Child Care Aware of America's  report on child care costs found the national average price is between $9,100–$9,600 a year for one child. That number does not reflect what most people pay but is an average across all states.
It's essential to look at child care costs based on age and type, particularly for children aged birth–4 years. In a child care center, the median price for an infant is $11,896 compared to $9,254 for a 4-year-old. The cost is lower for in-home child care, meaning licensed child care in a private home rather than a center.
The cost varies more when you consider location. Child Care Aware has a state by state breakdown of the annual cost of child care in the U.S. and the percent of a family's income. It found the yearly price of infant care in Michigan is $10,287. It's $16,452 a year in California, which is about 17% of a California family's median income.
There are also significant differences within individual states as well as metro areas. Child Care Aware looked at Seattle and found a dramatic difference when comparing costs inside and outside the city limits. Families inside the city paid more than $5,000 a year for a child care center and $2,000 more a year for family child care.