How Much Does Daycare Cost In Houston? A Detailed Look At Childcare Expenses

Finding affordable, quality childcare is a top priority for many Houston parents. But in a large, expensive city like Houston, how much should you expect to pay to have your child looked after while you work? What factors determine the price of daycare in Houston and how can families find the best value options?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: On average, parents pay $175 – $250 per week for daycare centers in Houston and $125 – $200 per week for home daycares. Infant care tends to cost more. The price varies based on the child’s age, care quality, and location.

This comprehensive guide will analyze daycare costs in Houston across different settings and ages. You’ll learn strategies for finding affordable care as a Houston parent and see how local prices compare to state and national averages. We’ll also look at financial assistance programs that can reduce the burden of childcare costs for Houston families.

Daycare Options in Houston

When it comes to daycare options in Houston, parents have a variety of choices to consider. Whether you’re looking for a child care center, a home daycare, or in-home care, Houston offers a range of options to suit your family’s needs.

Child Care Centers

Child care centers are a popular choice for many parents in Houston. These centers provide a structured and supervised environment for children, typically offering a range of educational and recreational activities.

Child care centers often have trained staff members who are experienced in early childhood education and can provide a safe and nurturing environment for children.

According to a study conducted by the Child Care Aware of America, the average cost of full-time child care in a center in Texas is around $9,000 per year, or $750 per month. However, it’s important to note that costs may vary depending on the location, quality of care, and additional services provided.

Home Daycares

Home daycares are another option to consider. These are small-scale child care programs operated out of a caregiver’s home. Home daycares often offer a more intimate and family-like atmosphere, with fewer children in care.

This can be appealing for parents who prefer a more personalized approach to childcare.

The cost of home daycares in Houston can vary depending on the provider and the services offered. On average, parents can expect to pay around $500 to $800 per month for full-time care, although prices may be lower for part-time or drop-in care.

In-Home Care

In-home care is another option that provides a convenient and flexible solution for parents. In this arrangement, a caregiver comes to your home to provide childcare services. This can be particularly beneficial for families with multiple children or those who prefer their children to be cared for in their own environment.

The cost of in-home care in Houston can vary depending on factors such as the number of children, the hours of care needed, and any additional responsibilities required. On average, parents can expect to pay around $15 to $25 per hour for in-home care services.

Part-Time vs Full-Time

One important consideration when choosing daycare in Houston is whether you need part-time or full-time care. Part-time care is typically offered on a limited schedule, such as a few days a week or for specific hours during the day.

Full-time care, on the other hand, provides care for the entire workday or week.

The cost of part-time care in Houston can be more affordable compared to full-time care. On average, parents can expect to pay around $200 to $500 per month for part-time care, depending on the number of days and hours needed.

Ultimately, the cost of daycare in Houston will vary depending on the type of care, location, and specific requirements of your family. It’s important to research and compare different options to find the best fit for your child and budget.

Average prices by Age

Infant Care

When it comes to infant care, parents in Houston can expect to pay a significant amount for quality daycare services. On average, the cost of infant care in Houston can range from $900 to $1,500 per month.

This price can vary depending on factors such as the location of the daycare center, the qualifications of the staff, and the amenities provided.

According to a study conducted by Child Care Aware, the average cost of infant care in Texas is around $10,000 per year. This means that parents in Houston can expect to spend a significant portion of their income on childcare expenses for their infants.

Toddler Care

As children grow older and enter the toddler stage, the cost of daycare services generally decreases. On average, parents in Houston can expect to pay around $800 to $1,200 per month for toddler care. This price difference compared to infant care is due to the fact that toddlers require less intensive care and supervision.

Childcare centers that offer toddler care often focus on providing a safe and stimulating environment for children to learn and explore. They may offer age-appropriate activities and educational programs to support the development of toddlers.

Preschooler Care

For parents with preschool-aged children, the cost of daycare in Houston can range from $700 to $1,000 per month. Preschooler care typically includes a more structured curriculum that prepares children for kindergarten.

Preschool programs often focus on early literacy, numeracy skills, and social-emotional development. They may also offer additional enrichment activities such as music, art, and physical education.

It’s important to note that these prices are average estimates and can vary depending on factors such as the specific daycare center, the location, and the services provided. It’s always a good idea for parents to research and compare different daycare options in their area to find one that suits their budget and meets their child’s needs.

