in our free newsletter.

Thousands benefit from our email every week.

America is contending with a ‘child care crisis’

U.S. families are now spending on average 27% of their household income on child care, according to a recent report from, an online venue that connects care-seekers with caregivers.

However, the Department of Health and Human Services considers child care affordable when it only takes up as much as 7% of one’s household income.

“America’s child care crisis is just that: a crisis for the entire country and it impacts us all, whether you have children or not,” said Tim Allen, CEO of, said in the press release.

“Child care is claiming a disproportionate amount of household incomes, and a decade of rising child care costs should be a wake-up call that the system as we know it completely fails the vast majority of families.”

Nearly 3-in-5 respondents in the survey also said they planned to spend more than $18,000 per child on child care this year.

Here’s the national average breakdown for the different types of services — and how much they’ve increased over the last 10 years:

  • Weekly nanny cost: $736 (up 56% from $472 in 2013).
  • Weekly daycare cost: $284 (up 53% from $186 in 2013).
  • Weekly family care center cost: $229 (up 80% from $127 in 2013).
  • Weekly babysitter cost: $179 (up 92% from $93 in 2013)

While there’s not much you can do about these rising prices, there are a few things you can do to offset them.

Capital One Shopping’s browser add-on automatically applies coupon codes as you shop online. It’s absolutely free – plus it takes only two clicks to install. Add the Capital One Shopping browser extension today and start earning discounts of up to 50% on the things you already buy.

Install for Free

1. Look into tax credits

When tax season comes around next year, make sure to apply for any credits or breaks you may qualify for.

For example, there’s a child and dependent care tax credit to help parents cover care for children under 13 while they work (or look for work). The amount of money you’re eligible for depends on how many dependents you have as well as your adjusted gross income. For the 2022 tax year, the maximum amount you could receive was $1,050 for one dependent or $2,100 for two or more dependents.

There’s also the child tax credit — which you can qualify for even if you haven’t paid for care services and your child is under 17 — assuming you fall under the specified income threshold.

2. Get help from family and friends

Consider asking your family or even friends and community members to help look after the kids while you’re working.

According to the report, 42% of respondents said they relied on relatives for either paid or unpaid support — while others got help from friends or neighbors. Some even moved closer to family last year to make things easier.

Believe it or not, you don't need millions, or even hundreds of thousands to invest in real estate. Arrived is an online platform where you can invest in shares of rental homes and vacation rentals without the headaches of being a landlord.

Learn More

3. Check your employee benefits

Not all employers will offer child care as part of their benefits package, but some offices include on-site daycare centers for a cheaper or discounted price, while a few companies may even offer subsidies for child care services.

You can also ask your HR manager about any other perks or reimbursements that could help you manage your child care costs. Even requesting flexible hours or a hybrid or remote work arrangement could make things a bit more manageable at home.

4. Use your dependent care FSA

Your employer may offer a flexible spending account (FSA) to help cover services like preschool, daycare and before or after school programs.

This is similar to a health savings account, except it allows you to contribute pre-tax money for child care costs specifically.

This will also reduce your taxable income, since the funds are taken out of your paycheck before your pay is taxed. For 2022, the contribution limit is $5,000 for single filers and couples filing jointly and $2,500 for married couples filing separately.

5. Apply for state financial aid

Your state may also provide certain vouchers or subsidies to help low-income families afford child care. Check the site for resources and eligibility requirements where you live.

Kiss Your Credit Card Debt Goodbye

Millions of Americans are struggling to crawl out of debt in the face of record-high interest rates. A personal loan offers lower interest rates and fixed payments, making it a smart choice to consolidate high-interest credit card debt. It helps save money, simplifies payments, and accelerates debt payoff. Credible is a free online service that shows you the best lending options to pay off your credit card debt fast — and save a ton in interest.

About the Author

Serah Louis

Serah Louis


Serah Louis is a reporter with She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.

What to Read Next


The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.