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CostHelper > Babies & Children  > Day Care

Day Care Cost

How Much Does Day Care Cost?

average costAverage: $611/monthhigh costHigh: $300+/week
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According to the U.S. Department of Labor[1] , there are several types of child day care for youth under five: child care in a child's home; care in an organized child care center; or care in a provider's home, also known as family child care. Older children may participate in before- and after-school programs or private summer school programs.

Typical costs:

  • Assuming full-time day care for a 2 year old child on weekdays, according to Runzheimer International, the U.S. national average cost for full-time day care is $611 a month.
  • Large cities such as Boston and New York are most expensive, with average daycare costs of a little more than $1,000 a month. Contacting two KinderCares in the San Jose area about infant day care, we received quotes of $300-$330 a week, plus annual fees.
  • Cities like San Antonio, TX, and Jackson, MS, have the lowest average prices, around $350-$400 a month.
Related articles: Nanny, Baby Sitter, Summer Day Camp, Stroller, Diapers

  • Parents may also qualify for tax credits or an increased tax refund. Visit the National Women's Law Center for more information.
  • Many people try to reduce day care costs by asking family members to help out or by splitting the costs for a nanny or a baby sitter with neighbors or nearby friends.
Shopping for day care:
  • BabyCenter[2] suggests talking to other parents about their experiences with local child care centers.
  • The Better Business Bureau[3] offers a list of child care centers.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. For medical decisions, always consult your physician for the right course for your infant or child.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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what's a good price for day care?
Amount: $600.00 per month
Posted by: S.eileen in las vegas, NV.Posted: June 12th, 2014 11:06PM
Provider: Child's Age: 3
In looking to get my daughter in pre-k but I don't make much so I need good program yet something that won't make it seem as if I'm working just to pay day care. I need mon-friday 7am to about 515 pm.
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People, learn to say "NO." You don\'t have to be a martyr!!
Amount: $1,040.00 per month
Posted by: Miss Dawn in Red Bank, NJ.Posted: November 23rd, 2013 04:11AM
Provider: Home ProviderChild's Age: Infants/Toddlers
Many frustrating comments here. If you don't feel you get paid enough for what you offer, then you need to require more. Period. Stop being taken advantage of. You are important and your time and what you offer is very valuable, whether it's your grandkids or other clients. Central NJ is one of the most expensive areas in the country, but prices are 40% higher in areas of northeast Jersey. (I do have a Bachelor's degree in Child Development and 20+ years' experience, so this accounts for a small part of the cost.) This is your job or business, not a charity you're running. You have bills to pay and your time is worth a lot, too. Don't work with families that give you trouble or don't follow your guidelines. It's actually quite simple - people agree to your terms or find childcare elsewhere. Good luck. Your role in children's lives is SO important.
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Childcare Owner
Amount: $35.00 per month
Posted by: Shatoya in Orlando, FL.Posted: November 10th, 2013 07:11AM
Provider: Precious OnesChild's Age: 6 weeks-12 years
At my center we provide everything from baby bottles, diapers, all food, and even at home pick up and drop off. I charge $35 a week for school age kids, $65 for children ages 1-4, and $80 for infants. We are the lowest childcare around and I still have parents that want something cheaper, or don't want to pay. Sadly to say but its usually the parents of the children that have behavior problems. So now my teachers have to deal with children that want to kick, bite, hit, and throw temper tantrums and parents want to pay less than $65 a week....really?! Parents don't understand everything that Childcare providers have to deal with. I feel that I charge way too little.
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What do you think?
Amount: $800.00 per month
Posted by: a user in Harrisburgh, PA.Posted: September 4th, 2013 01:09PM
Provider: I am the ProviderChild's Age: 10 Months
I Am working 10-11 hours a day (7am-5/6pm), 5 days a week and making $40 dollars a day, $200 a week, it measures out to $4 a hour, how do I address this with Parents to either get more money or say goodbye.
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Fed up grandmother
Amount: $160.00 per month
Posted by: S . McBride in Birmingham, AL.Posted: August 25th, 2013 05:08PM
Provider: myselfChild's Age: 6 year old girl and 11 month old girl
My daughter just started a job about 2 months ago and I was trying to help her get on her feet and I started watching my grandkids for her . She originally wasn't planning on giving me anything so I said you can give me something and she wanted to know what so I said $40 she said that was too much but reluctantly gave it to me for these first 7 weeks . Now the older child has started back to school so she has dropped the payment to $20 dollars! I am soooo sorry but watching a 11 month old for $20 a week is not happening she will have to find someone else!!!! Am I wrong for this?
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You get what you pay for
