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Childcare Costs

Childcare costs have significantly increased

Childcare costs as reported by providers have significantly increased from 2019 to 2021. The cost of childcare is often a significant proportion of working parents’ income, and in some cases may be a barrier to participation in the workforce.3 In 2021, even the cheapest childcare option was more expensive than resident tuition and fees at the University of NebraskaLincoln. The annual cost of care for an infant in a childcare center is nearly twice as expensive as resident tuition and fees. Despite the increase in cost, childcare workers have low wages. In 2021, the annual median income of a childcare worker in Lincoln was $22,980.4

  • In 2021, average annual childcare costs in Lancaster County ranged from $10,375 to $19,224 depending on the age of the child and whether care was provided in a Center or Family Child Care Home.
  • The overall average annual cost of childcare in 2019 was $7,519 compared to $14,098 in 2021. This is an 87% increase in childcare costs over two years.

3. Taryn W. Morrissey (2017). Child care and parent labor force participation: a review of the research literature, Review of Economics of the Household, 15(1), 1-24. https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/reveho/v15y2017i1d10.1007_s11150-016-9331-3.html

4. U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021, May). Occupational employment and wage statistics query system (Lincoln, NE; SOC: 299011). [Data set]. https://data.bls.gov/oes/#/geoOcc/Multiple%20occupations%20for%20one%20geographical%20area