Child Care Costs

After housing, child care is often the most significant expense for families. Many parents fear that choosing affordable care means sacrificing quality or losing individual attention for their child. Children’s Council helps all families find the nurturing and reliable care they can afford and feel good about.

Please note: The table shows estimated costs for various types of care in San Francisco; see below for details. We provide this information to help parents understand what to expect as they begin searching for child care. A particular child care provider may charge more or less based on experience, education, location or many other factors. Higher cost does not necessarily mean higher quality of care.


Estimated cost of full-time care in San Francisco*
Child care center Family Child Care Home
0-2 year old 2-5 year old 0-2 year old 2-5 year old
Monthly $2,459 $1,880 $1,732 $1,700
Annual $29,508 $22,560 $20,784 $20,400
*Estimated rate = 75th percentile (i.e. 75 percent of San Francisco child care providers reported charging at or below this rate.)
Financial assistance is available for income-eligible families. Many privately operated child care centers offer full or partial scholarships using their own criteria.