How Much Did Households in the United States Pay for Child Care in 2012? An Examination of Differences by Community Urbanicity

Publication Date:

January 22, 2019

Key Findings

  • Among households with children under age 13 that paid for nonparental care in 2012, households in rural areas spent the largest percentage of their income on care.
  • In high-density urban areas, 13 percent of child care arrangements with a paid individual, such as a family child care home, were partially or fully subsidized. In contrast, just 2 percent and 6 percent of these arrangements were subsidized in rural and moderate-density urban areas, respectively.
  • Across all communities, about one-fourth of children’s center-based arrangements were free. Center-based arrangements were less likely to be free in moderately-urban areas, compared to urban areas and rural areas.