A recent study by Upwards reveals that the high cost of daycare in the United States is unaffordable for many families and contributes to the ongoing childcare crisis. However, the study also found that home daycares provide a more affordable alternative for employees seeking childcare benefits.

New Daycare Cost per State Data Highlights Childcare Opportunities for American Families

Childcare costs have skyrocketed in recent years, leaving many families struggling to pay for quality care that meets their children’s needs. How big of a problem is it? In stark financial terms, the current childcare system results in a $98 billion burden on the U.S. economy, and nearly 32% of children under the age of five are unable to access a childcare slot.

In other words, families are seriously struggling and children are getting left behind.

Becausechildcare is unaffordable for the majority of working families, parents must come up with patchwork solutions to get through each day. A quality childcare program is critical to the security of families across the country. Without reliable childcare, parents cannot remain in the workforce or fully participate in the economy.

With unaffordable childcare costs, long wait lists, and caregivers leaving the industry in droves, the childcare crisis rages on. This untenable situation puts a strain on American families, employers, and the economy as a whole.

The state of childcare not only affects working parents but also has negative impacts on employers. This lack of affordable childcare exacerbates organizational challenges like absenteeism, employee retention, productivity, and hiring.

If the childcare system is broken, how can we fix it?

The childcare industry was already teetering on an edge before the pandemic, and things have only gotten worse since COVID-19 entered our lives. Between December 2019 and March 2021, a minimum of 8,899 childcare centers closed over 37 states, with an additional 6,957 licensed home daycare providers closing their doors over this time.

Organizations are taking a massive hit due to our nation’s collective childcare woes. U.S. employers lose an average of $12.7 billion annually because of childcare challenges. And without adequate childcare, women are disproportionately forced out of the workforce and struggle to return to work.

What can be done to address this complex set of issues?

One practical solution is bringing employers into the equation to offer childcare benefits for employees. Employer-sponsored childcare benefits support working families while also being advantageous to the businesses offering them.

The average weekly cost at a childcare or daycare center: *$340*

(The average weekly cost of childcare at a Upwards home daycare is: $232.27)

Here is a breakdown of the average weekly childcare costs for many states across the nation:

Childcare benefits can help solve the childcare crisis

“Childcare” can be an abstract concept at times. But what we’re really talking about is taking care of vulnerable human beings who represent the next generation. It may be cliche, but these kids who are exploring their daycare environments on a daily basis are literally our future.

High-quality, affordable childcare is crucial for children, parents, employers and the overall economy. We may not have realized just how critical this basic need was until everything shut down, including schools and daycares. But now we know: Childcare lies at the foundation of a functioning society.

Want to learn about Upwards' Childcare Benefits?
Childcare AssistanceBackup CareChildcare Stipends
Dedicated care manager to provide 24/7 concierge supportEmergency childcare when regular care falls throughOffset the cost of childcare-related expenses for employees

To help solve the childcare crisis, Upwards has built an extensive, nationwide network of home daycare providers, babysitters, and nannies. Home daycares represent more flexible, affordable childcare options for working families who need to find care.

Upwards has years of experience supporting licensed home daycare providers operating small businesses and benefiting their communities. We match individual families with the best caregivers in their neighborhoods, creating meaningful relationships in the process.

Upwards works with employers around the country to provide practical employee childcare benefits to their teams. We have the ability to leverage the largest childcare network in America and scale up invaluable employer-sponsored childcare benefits. Programs like Upwards’ Childcare Assistance, backup care, and childcare stipends are making progress to improve the childcare crisis.

Upwards was founded with the mission to make affordable, quality childcare accessible to all who need it. Employee childcare benefits enable us to do just that.

* Source: CostofChildCare.Org


The largest childcare network in the United States, providing access to quality, affordable childcare to families nationwide. We support childcare providers in operating sustainable businesses through a technology-based marketplace and partner with government entities to improve access to care. Upwards also helps employers of all sizes offer their employees childcare benefits. Our mission is to help all families care for their children — not just those who can afford it.

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