Report: Seattle families pay up to $30K annually for daycare

Jun 21, 2023, 11:00 AM | Updated: 11:34 am

Seattle daycare costs...

The annual price of daycare in Seattle is a whopping $25,000-$30,000, according to Axios Seattle. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The annual cost of daycare in Seattle can reach $30,000, according to Axios Seattle.

That’s double the state average of $14,000, approximately $2,100 more than sending a child to the University of Washington.

The original report came from Annie E. Casey Foundation and it conveyed families are having a hard time making ends meet while working and paying for child care.

“Child care costs have increased by 220% since 1990, outpacing inflation,” according to Axios Seattle.

KIRO Newsradio’s Katrina Guischard sends her one-year-old to daycare and was recently notified of an increase in tuition. She’s not alone.

From Axios Seattle:

  • That’s 39% of a single parent’s median income or 12% of a family’s, according to the report, which is based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 National Database of Childcare Prices.
  • It’s also 17% higher than the price of UW undergraduate tuition for three quarters (a standard academic year), which is $12,242 this year.
  • Only five other states — Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York — and Washington, D.C., had a higher average annual cost for this type of care.

Nidia Heston has a child with special needs who is now an adult and remembers paying $900 a month back in the late 1990s. She can’t imagine paying prices that parents pay now.

“I have been on both sides of this issue,” explained Heston. “As someone who wants and loves working in what we call early education but not earning a living wage or good work conditions, [with] no health care and as a mom who was paying $900 for care for my kiddo 20 years ago,” explained Heston.

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We looked into the costs of daycare and found that the price is high for several reasons according to WAMU, American University Radio.

  1. The facility has to pass the high costs of overhead (supplies, food, toys, books) onto the parents.
  2. Insurance
  3. Upkeep like maintenance
  4. Employee wages– the average cost of a daycare teacher is around $25,000

Low-income families may qualify for state help with early childhood development.

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