

Annual Child Care Costs in North Dakota
Child care costs in North Dakota are near the national average. Infant care costs $10,758. Child care for a four-year-old is roughly $9,685 per year.

More Information on North Dakota Child Care
The North Dakota Child Care Assistance Program is available to help income-eligible families pay for child care. Child Care Aware of North Dakota also provides great resources for both providers and parents in the Peace Garden State.

Ohio

Annual Child Care Costs in Ohio 
Ohio’s monthly child care costs are near the national average. Child care centers charge an average of $12,351 for infant care and $9,580 per year for care for a 4-year-old child.

More Information on Ohio Child Care
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services manages licensing and certifications for child care providers, supports quality early education and helps connect families with Child Care Payment Assistance.

Oklahoma

Annual Child Care Costs in Oklahoma
Child care centers in Oklahoma charge an average of $10,065 per year for infant care and $8,436 per year for a 4-year old child.

More Information on Oklahoma Child Care
Parents can visit the Oklahoma Department of Human Services website for information about selecting quality child care and resources to help you discover affordable child care providers in your area.

Oregon

Annual Child Care Costs in Oregon
Families in Oregon pay an average of $17,680 for center-based infant care and an average of $13,832 to place a 4-year-old in a child care center.

More Information on Oregon Child Care
Expensive housing, child care, transportation and groceries make Oregon the state with the fourth-highest cost of living. Parents can visit Oregon Early Learning for help finding high-quality and affordable child care services.

Pennsylvania

Annual Child Care Costs in Pennsylvania
Families in Pennsylvania can expect to spend $14,483 per year on infant care or $12,097 on center-based child care for a 4-year-old child.

More Information on Pennsylvania Child Care
Pennsylvania operates a child care subsidy program known as Child Care Works. You can visit the Department of Human Services website for application info and additional guidelines.

Rhode Island

Annual Child Care Costs in Rhode Island
An average child care center charges $16,899 per year for infant care and $14,618 to care for a 4-year-old child.

More Information on Rhode Island Child Care
Rhode Island provides subsidized child care for children up to the age of 13, and in some cases, up to the age of 18. Visit the Department of Human Services website for more information on applying for child care assistance.

South Carolina

Annual Child Care Costs in South Carolina
South Carolina has some of the lowest child care costs by state. The average child care center charges $9,048 for infant care and $8,216 per year for 4-year-old children. 

More Information on South Carolina Child Care
Parents in South Carolina can benefit from the SC Voucher Program, which makes payments to child care providers so their parents can participate in the workforce. Visit SC Child Care for more information and how to apply.

South Dakota

Annual Child Care Costs in South Dakota
South Dakota has some of the lowest child care costs by state. Parents can expect to pay an average of $7,862 per year for infant care and $7,218 to place a 4-year-old child in center-based care.

More Information on South Dakota Child Care
The South Dakota Department of Social Services provides plenty of useful resources for parents and child care providers, including child care assistance payments and how to reopen in this new environment.

Tennessee

Annual Child Care Costs in Tennessee
An average child care center in Tennessee charges $11,985 per year for infant care and $10,389 per year to provide care for a 4-year-old child.

More Information on Tennessee Child Care
The high cost of child care in Tennessee means that more parents end up leaving their careers to stay home and raise kids. Affordable child care in the community would allow parents more flexibility to return to the workforce while providing education and social opportunities for kids.

Texas

Annual Child Care Costs in Texas
Child care centers in Texas charge an average rate of $11,024 for infant care. For routine care of a 4-year-old child, child care centers charge an average of $9,932 across the state.

More Information on Texas Child Care
Texas Health and Human Services manages child care licensing and helps connect parents with affordable local child care centers.

Utah

Annual Child Care Costs in Utah
Families in Utah should expect to pay an average of $11,232 per year for center-based infant care and an average of $8,268 per year for child care for a 4-year-old.

More Information on Utah Child Care
A minimum wage worker in Utah must work for 114 hours to cover the average cost of infant care for just one month. If you need help paying for child care in Utah, visit the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

Vermont

Annual Child Care Costs in Vermont
Vermont has some of the highest child care costs by state. Families in Vermont pay an average of $17,973 per year for infant care and $17,043 per year to place a 4-year-old child in a center-based care program.

More Information on Vermont Child Care
Parents can visit the Vermont Official State Website to voice concerns about child care, get help finding child care services, and learn about child tax benefits.

Virginia

Annual Child Care Costs in Virginia
Infant care costs an average of $16,397 per year and center-based care for a 4-year-old typically costs $13,560.

More Information on Virginia Child Care
Need help finding affordable child care in Virginia? Parents can visit the Virginia Department of Social Services for child care guidance and payment assistance.

Washington

Annual Child Care Costs in Washington
Infant care for a single child costs an average of $20,370, while most centers would charge around $15,720 per year for a 4-year-old child.

More Information on Washington Child Care
The Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families offers resources for child care providers and parents, including child care subsidies through the Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) program.

West Virginia

Annual Child Care Costs in West Virginia
Working families in West Virginia can expect to pay an average of $10,140 per year for infant care services and $9,100 per year to place a 4-year-old in child care.

More Information on West Virginia Child Care
West Virginia’s Bureau for Children and Families provides guidance and resources for both parents and child care providers. Parents can visit the Child Care Resources and Referral page for help finding affordable child care service.

Wisconsin

Annual Child Care Costs in Wisconsin
A typical child care in Wisconsin charges $11,128 per year for a 4-year-old child and an average of $13,572 per year for infant care.

Monthly Child Care Affordability in Wisconsin
The median household in Wisconsin earned around $5,060 per month in 2018 and would have needed to spend more than 20% of their total income to place one child in a center-based infant care program. Minimum wage workers in Wisconsin would have to work for 144 hours just to cover the cost of one month of infant care.

Wyoming

Annual Child Care Costs in Wyoming
The average child care center in Wyoming charges around $9,745 per year for child care for 4-year-olds and $11,075 per year for infant care.

Manage Child Care Payments with Procare’s Payment Processing

Child care providers can use Procare Solutions to cut costs and increase profit margins while delivering even more value to parents.

Procare’s payment processing provides a seamless daycare billing experience by processing tuition payments. Child care centers can accept and process payments from credit cards and debit cards.

Families benefit from payment options and a convenient mobile payment portal for secure online payments. 

Eliminate the paperwork and hours of work that comes with reconciling sign-in/out sheets through Procare’s integrated tracking software, which automatically updates families’ balances to ensure accurate billing. 

Streamline Financial Management with Procare

Procare takes the stress and paperwork out of managing every aspect of your child care center, helping you save time and reduce costs while improving the accuracy and completeness of your data.

Child care centers with Procare can streamline classroom management, track check-ins, simplify fee calculations, monitor payment accounts by family, manage billing and payroll and automate financial reporting.

On average, child care centers and programs can save up to 12 hours per month in administrative time spent on billing, invoicing and payroll using Procare’s child care accounting software. That is critical time that can be spend on caring for and educating the children in your care.

Manage Daily Activities with Procare

Procare takes the manual work out of child care management activities so child care providers can focus on providing the best educational and enriching experiences for kids. Providers can use Procare to track attendance, organize meals and food programs, plan learning experiences, engage with parents and manage assessments in accordance with state guidelines.

Efficient child care management with Procare helps child care centers spend less time on paperwork and more time caring for kids and building a strong future in their communities.

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