How much do parents spend on center-based daycare and preschool for their young children? Using nationally representative data from the 2016 Early Childhood Program Participation Survey, Russ Whitehurst calculates hourly and annualized prices for parents who purchase at least eight hours a week of center-based care for a child under five who does not have a disability (and do so without outside financial help in paying the fees). For the country as a whole, Whitehurst found that the median price for a family with those characteristics is $8,320 a year and $5.31 an hour. Families spend a bit more in the Northeast and West, and a bit less in the South and Midwest. To learn more about the market price of daycare and preschool, read Russ Whitehurst’s full article on To see how charter schools are expanding to better serve preschool students, check out “The Charter Model Goes to Preschool” from our Winter 2017 issue.

—Education Next

Last updated April 30, 2018