U.S. News & World Report
Child care will likely be a family's biggest expense during the first three to four years of their child's life.
"It is unfortunate how much families have to consider this in their family planning. It should be a situation where there is care that is affordable and high quality nearby if you need it in this country," says Mario Cardona, chief of policy and practice at Child Care Aware of America. However, he says "the price of child care remains incredibly high. It outpaces the costs of just about any household expense in the country, except for housing in the West."
The average annual price of child care was around $9,100 to $9,600 nationally in 2019, according to a report by Child Care Aware of America. However, costs vary dramatically by region.
In California, for example, the average annual price of center-based infant child care was $16,452, representing 17.5% of the median household income in the state. In Arkansas, the annual price of center-based infant child care was $6,443, representing 8.9% of the median household income in the state.