Special Report

Metros Where Families Pay the Most for Child Care

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents with children under the age of 18 left the workforce. With schools across the country shifting to remote learning, it made more financial sense for many parents to give up their job and stay home with their children rather than pay for child care – especially as child care costs skyrocketed during the pandemic. 

According to the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank, a family with two children, age four and eight, is projected to pay an average of $16,659 on child care in 2022. This amount varies across the country, however, and in many major metropolitan areas, child care costs are far higher. 

Using data from the EPI’s Family Budget Calculator, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 metro areas where families pay the most for child care. Metro areas are ranked on estimated child care expenditure in 2022 for two children, age four and eight. 

Among the metro areas on this list, estimated average child care costs range from $19,748 up to nearly $36,000. The largest share of metro areas on this list are in the Northeast. Here is a look at the best and worst states to raise a family

As is often the case with factors that affect cost of living, child care costs appear to be driven in part by what parents can afford. In the majority of metro areas on this list, the median family income is higher than the $80,069 the typical American family earns annually. Here is a look at the income needed to be middle class in each state

Click here to see the metros where families pay the most for child care
Click here to read our detailed methodology

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