Determining Child Care Expense

Average child care expenses come from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Child Care Provider Rate Survey. They are published in the annual KIDS COUNT Data Book and can also be found online at the KIDS COUNT Data Center. The numbers provided are an average monthly cost of family-based child care. Family-based child care includes in-home, licensed child care providers who charge a weekly rate. It does not include the average cost of care provided by non-licensed family, friends or neighbors who may provide care. The annual cost was calculated by multiplying the weekly average by 52. Family-based child care is used over center-based care because it is less expensive and more widely available across Minnesota. Some counties did not have data on the average cost of family-based child care because there were no providers in that county who charged a weekly rate. The average cost for these counties is estimated using the average cost of the border county with the lowest average cost.


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