Are you wondering how much does daycare cost? If yes, you should check out our guide right here on the prices you can expect.

American families routinely spend up to 25 percent of their median wages on childcare. While this statistic is staggering, it provides a minimal view of families’ childcare options and costs.

In reality, many factors influence childcare costs and what you can expect actually to pay. Here’s what you need to know about average daycare costs.

Factors That Influence Daycare Cost

Childcare prices can vary widely. Understanding the factors that influence these costs can be the first step to choosing a daycare center that’s right for your child.

Key factors that you can expect to impact your costs include:

  • Your child’s age
  • The cost of living in your area
  • Supply and demand in your area
  • The amount of time for which you need childcare
  • The type of childcare you select
  • Any special needs or care your child requires

As this list suggests, it is very common for families to see the cost of child daycare change over time, even if they continue to use the same provider. In the case that costs rise above what you can afford, check out to learn how to get free child care assistance.


Daycare prices tend to be highest for infants and small children. Infants require the most attention and therefore need low staff-to-child ratios. This increases provider expenses, which is, in turn, passed on to parents.

Costs often decrease as children get older and require less intensive supervision and assistance.

Time and Location

The more hours of care your child needs, the higher your costs will be. Similarly, the higher the general cost of living and demand for care in your area, the more you can expect to pay.

Special Needs

Finding the right caregiver for a child with special needs can come with a higher price tag due to specialized training the staff receives. Many families look for in-home child care options for both affordability and having their children stay in an environment they are comfortable with.

Types of Childcare

The average price of daycare can depend mainly on what type of care you select. The most common types of care include:

  • Formal centers such as daycare Newmarket
  • Private home-based daycares
  • In-home nanny care
  • Informal supervision by friends and family

Older children may also spend time in programs specifically designed to run before or after school.

Average Costs

Nationally, full-time daycare for an infant or toddler costs between $970 and $1,500 per month. When children reach two years of age, prices can drop by as much as a quarter or down to between $730 and $1,200 a month.

Private, home-based daycares often charge slightly less. The national average is around $650 per month for infants and $600 per month for children over two years of age.

Nannies start at around $13 per hour regardless of children’s ages. Pricing can climb quickly, however, if you:

  • Have multiple children
  • Are in a high cost of living area
  • Want a nanny with specialized training (e.g., CPR certification or formal child development training)

Altogether, the national average cost for one year of daycare for a single child starts at around $9,600 and can reach more than $23,000.

Choosing the Right Option for Your Needs

How much does child daycare cost? Unfortunately, there is no single answer. Your real costs will depend on your children, your needs, and where you live. Fortunately, a little research and patience can help you find the best possible solution for your needs.

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