Family & Community Support >> Family & Community Support Archive >> Costs >> Age, Region, Care Type

The costs of child care vary widely – by type of care and age of child.

Of the approximately 54,000 King County children in licensed child care in 2010, more than 80% were in child care centers; the balance were in family child care. Costs vary across King County regions, but regional differences are smaller than differences between type of care (center vs. family) and children of different ages. Subsidies for child care are limited. Click on charts to enlarge.


In child care centers, infant care costs more than twice as much as care for school-age children.

In 2011, the median annual cost of licensed center care for an infant was 18% of median family income.  And infant care can be very hard to find. In 2011, only 10% of King County’s licensed child care facilities accepted infants. See Notes & Sources for data table.


Family child care typically costs less than center care.

Across all King County regions in 2012, the cost savings of licensed family child care (over center care) are most striking for infants.  In family child care, costs vary less by age of child than they do in center care.  The costs of before-and after-school care for older children don’t differ much between child care centers and family child care.  See Notes & Sources for data table.