Study: Childcare in DC costs 85% more than national average

The cost of daycare across the country continues to rise. 

A new study conducted by shows families in D.C. are paying almost 85% more than the national average for childcare, which is $226 a week. 

Parents in the District, according to the report, are paying an average of $419 for one child — that's almost $200 above the national average. 

Aaron Racesterk is the father of 5-year-old twins. He told FOX 5 that the amount parents have to shell out in the D.C.-area is "a lot." 

"That's about 1,000 bucks a week for these guys if we had to do that. That's a sizable amount of money. It's expensive," he said. 

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It would cost Mr. Racesterk almost $4,000 a month for his twins if they were in daycare, which is one of the reasons why he and his wife have decided to keep the kids at home. 

"Expense was an issue, but we look back on it and think, we save all this money by not having to go to daycare," Racesterk explained. 

Keeping the kids at home isn't an option for everyone, but some are forced too due to long waiting lists. 


Rebecca Flemming, the mother of an 18-month-old, said she's been on waiting lists for almost two years at some nurseries. 

"We haven't been able to get in yet. With COVID, it's been challenging of course," she said.

Childcare experts say the demand is causing a spike in prices. 

According to the survey, almost 9,000 daycare centers closed in 37 states from December 2019 to March 2021. 

"It's so hard to come by … really quality childcare," Flemming said. "There is so much demand, and the supply and demand metrics are off."

If you're looking for a nanny, the national average cost for their services is up from $565 a week in 2019 to $694 in 2021 for one child, the survey states.  

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In the District, the average cost for a nanny is now a whopping $855. 

Maggie Schallau, the mother of a 9-month-old, told FOX 5: "People can't pay that. You are going to get priced out. I could work more hours and make more money, but it wouldn't cover the cost of the care. Bumping up my hours doesn't really make sense, given the cost of how much more help we would have to have."

D.C. isn't the only place in our area that made's top-ten list. Maryland is No. 8. The state's weekly average for daycare is $254, that's 12% above the national average.