Young mother with infant at city park. AbbKi.width .jpg

4 Shocking Stats About Child Care Costs in America

Young mother with infant at city park.

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Being a parent is hard work. In addition to preparing for the everyday responsibilities of raising a child, it’s wise to consider the financial implications of being a parent before having kids.

Child care is an essential but costly expense for working parents and can significantly impact their finances. I’ll outline a few statistics about child care costs in the United States. Some stats may surprise you, but it’s better to be informed so you can financially prepare accordingly.

1. Parents spend an average of $766 weekly to hire a nanny

Care.com, a platform connecting parents with caretakers, examines the average child care costs yearly in its annual Cost of Care Report. According to Care.com’s 2024 Cost of Care Report, Americans spent $766 weekly to hire a nanny for their child. If you want to hire a nanny, which is an option for your child to have more personalized care and attention, you should prepare to spend a significant amount of money on this child care expense.

2. Parents spend an average of $321 per week on daycare

The study examined other child care costs. In 2023, parents spent an average of $321 on daycare costs. This is an increase of 13%, considering parents spent an average of $284 per week on daycare expenses in 2022.

It’s worth mentioning that care costs can vary greatly depending on your child’s age and whether you’ll be enrolling one or multiple children. But as you might imagine, spending hundreds of dollars on care every week can quickly drain a family’s checking account.

3. Families spend 24% of their household income on child care

The above Care.com study also found that the average U.S. family with kids spends 24% of their household income on child care. Considering other living costs like rent and mortgage payments are typically high for many households, that’s a lot of money to spend on child care.

If you’re considering raising kids, review your current household expenses and determine whether you can afford to spend 20% or more of your income on child care. Budgeting apps can help you assess your current spending and follow a budget to maximize your household income and stretch your dollars further.

4. It costs over $310,000 to raise a child

If the above stats weren’t shocking, this one likely will be. According to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it would cost $233,610 to raise one child to age 17.

However, this stat was issued in 2015, and everyday living costs, including child care expenses, have increased significantly. Parents of young children or adults considering having children in the coming years should plan to pay more to raise a child to adulthood.

According to a 2022 Brookings Institution analysis of the above USDA data, assuming an inflation rate of 4% for a child born in 2015, it would cost $310,605 to raise a child until age 17. The cost will likely continue to rise over the coming years.

Plan accordingly to avoid additional financial stress

While these stats may be shocking, it’s good to know them. If you plan to have kids, you want to ensure you can afford to cover their needs. Preparing for the financial responsibilities of parenthood can help you reduce your stress and allow you to give your kids a comfortable life. Check out our personal finances resources for additional financial tips and guidance.

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