CCAoA’s analysis found that there was a very small increase in the number of child care centers and a very small decrease in the number of family child care (FCC) homes from 2022 to 2023. The number of child care centers has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, while the decrease in FCC homes follows the downward trend seen in recent years. 

Child Care Centers

The number of licensed centers totaled 91,553 in 2019 and 92,786 in 2023, in the 41 states for which we had data. Between 2022 and 2023, the number of licensed child care centers increased by 1.3%. 


Family Child Care

There were 107,041 licensed FCC homes open in 2019 and 94,227 open in 2023, in the 39 states that had available data. From 2022 to 2023, approximately 0.8% fewer FCC homes were open.  

The rate of decline in the number of FCC homes open has slowed, but the trend remains downward overall. There has been a 12% decline in licensed FCC homes since 2019. 


2023 Child Care Supply: State Trends

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2023 Child Care Affordability

CCAoA found that the national average price of child care for 2023 was $11,582. That average was calculated by averaging three methodologies for understanding national prices. 

  • It would take 10% of a married couple with children’s median income to afford this national average price.
  • It would take 32% of a single parent with children’s median household income to afford this national average price.

This is more than the recommendation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that child care should not cost families more than 7% of their annual income. Notably, each state’s child care landscape is unique and the national average price does not fully capture state and local nuances. 


Child care prices remain high for families. But CCAoA’s analysis found that while the price of child care continued to rise in 2023, it did not increase as much as in previous years. This rise in child care prices from 2022 to 2023 did not outpace inflation, likely due to the somewhat elevated rate of inflation in 2023. 


Household Budgets

Although child care price increases did not outpace inflation in 2023, the price of child care continues to exceed many family household expenses. According to CCAoA’s analysis: 

  • In 45 states plus the District of Columbia, the average annual price of child care for two children in a center exceeded annual mortgage payments from 1% to 64%. 
  • In all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, the price of center-based care for two children exceeded average annual rent payments by 25% to over 100%. 
  • In 39 states plus the District of Columbia, the average annual price of child care for an infant in a center exceeded annual, in-state university tuition by 1% to over 100%. 
  • Child care professionals in a center earn an average of $30,360 per year. It would take 59% to over 100% of the average annual child care professional’s wage to afford center-based care for two children.   

Regional Child Care Prices 

The average price of care for two children exceeded average housing costs in three of the four regions – Midwest, Northeast and South. As we’ve seen in years past, the average price of child care for two children exceeds annual in-state university tuition in all four regions. 


State Child Care Prices 

Click on your state to see the full price of child care breakdown: 


Calculating National Prices 

CCAoA calculates a national price of child care by using three methodologies and calculating the average.  


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Child care plays an important role in supporting children’s healthy development and learning, while also supporting caregivers’ ability to work, train, or pursue an education. Not only is investing in high-quality child care good for children and working families, it’s good for our communities, businesses and economy. Understanding the child care landscape is a crucial first step towards equitable access to affordable, high-quality child care.  

Based on our analysis, CCAoA recommends that policymakers in Congress and in state governments prioritize child care and increase sustainable funding for the system. Expanding funding makes it possible for states to provide more families with subsidies, lower the price of child care, support and retain the child care workforce, and increase access and supply.  

In addition, decisionmakers across the country should act to build the supply of high-quality, affordable child care. This can happen through strategies such as offering grants to providers, especially to meet the need for infant-toddler care or care during non-standard working hours, and by investing in workforce wages, benefits, and professional development to grow the pipeline of educators. 

The pandemic illuminated how indispensable child care is for the well-being and economic security of our children, families, and communities, while simultaneously revealing the system’s many gaps. However, child care has been under-resourced for decades, contributing to the current inadequate supply of high-quality programs and a situation where too many families are priced out of the system. This is a challenge we can’t afford to ignore. 

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