California Has the Most Expensive Child Care, Here’s How Much Does It Usually Cost

In California, which is one of the most expensive states for child care, it can cost more to send your child to kindergarten than to send them to college.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Data book, which looks at national trends in children’s health, says that the state is in the top 10 for having the most expensive center-based and at-home child care. The cost each year ranges from $11,000 to $13,000.

U.S. News and World Report says that tuition and fees at Sacramento State add up to about $7,500 a year.

The foundation says that the cost of child care in the United States has gone up by 220% since 1990. Some parents have had to quit their jobs because they couldn’t afford to pay for their child’s care after the price went up.

From a 2023 study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, here’s how much things cost in California:

Top 10 Places Where Child Care Costs the Most

Center-based child care, like a Montessori school, is usually run in a business place, not in the home of the owner. This kind of care is also, on average, the most expensive choice for a parent.

The center-based yearly prices in California were the ninth most expensive in the country.

In California, a center-based child care center costs an average of $13,408 per year.

The typical household income in California is $84,097 a year, according to the U.S. Census. This means that center-based child care could cost about 15% of this amount each year. The effect is much bigger on single moms, the foundation wrote.

The study looked at all 50 states and Washington, D.C., which came in first place for center-based care with an average yearly cost of $24,396.

Family-based child care, which is usually run out of the owner’s house, is usually less expensive than center-based care, but it still starts in the thousands of dollars. The yearly prices for a family in California were the sixth most expensive in the country. Again, Washington, D.C. was number one, with an average income of $19,291 a year.

In California, a family-based childcare center costs an average of $11,607 per year.

Taking into account the average household income in California, family-based child care costs about 13% of the average household income each year.

From the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Data book, here is the full list of the 10 places where child care costs the most in the United States:

Center-based child care

  1. Washington, D.C. — $24,396 annually
  2. Connecticut — $18,156 annually
  3. New York — $16,551 annually
  4. Colorado — $16,333 annually
  5. Connecticut — $18,156 annually
  6. Minnesota — $14, 607 annually
  7. Nevada — $13,877 annually
  8. Rhode Island — $13,462 annually
  9. California — $13,408 annually
  10. Alaska — $13,046 annually

Family-or-home-based child care

  1. Washington, D.C. — $19,291 annually
  2. Massachusetts — $13,344 annually
  3. Connecticut — $11,955 annually
  4. New York — $11,778 annually
  5. Washington — $11,620 annually
  6. California — $11,607 annually
  7. New Mexico — $10,284 annually
  8. Rhode Island — $$10,068 annually
  9. New Hampshire — $9,940 annually
  10. Hawaii — $9,776 annually

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