Amount: $590.00 per month
Posted by: Mrssullivan84 in Savannah, GA.Posted: April 29th, 2013 08:04PM
Provider: Savannah Country Day SchoolChild's Age: 2
This cost is for only 3 days a week- Full time is roughly $1000 a month. This is twice as much as any other day care in the area, but when we went to the other ones and went to this one, there is no comparison. SCDS regularly has 3 QUALIFIED teachers for 9-10 kids in a classroom. They also have a curriculum and wonderfully laid out classroom. I love this place!
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Looking to hire part time weekend nanny
Amount: $700.00 per month
Posted by: Am I being cheap or cheated? in NV, NV.Posted: February 14th, 2013 01:02AM
Provider: Child's Age: 7 months
I am looking to hire a live in nanny part time on the weekends twice a month. I wanted to pay $300 to $350 per weekend if i found one. I found someone and she told me that $350 per weekend was too low. I thought it was fair because there would be a parent here and would assume most of the responsiblities until called into work on those weekends. Someone please let me know a good rate. I believe she is looking for $500 plus. I can not afford $1000.00 plus per month when there are no other reaponsiblities for this position except feed baby, change diapers, and be at the house when parent is called into work for two hours at a time if at all. I only need her 6 days out of the month and feel she could find work on the other 24/25 days. Please let me kmow if i am wrong but $700.00 per month seems fair to me.
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Am I charging too much?
Amount: $260.00 per month
Posted by: DBellamy in Wooster, OH.Posted: February 4th, 2013 12:02PM
Provider: SelfChild's Age: 10 months
I am about to raise my rates to $65 per week for anyone here 12 hrs-20 hrs per week. I also am going to be charging $4 per hr for anyone here less than 12 hours per week. My full time rate (over 20 hrs week) is going to be $3 per hr. Does this sound fair?
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In Home Child Care - 2nd Child?
Amount: $600.00 per month
Posted by: In Home Child Care - 2nd Child? in Milwaukee, WI.Posted: January 24th, 2013 02:01PM
Provider: In HomeChild's Age: 1 1/2
We pay $600/month for in home child care of our 1 1/2 year old. What should be the cost for our baby on the way?
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In home care
Amount: $800.00 per month
Posted by: Home DayCare in Milwaukee, WI.Posted: November 20th, 2012 10:11PM
Provider: Milwaukee WIChild's Age: 4 weeks to 4 years old
I wanted to know how much is a good rate for home daycare for infants and toddlers,school age children.. I was thinking for Infants $40 a day,and for Toddlers $45 a day. What do u think is that to much or is that to cheap.
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Amount: $360.00 per month
Posted by: star185 in ROCHESTER, NY.Posted: February 20th, 2012 08:02PM
Provider: star185Child's Age: 3
I take care of my grandson three days a week for 10 hours each of those days. He get his breakfast and lunch and snacks. I have potty trained him. He loves coming here and I love having him. My daughter hates paying me.
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Amount: $885.00 per month
Posted by: Mother in Houston, TX.Posted: February 12th, 2012 03:02PM
Provider: The Apple Tree SchoolChild's Age: Three
Wonderful preschool. Teachers are well educated, loving and very much a Christian . They all provided wonderful daily learning experiences for the children. Great program! Well worth the money and the drive. It is certainly not daycare! It's so much more. Director is on top of everything at all times.
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Peace of Mind
Amount: $320.00 per month
Posted by: Fortunate in Chicago in Chicago, IL.Posted: December 16th, 2011 06:12AM
Provider: Home ProviderChild's Age: 14 months
I was fortunate to have my mother step in to take care of my daughter when I returned back to work. I had the pleasure of staying home with my daughter for 4 months. There is nothing better than having peace of mind!!!
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Child Care Expense
Amount: $2,100.00 per month
Posted by: a user in Milwaukee, WI.Posted: October 31st, 2011 04:10PM
Provider: Day Care CenterChild's Age: 10 months and 4 years
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Child care
Amount: $900.00 per month
Posted by: Elena in Philly, PA.Posted: August 10th, 2011 06:08AM
Provider: DaycareChild's Age: 14 months
Daycare is $205 per week, the total of about $820-900 per month. 5 days a week, 7am - 5pm, 3 meals included. If the baby is absent all week you pay half price
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Daycare Cost vs. Peace of Mind/ "Babysitter vs. "Professional Childcare Provider"
Amount: $400.00 per month
Posted by: Frustrated with Parents Looking to save a buck in Salem, OR.Posted: August 9th, 2011 07:08PM
Provider: Salem OR Preschool/DaycareChild's Age: 2-12 yrs
