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Child Care Costs By State

Child Care Costs By State
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The Cost of Child Care

Child care is a critical foundation for families across the United States, providing not only a safe environment for children but also much-needed support for working parents. Yet, the financial obstacle posed by the rising cost of child care is a poignant issue for many families. The expenses of providing center-based care for an infant in the U.S. currently average at $1,230 per month, often surpassing the federal definition of affordable child care — a cost that does not exceed 7% of the annual household income. 

  • At the highest end of the cost spectrum, Massachusetts stands out with an overwhelming annual child care cost of $20,913. 
  • This contrast starkly with the lowest-cost state, Mississippi, where annual child care costs amount to just $5,436, nearly a fourth of Massachusetts'. 
  • A noticeable trend in our dataset is the concentration of higher cost states in the Northeastern and Western regions of the US. Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey from the Northeast and California, Minnesota, and Washington from the West all feature in the top ten most expensive states for child care. 
  • Conversely, Southern states generally appear at the lower end of the scale, with Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi all presenting significantly lower child care costs compared to the national average.

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