These days, infant child care in California can cost as much as a mortgage.
The average monthly cost to put an infant in a California day care center full time in 2014 was about $1,110 a month, according to the latest data from the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network. That’s up from $940 a month in 2009, a 7 percent rise after adjusting for inflation.
The median income of California families with children is about $64,000. That means more than 20 percent of a typical family’s income would go to child care if they put their newborn in a day care center.
Costs range from a little less than $1,000 a month in some rural counties to around $1,500 a month in the San Francisco Bay Area. But families in poorer parts of the state struggle the most. In Lake County, for instance, a family making the median income would pay more than a third of their gross income each month for child care.
Child care subsidies are available – and widely used. But they are subject to income limits and usually only go to families making less than $50,000 a year.
These maps break down the costs of day care in California by county.
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