Child care cost can vary widely, depending on the location, the hours needed, the age and individual
needs of the child and many other factors. Please contact the child care programs you are interested
in to gather more information regarding cost. Each program’s contact information is displayed on their
Care About Childcare profile page.
Staffing accounts for the largest portion of a child care program’s budget, even though child care
providers rank among the lowest earners in the state.
Licensing regulations determine the staff-to- child ratios programs must meet. Infants and toddlers
need a lot of individual care and attention, therefore additional staff are needed and care costs are
higher for younger age groups.
The cost of child care includes the cost of providing a quality program. Parent tuition is used to support
quality standards such as:
- Hiring well-educated staff and supporting on-going professional development opportunities.
- Retaining staff through compensation and benefits in order to reduce staff turn-over, providing a
continuity of care for the children.
- Hiring additional staff in order to lower staff to child ratios.
- Creating a rich learning environment with a variety of age-appropriate materials and space.
Licensed child care programs must meet square foot/child space requirements and other health and
safety standards set by state licensing regulations. Utilities and insurance are additional costs that
Facilities that are in good repair, have lots of natural light and are well-ventilated provide children with a
safer, healthier environment.
The cost of food, supplies for care/cleaning/sanitation and play/learning materials also contribute to the
overall cost that families pay for care.
Good quality programs provide nutritious meals/snacks, take extra steps to make sure the facility is
clean and work to provide children with an enriching play and learning environment.
Financial assistance may also be available to families that may not be able to afford quality child care.
Click on any of the links below to learn more about these programs.
Sliding fee scales and multi-child discounts – some child care programs offer adjustable rates dependent
upon the income of the family and/or the number of children enrolled at the program. Check with the
child care program to see what is available.
Paying with a dependent care flexible spending account – a flexible spending account (FSA) through your
employer allows you to pay for medical and childcare expenses using pre-tax dollars, saving money by
reducing your tax liability. Check with your employers to see if you have access to a FSA.
If you would like information on the average cost of care per county or state or data for research or
grant writing purposes please contact CCPDI directly.