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Is Your Childcare Center Ahead or Behind the Curve?

Find out in the 2021-2022 North American Childcare Sector Benchmark Report, brought to you by HiMama! This year marks our 6th and biggest installment yet. With more insights than ever before and another unprecedented year due to COVID-19, getting answers to the biggest questions that childcare owners and directors have has never been more important. In this report, you’ll find valuable insights including:

  • How has COVID-19 impacted the childcare sector?

  • What are others charging for tuition?

  • How much income are other centers making?

  • What are the average occupancy rates?

  • How do others motivate and retain their staff?

  • And much more!


With lower enrollment, varying staffing needs and new protocols due to COVID-19, 2021 has had a substantial impact on the financials of childcare providers everywhere.

Revenue and Net Income

Revenue = The total amount of money that a business collected.

Net Income = The amount of money left after all operational costs are subtracted from the revenue.

Revenue decreased this year for 41.2% of respondents, along with Net Income decreasing for 42.4% of respondents.

Child care businesses — who have small profit margins at the best of times — have been challenged to continue operating with altered ratios and additional procedures in place.

- Ron Spreeuwenberg, CEO & Co-Founder, HiMama

Educator Salaries

The average salary of an educator in 2020 was $27,156. As of February 2022, 30.5% of educators remain in that 20k-30k range, while 26.7% are above average at 30k-40k and 24.6% are under at 20k. The impact of this pay range not increasing will be felt heavily as time goes on. Educators need to be paid more than a living wage to be able to continue in their field.

Only 46.8% of childcare centers as of February 2022 are properly staffed. This is an issue that requires attention. Staff turnover, burnout, and low pay are all contributing factors to this childcare staffing crisis.

- CDA Council


This year has continued to challenge childcare providers operationally like never before. As COVID-19 policies changed frequently, childcare providers have had to continue to pivot to keep up.


As of February 2021, we are excited to see that 30.3% of childcare centers are over 90% enrolled, with another 13.6% at 80-90% enrolled.

Enrollment is a very important metric in defining the operational success of a childcare center. In 2020, the average occupancy rate of a center was 59%. As of February 2021, we are excited to see that 30.3% of childcare centers are over 90% enrolled, with another 13.6% at 80-90% enrolled. Only 11.2% of childcare centers surveyed are less than 40% enrolled.

- CDA Council


Facing unprecedented challenges, owners and directors have had to become strong leaders to ensure their businesses survive COVID-19 and are set up as we enter the new normal.


When comparing childhood cognitive scores from 2020-2021 compared to 2011-2019, it was found that children born during the pandemic have a large reduction in verbal, motor, and cognitive abilities compared to children born prior to the pandemic. This is not unexpected, as many young children were purposefully kept away from others during the past 2 years. Going forward, it will be vital for parents, caregivers, and childcare professionals to ensure support for the ‘pandemic children’ and provide them with access to additional resources and opportunities to help speed along their development.

Early childhood professionals rose to the challenge during coronavirus. Faced with herculean tasks and, in many cases, a lack of support or guidance, they sacrificed enormously to help keep the children they serve and their communities safe.

- Andrew Roszak, Executive Director, Institute for Childhood Preparedness


When asked about their priorities for the upcoming year, customer satisfaction has remained the #1 choice for providers. Employee retention has moved up to number two, with education and programs remaining a very important priority at number three.

About the Benchmark Report

The North American Childcare Benchmark Report is an annual report presented by HiMama. Surveying childcare providers across the United States and Canada, this report presents a comprehensive snapshot of the state of the childcare industry. It is this report’s goal to provide meaningful data for providers, families, researchers and policymakers to make informed decisions in order to better serve our communities by improving learning outcomes for children ages 0-5.

Download the Full Reports

Access the 2021/2022 Childcare Benchmark Report or any of our previous editions below.



For media inquiries or to access the survey's raw data, please contact

About HiMama

HiMama is improving learning outcomes for children aged zero to five. As a social purpose business, HiMama connects families with the early childhood professionals who serve them using the latest mobile technology. Thousands of child care professionals across the globe use HiMama to involve families in their children’s learning and development.