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Average Daycare Costs in North America (2019)

Finding the ideal price for your daycare services can be tough, trying to balance covering your costs without taking a toll on parents. But how exactly does your price stack up to the competition? Are you charging too much or perhaps too little? 

We are here to help. Our 2019 Childcare Benchmark Survey provides you with a blueprint of the early education sector, so you can see exactly where you are at.

If you are a new parent, it is also helpful to know more about daycare costs. How much will they impact your budget? This will very much depend on the age of your child.

What is the average cost of daycare?

The monthly price charged by a center is inversely correlated with age, reflecting the higher costs of taking care of younger children, such as higher labor costs and additional health and safety requirements. This is because younger children require specialized care and attention and have a smaller teacher-child ratio, usually in the range of 1 teacher to 3 to 4 children in the 18-month age group. 

On average, the monthly price for infants in 2019 is of $986, decreasing to only $394 for school aged children.

Age GroupAverage Monthly Price
(USD – 2019)
Average Monthly Price
(USD – 2018)
Infant$986$1059
Toddler$941$957
Preschool$834$897
Kindergarten$564$616
School Age$394$439

Surprisingly, we noticed a reduction in average monthly prices across all age groups, from 2018 to 2019. The biggest difference is in the school age segment, with a reduction of 10% year over year. Prices for toddlers are more stable, with a change of only 1.7%.

Note that these prices reflect an average across the United States and Canada, but prices also differ depending on your region. For example, centers in New York State have a higher annual cost than a similar service provided by a center in Mississippi, according to Child Care Aware of America (2018).

How often do childcare centers bill their families?

There is also a difference in billing frequency across different daycare centers. While the majority of centers use monthly billing, with 45%, there is also a large share of centers using weekly billing (40%). Semestral billing is the least adopted, representing only 1% of all centers.

FrequencyPercentage
Daily3%
Weekly40%
Bi-weekly4%
Monthly45%
Semiannually1%
Annually7%

Does your center accept subsidies?

The majority of centers accept families who are receiving some sort of subsidy, representing 84% of total respondents. However, these students normally represent only a small percentage of total children. Only 14% of respondents have more than half of enrolled children receiving subsidies. The majority of respondents have less than 5% of enrolled children receiving subsidized child care funds.

How do you increase revenue at your child care center?

Increasing prices is still the strategy used by nearly half of the respondents to increase revenue at their center. However, other less common strategies are also used, such as offering additional products or services (24%), expanding the existing locations (20%) and even opening new locations (14%)

To learn even more about the current state of the early childhood education sector, make sure to download the Childcare Benchmark Survey 2019. It is a free resource based on answers from hundreds of centers across the United States and Canada.

Mathias Neves

Mathias is a marketing specialist with more than 8 years of experience in the field. Due to his background in engineering, he is our go-to person for crunching numbers and finding meaningful information in stats. When not at work, this soon-to-be dad can be found writing a series of books focused on mental health for children and spending time with his family.

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