Updated November 5, 2020

Average Cost of Daycare Will Surprise You

If you plan to have kids, stock up your savings account now. Daycare alone can cost as much as $20,000 per year. The average throughout the U.S. is $11,000, or $917 per month. At a minimum, plan on spending at least 10% of your annual income on daycare costs if both partners work outside of the home.

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Paying for Childcare

  • What is the average cost of daycare per week?
    Parents spend an average of $211 per week for daycare in a daycare center and $200 for care in a home.

  • What is the average cost of daycare per day?
    On average, parents spend $40 per day on childcare in a full-time setting.

  • What is the average cost of a nanny per hour?
    On average, nannies charge $14.54 per hour. On a full-time basis, this means $581 per week. The cost is significantly higher than daycare costs because of the services you receive. Nannies generally have an early childhood education. They also provide for the children and the home in your absence.

  • What is the average cost of center-based daycare for an infant per year?
    On average, parents spend $10,468 per year for infant day care. The range parents pay varies between $6,605 and $20,209, depending on the area a family lives.

  • What is the average cost of center-based daycare for a toddler per year?
    The average cost for toddler daycare is slightly less than infants at $9,733 per year. The range for toddler care varies from $9,733 to $18,815.

  • What is the average cost of a nanny for one child?
    The average cost for a nanny is just about double the care of a toddler in a daycare setting. The average cost is around $28,905. It can cost as much as $32,600 in some areas.

  • What is the average cost of an after-school babysitter per week?
    On average, parents $232 per week for after-school care for one child. This figure is based on 15 hours per week.

  • What is the average cost of an au pair per week?
    Families that take an au pair into their home can pay as much as 35% less than families with a nanny. On average, an au pair costs $367 per week for one child. The difference, however, is the au pair will live with your family, whereas a nanny may not.

  • How much of the average family's income goes to daycare costs?
    In many households, daycare costs are the largest expense, surpassing even the cost of housing. Many families pay as much as 10% of their annual income on daycare costs. A family with one child in a daycare facility would need to make at least $97,000 in order to keep daycare costs at 10% of their income on average. On the high end, though, families would need to make as much as $200,000 per year to afford daycare.

  • How many children go to daycare?
    Each week throughout the country, more than 11 million children have some type of childcare. This includes daycare centers, in-home nannies, and home daycares.

Childcare Throughout the U.S.

  • What is the average cost of childcare in the Midwest?
    Families in the Midwest spend more on daycare than housing. They spend an average of $1,477 per month on daycare costs. This amounts to $17,733 per year.

  • What is the average cost of childcare in the Northeast?
    Families in the Northeast also spend the most on daycare compared to any other monthly cost. On average, families spend $1,867 per month, or $430 per week, on childcare.

  • What is the average cost of childcare in the South?
    In the South, families pay about 38% less than families in the Northeast. Families in the South pay around $266 per week for childcare on average.

  • What is the average cost of childcare in the West?
    In the West, families pay an average of $338 per week. This is 21% less than families in the Northeast pay per week.

Raising Kids

  • What is the average cost of raising a child born in 2017?
    The USDA estimates it costs an average of $233,610 to raise a child from birth through age 17. Shelter accounts for the largest portion of the cost, taking around 29% of the total. Food is the second most costly item, taking about 18% of the total. Childcare comes in third place.

  • How much does it cost per year to raise a child?
    Per year, it costs around $13,700, or $264 per week, to raise a child. This cost includes food, shelter, clothing and other major necessities.

  • How much does a child between the ages of 0 and 2 cost per year?
    Middle-income families spend an average $12,680 per year on children ages 0-2.

  • How much does a child between the ages of 15 and 17 cost per year?
    As children get older, their expenses increase. Middle-income families spend an average of 9% more per year on children ages 15 to 17. Food and transportation costs begin to increase around this age, accounting for the $13,900 in total costs.

Stay-at-Home Parents

  • What is the percentage of stay-at-home moms?
    Today, only about 30% of moms do not work. This is about 14% less than in 1976, when only 56% of moms worked.

  • How many mothers are the "breadwinners" in the family?
    Today, a surprising 42% of mothers are the main breadwinner in the family. These mothers brought in either all or at least half of the family's total income.

  • What percentage of families have only one breadwinner?
    Today, only 27% of families have one breadwinner. It's more common for both mom and dad to work, whether inside or outside of the home.

  • How many single parent families are in the U.S.?
    Today, there are almost 12,000,000 single-parent families.

  • How many single mothers are there in the U.S.?
    Of the 12,000,000 families, 83% were run by single mothers. Of the 83% of single mothers, almost half of them never married. The remaining 50% were married and are now either divorced or widowed.

Bottom Line

Some families choose to keep one parent at home just to save on the cost of daycare. At 10% or more of your annual income, it's quite an expense. Decide what's right for your family and then find the most affordable option given your income.

Sources and References:

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