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With affluent parents, ‘four is the new three’

For parents who have one child, feelings of gratitude mingle with the occasional twinge of defensiveness

Child care is one of the highest budget items for a family and Massachusetts is among the least affordable states with an annual cost of $16,430, according to Child Care Aware of America. The group advocates for a high quality child care system and gathers and analyzes child care data. Compared against the state median income for married couples, Massachusetts is the fourth least-affordable state for center-based infant care in the country.

This map shows the average annual cost of center-based infant care. Browse the table below for specific numbers.

  • Less than $8,280
  • $8,280 to $11,700
  • $11,700 to $15,100
  • $15,100 to $18,530
  • $18,530 or more

Source: Child Care Aware of America

2012 Average Annual Cost of Full-Time Care [data]   
StateInfant 4-Year-OldSchool-Age
Alabama$5,467.00 $5,785.00 $5,148.00
Alaska$10,338.00 $7,655.00 $5,636.00
Arizona$8,671.00 $7,398.00 $6,198.00
Arkansas$5,894.00 $5,011.00 $5,909.00
California$12,068.00 $8,407.00 $2,792.00
Colorado$12,736.00 $9,619.00 $5,177.00
Connecticut$12,973.00 $10,692.00 $5,421.00
Delaware$8,928.00 $7,104.00 $6,447.00
District of Columbia$21,948.00 $16,908.00 $13,211.00
Florida$8,299.00 $6,571.00 $3,822.00
Georgia$7,228.00 $6,234.00 $5,742.00
Hawaii$12,473.00 $8,172.00 $8,904.00
Idaho$6,969.00 $6,134.00 $3,969.00
Illinois$12,697.00 $9,261.00 $5,877.00
Indiana$8,073.00 $6,448.00 $5,759.00
Iowa$9,053.00 $7,790.00 $4,325.00
Kansas$10,518.00 $7,499.00 $6,741.00
Kentucky$6,105.00 $6,007.00 $5,389.00
Louisiana$5,574.00 $4,812.00 $1,070.00
Maine$9,360.00 $8,320.00 $4,368.00
Maryland$13,055.00 $9,097.00 $5,893.00
Massachusetts$16,430.00 $12,176.00 $4,378.00
Michigan$10,114.00 $7,930.00 $4,576.00
Minnesota$13,876.00 $10,664.00 NR
Mississippi$4,863.00 $4,312.00 $3,026.00
Missouri$8,320.00 $5,772.00 $3,654.00
Montana$8,475.00 $7,518.00 $5,301.00
Nebraska$7,797.00 $6,518.00 $4,417.00
Nevada$9,608.00 $7,687.00 $4,980.00
New Hampshire$11,730.00 $9,484.00 $4,172.00
New Jersey$10,949.00 $9,170.00 $4,007.00
New Mexico$7,360.00 $6,475.00 $3,261.00
New York$14,939.00 $12,355.00 $11,690.00
North Carolina$8,868.00 $7,501.00 $4,298.00
North Dakota$8,021.00 $7,109.00 NR
Ohio$8,482.00 $6,919.00 $4,664.00
Oklahoma$7,480.00 $5,610.00 $3,195.00
Oregon$13,452.00 $10,200.00 $5,028.00
Pennsylvania$10,319.00 $8,601.00 $5,520.00
Rhode Island$12,075.00 $10,138.00 $5,971.00
South Carolina$6,280.00 $5,308.00 $2,189.00
South Dakota$6,071.00 $5,781.00 $3,744.00
Tennessee$5,857.00 $4,515.00 $2,451.00
Texas$8,495.00 $6,547.00 $3,119.00
Utah$7,860.00 $6,024.00 $5,280.00
Vermont$9,958.00 $9,223.00 $3,998.00
Virginia$10,028.00 $7,855.00 $5,614.00
Washington$12,108.00 $9,240.00 $5,412.00
WestVirginia$7,961.00 $6,900.00 $6,635.00
Wisconsin$9,939.00 $8,413.00 $7,893.00
Wyoming$9,100.00 $7,800.00 $7,800.00

Andrew Ba Tran, Globe Staff

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