The Cost of Childcare Has Surpassed the Cost of Rent in All 50 States

The national average price of childcare in 2023 was $11,582.
Amelia Protiva
2 min read

A new report published by ChildCare Aware in America (CCAoA) shows that the cost of childcare for two children now exceeds the cost of rent in all 50 states. This is a staggering reality that has profound implications for families across the U.S.

The national average price of childcare in 2023 was $11,582.

This high cost of childcare support has placed a significant financial burden on families, consuming 10% of a married couple with children’s median income and a staggering 32% of a single parent with children’s median household income. Far exceeding the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' recommendation that childcare should not cost families more than 7% of their annual income.

Each state has local landscapes which the national average cannot fully capture. However, the fact remains that the cost of childcare is high for families across the board. Interestingly, CCAoA’s analysis found that the rise in childcare prices from 2022 to 2023 did not outpace inflation, likely due to the elevated rate of inflation in 2023.

Still, the price of childcare continues to exceed many family household expenses. In 45 states and Washington D.C., the average annual price of childcare for two children in a center exceeded annual mortgage payments from 1% to 64%. And in all 50 states plus Washington D.C., the price of center-based care for two children exceeded average annual rent payments by 25% to over 100%.

In addition, child care professionals reported earning an average of $30,360 per year. Showing It would take from 59% to over 100% of the average annual child care professional’s wage to afford center-based care for two children.

The findings of CCAoA’s report highlight the vital importance of access to high-quality, affordable childcare, not just for the economic security of working families, but also for the overall wellbeing of our communities. The impact of quality childcare extends beyond each family. It allows parents, especially moms who are often the primary caregivers, to contribute to the workforce and continue to build their careers if they so choose. At the same time, early education and childcare support contributes to the social foundations and early development of the next generation.

It's essential that we collectively address the high cost of childcare and adequate support as a nation. Families across the U.S. should look for solutions such as advocating for local, state, and federal policies that increase funding for childcare and provide subsidies for lower-income families. Additionally, exploring employer-sponsored childcare benefits or flexible work arrangements can also help offset these costs.

By prioritizing and investing in childcare, we can support all families, strengthen our communities, and contribute to the overall well-being of our greater world.

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