I have done childcare for 13 years now. I run a full preschool for 2-5 year olds and I run before and after school programs for 6-12 year olds. I transport all my kids to and from school, I offer all meals and snacks, I take them on field trips some at parents expense, but most at my own. I provide arts & crafts, games, learning, work books, nutritional learning, spelling, spanish, history, reading and so much more. I make all my kids a birthday cake birthday. I even help parents with clothes and extra ordinary things for their kids. But yet I still come across parents always looking for something "Cheaper" vs. "Quality". I even run my rates along side DHS rates due to the crushing ecomony, to still be able to pay my bills and still be a quality childcare/preschool for my parents/kids. Yet I still run across parents trying to find something "Cheaper". It is frustrating, but we can only do what we can do and we will never make everyone happy I guess. I even let my parents pick the day or days to make their payments. Maybe I offer to much for too littl,e that it underminds the quality of my program? However, my program is always full, but I still feel like I need to be on the lookout for new recruits due to parents looking for a "babysitter" versus a "professional childcare provider". I don't think alot of parents know the difference. A babsitter is someone you pay to come to your house so you can have a date night with your significant other. A "professional childcare provider" is trained to be the best influence and have the best interest in your most valuable treasure in the whole world, your child. Anyways, I feel better having vented all that. So to all you over worked, under paid and under appreciated professional child care providers, keep up the good work, because it is the kids who needs us the most while they have us, so give them all you got because they will remember you!
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Day Care Cost
Amount: $150.00 per month
Posted by: second mom in Cocoa Beach, FL.Posted: June 30th, 2011 10:06AM
Provider: N/AChild's Age: N/A
I have watched children in my home since my own children were little. I had a high paid job before and never could find decent care. Except my mom and I paid her but actually she gave me a gift. Caring for her grandchild and the gift of peace of mind while I was at work.
Over the last 20 plus years of watching other people's children I have had excellent and kindhearted people I work for but I must say 95% do not want to pay what they should. They pay a teen more than I get when they go out.
My wisdom for people working is to realize you want to keep your job for whatever reasons and need peace of mind. Realize you will not always be paying this money. One day your precious gems will be older and would you rather look back and know you had an excellent caregiver who not only cared for your child(ren) but played with them, took them places, taught them wisdom and loved them like you do. At least I fall in love with all the 80 plus kids I have kept. We also offer one special thing parents have a hard time doing. Disciplining and teaching them rules and respect. Most decent caregivers give their employer more than you could ever pay the caregiver.
Be thankful and love your nanny/ caregiver.
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I feel im under paid can i charge more?
Amount: $800.00 per month
Posted by: Jeni in AURORA, CO.Posted: June 29th, 2011 12:06PM
Provider: myselfChild's Age: 10 month 4 yrs
I watch my 4 yr old nephew and my 10 month old niece in my home. They are here 11 hours a day 5 days a week. I'm a stay at home mother/wife (I lost my job after 5 yrs) and have 3 boys (11,5,2) home with me also. I provide preschool type activities, meals, and out side play games. I'm currently getting paid $200 a week/ $800 a month. Every thing I've researched online says i should make about $1000 a month. Looking for advise and help on this topic.
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North NJ Daycare Cost
Amount: $1,056.00 per month
Posted by: toddler mother in Saddle Brook, NJ.Posted: May 17th, 2011 04:05PM
Provider: Tutor TimeChild's Age: 3
I am paying $264 per week for full time 8AM to 6PM. Everything is included in the price:meals, snacks, and drinks.
Excellent school and excellent program!!!!
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Denver DayCare
Amount: $900.00 per month
Posted by: megansue315 in Lakewood, CO.Posted: May 4th, 2011 01:05PM
Provider: Kinder CareChild's Age: infant
I will be paying $224 per week for 3 days per week for an infant.
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Oklahoma Daycare Cost
Amount: $430.00 per month
Posted by: a user in Henryetta, OK.Posted: April 9th, 2011 06:04PM
Provider: Linda's Early Childhood Education CenterChild's Age: 2
$20 a day for 2 meals, snacks, a school-like environment in the morning and fun in the afternoon.
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Parents PAY as If YOU needed to be PAID!!
Amount: $260.00 per month
Posted by: Under Paid Nanny/Housekeeper in Sylmar, CA.Posted: March 28th, 2011 11:03PM
Provider: N/AChild's Age: 7 months
I babysit 4 days a week 8 hrs a day plus a list of house keeping chores and getting underpaid! Only $130 a week. Parents need to realize us babysitters have bills too and gas isnt CHEAP! The same way Parents are trying to save $$$, were trying to make $$$. Watching babies are way more work than toddlers, feeding, changing diapers, bathing, and to top it all off HOUSE CHORES!! COME ON PEOPLE WE DONT WORK FOR FREE, CANT PAY??? WATCH YOUR OWN CHILDREN!! IT'S FREE OF CHARGE...
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Amount: $500.00 per month
Posted by: ann26 in lelland, NC.Posted: March 13th, 2011 08:03AM
Provider: christian daycareChild's Age: 3
My son only goes 3 full days a week!
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Child care
Amount: $1,096.00 per month
Posted by: moshau in Mount Laurel, NJ.Posted: March 8th, 2011 06:03AM
Provider: Kindercare - Mt. LaurelChild's Age: 13 months
Includes lunch, snacks, and milk. I recently switched from another center where I paid $20 less but they did not include any food or milk.
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