How much do families pay for childcare in Iowa and Illinois?

Gas prices fluctuated in 2023, while prices dropped for items like eggs. One household expense that increased last year was childcare. According to the latest Consumer Price Index, childcare costs went up by almost 3% between December 2022 and December 2023. More specifically, daycare and preschool costs are up 4.5% over the same period. A report from Child Care Aware of America, a national membership organization that works with childcare resources and referral agencies, says the average cost of childcare in 2022 was $10,853 per child, up from about $9,400 in 2017.

Childcare costs vary by state. GoBankingRates, a financial guidance website, crunched data from Child Care Aware of America and the U.S. Census Bureau data to find where childcare costs the most. They reviewed the median family income per state, the average cost of center-based and family childcare, and the percentage of income needed for center-based childcare.

The study found that no state offers “affordable” childcare for children ages 4 years old and younger. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines “affordable” as 7% of a household’s income. In Illinois, the median family income is $89,619. Costs for center-based childcare average $13,592 and family childcare costs come to $8,847 per child. The percentage of income needed to pay for center-based childcare is 15.17%

In Iowa, the median family income is $83,998. Costs for center-based childcare costs average $10,659 and family childcare costs add up to $7,311. Families must pay 12.69% of their income for center-based childcare.

While those numbers may seem steep, it’s worse in other parts of the U.S. According to the survey, Massachusetts families spend over 17% of their income, or about $20,000. New York parents spend 16.36% of their income, or nearly $14,500, on center-based care, per child. On the other end of the scale, Mississippi has the lowest center-based childcare costs at $5,768 per child. Arkansas is the next-most affordable at just over $7,000 but that works out to about 11% of the median income in the state.

Home childcare is the most expensive in New Mexico at nearly 14% of a family’s income, while South Dakota has the most affordable rate at about 6.6% of the income. On average, center-based childcare costs almost $11,000 in the U.S., while family childcare costs $8,500.

Click here to see childcare costs in other states.

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