Jun 24, 2022 - News

Washington is the most expensive state for hiring a nanny

Data: Care.com; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

If you are a parent in Seattle, you probably have told others what you pay for child care and they've stared at you in disbelief.

  • The sticker shock is real — and as it turns out, it's worse than in most other places, a new survey shows.

The latest: In 2021, Washington state was the most expensive state for hiring a nanny, according to a new survey from Care.com.

Why it matters: High child care costs burden families and can make it difficult for some parents to work — especially if all or most of their income would go toward paying for the care.

By the numbers: According to the survey, hiring a nanny in Washington state cost $840 a week in 2021.

  • That's 21% higher than the national average.
  • The only place with higher costs was Washington, D.C., where a nanny is estimated to be $855 per a week.
  • Day care also was more expensive in Washington than elsewhere, costing about 35% more than the national average.
  • That makes Washington the second most expensive state for child care centers, trailing only Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.

Between the lines: The survey reported statewide data from across Washington, rather than a city by city breakdown.

  • That means it's possible that child care costs in Seattle itself actually outpace costs in Washington, D.C.

Our thought bubble: The average rate listed for a day care center in Washington, D.C. — $419 per week — is about two-thirds what Melissa pays for a modest day care center in Seattle.

  • That makes us think that, if you compared Seattle and Washington, D.C., directly, Seattle's child care costs might eclipse the nation's capital.
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