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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, center-based child care for children younger than school age was more expensive than resident tuition and fees at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The annual cost of care for an infant in a childcare center was 25% more than 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 $6,901 to $12,389 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 $9,127 in 2021. This is a 21% 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

(Childcare Costs’ graph and key findings updated February 2023)