The Cost of Child Care

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Child care cost can vary widely, depending on the location, the hours needed, the age and individual needs of the child and many other factors. Good quality programs provide nutritious meals and snacks, and take extra steps to make sure the facility is clean. They also provide children with an enriching play and learning environment.

Please contact the child care programs you are interested in to gather more information regarding cost. Each program’s contact information is displayed on the Care About Childcare search results.

Cost Considerations:


Staffing accounts for the largest portion of a child care program’s budget, even though child care providers are ranked among the lowest earners in the state.

Licensing regulations determine the staff-to-child ratios program requirements. Infants and toddlers need a lot of individual care and attention, therefore additional staff are needed and care costs are higher for younger age groups.


The cost of child care includes the cost of providing a quality program. Parent tuition is used to support quality standards such as:

  • Hiring well-educated staff and supporting on-going professional development opportunities.
  • Retaining staff through compensation and benefits in order to reduce staff turnover, providing a continuity of care for the children.
  • Hiring additional staff in order to lower staff-to-child ratios.
  • Creating a rich learning environment with a variety of age-appropriate materials and space.

Facility Costs

Licensed child care programs must meet square foot/child space requirements and other health and safety standards set by state licensing regulations. Additional costs include utilities and insurance.

Facilities that are in good repair, have lots of natural light and are well-ventilated provide children with a safer, healthier environment.


The cost of food, supplies for care, cleaning and sanitation, and play and learning materials also contribute to the overall cost that families pay for care.