HL Lifestyle: The Cost of Child Care in Every State

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Little girl

Deciding to have a child is arguably the biggest decision a person makes in her life. With parenthood comes a profound responsibility that ranges from protecting to educating. While countless joys accompany parenting, there are costs too — and they take effect even before birth.

Child care is an incredibly common expense for American families. According to a 2015 report published by ChildCare Aware of America, an advocacy group supporting access to high-quality child care, 11 million children under the age of 5 are in child care for an average of 36 hours per week in the United States. Though the arrangement can vary from in-home care to the aid of grandparents and neighbors, 35 percent of children receive center-based care at child care centers, preschools and Head Start programs.

The team at Credio wanted to see how child care costs vary for families in every U.S. state. To do this, they analyzed data from ChildCare Aware of America's “Parents and the High Cost of Child Care” report — which details the cost of full-time child care in centers — along with 2014 median household income from the U.S. Census Bureau, which includes income generated by all members of a household.

Depending on the state, the percentage of median household income spent on child care for two children annually ranged greatly, from below 20 percent to north of 45 percent. We ranked the 50 U.S. states by this metric, and included the percent of median household income for one child, the average cost of care for two children, as well as the cost of one, as well as median household income for each state.

#50. South Dakota

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 19.73%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $10,465
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 10.67%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $5,661
Median Household Income: $53,053

#49. Wyoming

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 22.22%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $12,374
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 11.75%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $6,541
Median Household Income: $55,690

#48. Tennessee

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 23.73%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $10,372
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.40%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $5,857
Median Household Income: $43,716

#47. Utah

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 24.06%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $15,253
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.63%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,641
Median Household Income: $63,383

#46. Arkansas

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 24.46%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $10,990
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.35%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $5,995
Median Household Income: $44,922

#45. Hawaii

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 24.70%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $17,592
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 11.63%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,280
Median Household Income: $71,223

#44. South Carolina

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 24.76%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $11,126
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 14.41%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $6,475
Median Household Income: $44,929

#43. Mississippi

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 24.83%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $8,819
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.58%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $4,822
Median Household Income: $35,521

#42. Alabama

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 24.85%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $10,508
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.33%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $5,637
Median Household Income: $42,278

#41. Louisiana

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 25.14%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $10,661
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.55%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $5,747
Median Household Income: $42,406

#40. Oklahoma

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 25.24%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $11,911
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 14.38%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $6,788
Median Household Income: $47,199

#39. North Dakota

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 25.90%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $15,728
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.53%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,217
Median Household Income: $60,730

#38. Nebraska

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 25.97%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $14,769
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.94%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $7,926
Median Household Income: $56,870

#37. Idaho

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 26.43%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $14,124
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.47%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $7,200
Median Household Income: $53,438

#36. Alaska

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 27.52%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $18,609
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 16.20%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $10,957
Median Household Income: $67,629

#35. Kentucky

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 27.56%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $11,793
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 14.71%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $6,294
Median Household Income: $42,786

#34. Virginia

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 27.84%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $18,415
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 15.81%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $10,458
Median Household Income: $66,155

#33. Georgia

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 28.54%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $14,144
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 15.43%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $7,644
Median Household Income: $49,555

#32. Texas

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 28.75%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $15,489
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 16.26%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,759
Median Household Income: $53,875

#31. New Hampshire

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 28.98%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $21,267
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 16.09%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,810
Median Household Income: $73,397

#30. Maryland

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 30.24%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $23,032
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 18.29%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $13,932
Median Household Income: $76,165

#29. Iowa

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 30.62%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $17,701
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 16.41%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $9,485
Median Household Income: $57,810

#28. Maine

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 31.68%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $16,381
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 18.39%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $9,512
Median Household Income: $51,710

#27. Missouri

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 31.68%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $17,940
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 15.24%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,632
Median Household Income: $56,630

#26. Michigan

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 32.01%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $16,645
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.00%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $9,882
Median Household Income: $52,005

#25. New Mexico

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 32.22%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $15,040
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 17.01%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $7,942
Median Household Income: $46,686

#24. New Jersey

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 32.31%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $21,080
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 17.68%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,534
Median Household Income: $65,243

#23. Indiana

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 32.62%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $15,678
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 18.56%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,918
Median Household Income: $48,060

#22. Ohio

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 32.87%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $16,318
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 18.08%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,977
Median Household Income: $49,644

#21. California

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 33.14%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $20,048
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.54%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,817
Median Household Income: $60,487

#20. Montana

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 33.24%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $16,984
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 17.73%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $9,062
Median Household Income: $51,102

#19. Delaware

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 33.50%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $19,268
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.12%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,000
Median Household Income: $57,522

#18. Pennsylvania

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 33.91%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $18,711
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.28%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $10,640
Median Household Income: $55,173

#17. Oregon

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 34.16%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $20,109
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.23%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,322
Median Household Income: $58,875

#16. Arizona

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 34.38%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $16,934
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.16%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $9,437
Median Household Income: $49,254

#15. West Virginia

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 34.74%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $13,739
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 20.04%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $7,926
Median Household Income: $39,552

#14. Vermont

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 34.99%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $21,240
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 18.56%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,270
Median Household Income: $60,708

#13. Florida

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 35.46%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $16,362
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 18.84%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,694
Median Household Income: $46,140

#12. Kansas

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 35.84%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $19,152
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 20.96%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,201
Median Household Income: $53,444

#11. North Carolina

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 36.01%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $16,847
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.78%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $9,255
Median Household Income: $46,784

#10. Nevada

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 36.03%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $17,970
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.75%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $9,852
Median Household Income: $49,875

#9. Connecticut

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 36.18%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $25,382
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.78%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $13,880
Median Household Income: $70,161

#8. Wisconsin

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 36.24%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $21,048
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.94%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,579
Median Household Income: $58,080

#7. Washington

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 37.79%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $22,321
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 21.56%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $12,733
Median Household Income: $59,068

#6. Colorado

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 37.80%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $23,036
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 21.59%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $13,154
Median Household Income: $60,940

#5. Minnesota

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 37.90%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $25,485
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 21.36%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $14,366
Median Household Income: $67,244

#4. Rhode Island

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 39.07%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $22,907
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 21.94%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $12,867
Median Household Income: $58,633

#3. Illinois

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 41.03%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $22,531
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 23.61%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $12,964
Median Household Income: $54,916

#2. Massachusetts

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 47.26%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $29,843
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 27.02%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $17,062
Median Household Income: $63,151

#1. New York

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 47.59%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $25,844
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 26.04%
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $14,144
Median Household Income: $54,310

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