Every parent will tell you that child care costs a lot. But exactly how expensive is it?
Child care has quickly become one of the largest expenses for families, with it comparable to college tuition in many states. If you live in Washington, and the Seattle area in particular, the high cost of child care is probably no surprise to you. But exactly how much you'll pay depends on the kind of care you choose: enrolling in a center-based child care program, enrolling in a family-based program, or hiring private, in-home care like a nanny or au pair.
What's the average cost for a child care program?
LegUp works with hundreds of providers in the Seattle (Puget Sound) area, so we compared the cost of full-time care and daily rates across all age groups for children 0 to 6 years old.
Average Cost for Center-Based Care
(13 - 24 months)
* Note: not all centers offer PT schedules.
Average Cost for Home-Based Care
(13 - 24 months)
* Note: home-based programs are often cheaper than center-based programs due to cost of management.
What's the average cost for a nanny?
Nanny care can be an excellent choice for many families, especially if you're looking for 1:1 caregiving. However this can be a much more expensive solution for families.
In the Seattle, you can expect to pay $800-1000/week or about $25/hour.
Seattle Area Costs vs United States Average Cost
Here's how Seattle child care costs compare to the rest of the country!
Knowing your family's budget makes the child care process a lot easier from the beginning and allows you to make the most of your time and effort on finding the best fit for your family. In addition to your weekly child care budget, there are many other factors to consider before picking a program. Be sure to read up on the different types of care available and educational philosophies before you enroll.