Factors Influencing Cost

When it comes to daycare expenses in Houston, there are several factors that can influence the cost. Understanding these factors can help parents make informed decisions about the type of childcare they choose for their children.

Here are three key factors that play a role in determining the cost of daycare in Houston:


The location of a daycare facility can greatly impact the cost of childcare. Daycare centers located in more upscale neighborhoods or areas with a higher cost of living tend to have higher fees. On the other hand, daycare centers in less affluent neighborhoods may have lower fees.

This is primarily due to the difference in overhead costs, such as rent and utilities. Parents should consider the proximity of daycare centers to their home or workplace and weigh it against the cost factor.


The quality of daycare services provided also affects the cost. Daycare centers that prioritize highly trained staff, low child-to-staff ratios, and a stimulating learning environment tend to charge higher fees.

These centers often invest in ongoing staff training, educational resources, and age-appropriate activities, which contribute to the overall quality of care. While the cost may be higher, parents can have peace of mind knowing that their child is receiving top-notch care and early education.

Curriculum and Amenities

The curriculum offered by a daycare center and the amenities provided can also impact the cost. Centers that offer specialized programs, such as foreign language instruction, music lessons, or extracurricular activities, may charge higher fees.

Additionally, daycare centers with state-of-the-art facilities, outdoor play areas, and nutritious meal plans may also have higher costs. Parents should consider their child’s individual needs and preferences when deciding on the curriculum and amenities they value most.

It’s important to note that these factors can vary from one daycare center to another. Therefore, parents should research and compare different daycare options to find the best fit for their child and budget.

Websites like Childcare Aware and can provide valuable information on daycare centers in Houston, including their fees and services.

Financial Assistance Programs

Childcare expenses can be a significant burden for many families, but there are financial assistance programs available in Houston to help alleviate some of the costs. These programs can provide subsidies, tax credits, and employer benefits to make childcare more affordable.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these options.


Subsidies are a form of financial assistance provided by the government or non-profit organizations to help low-income families afford childcare. In Houston, there are several subsidy programs available, such as the Texas Workforce Commission’s Child Care Services program.

This program offers subsidies to eligible families based on their income and family size. Families can apply for these subsidies through the local Child Care Management Services agency.

According to the latest statistics, the average monthly subsidy amount in Houston is $500 per child. This can significantly reduce the out-of-pocket expenses for families and make quality childcare more accessible.

Tax Credits

Tax credits are another way to offset the cost of childcare expenses. The Child and Dependent Care Credit is a federal tax credit that allows eligible parents to claim a percentage of their childcare expenses as a credit on their tax return.

The percentage varies based on the parent’s income and the number of dependents. In addition to the federal credit, Texas also offers a state-level tax credit for childcare expenses.

It’s important to note that tax credits are not the same as deductions. While deductions reduce your taxable income, credits directly reduce the amount of tax you owe. This means that tax credits provide a greater financial benefit to eligible parents.

Employer Benefits

Many employers in Houston offer benefits and programs to help their employees with childcare expenses. These benefits can include flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs).

FSAs allow employees to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for childcare, while DCAPs provide tax-free reimbursements for eligible childcare expenses.

Some employers may also partner with local daycare centers or offer discounted rates for employees. This can further reduce the financial burden of childcare for working families.

It’s important for parents to check with their employer’s human resources department to see what childcare benefits and programs are available to them. Taking advantage of these employer benefits can make a significant difference in the overall cost of childcare.

Saving on Houston Daycare

Childcare expenses can be a significant financial burden for many families in Houston. However, there are several ways to save on daycare costs without compromising the quality of care your child receives. Here are some strategies you can consider:

Choosing a Home Daycare

One option to save on daycare expenses is to choose a home daycare instead of a larger, more expensive daycare center. Home daycares are often run by experienced caregivers who provide a nurturing and personalized environment for children.

These smaller facilities may have lower overhead costs, allowing them to offer more affordable rates. It is important to research and visit different home daycares to ensure they meet your child’s needs and adhere to safety standards.

Looking Outside the City

Daycare costs can vary depending on the location. If you live in a more expensive area of Houston, it may be worth considering daycare options in nearby suburbs or towns. While it may require a longer commute, the cost savings can be significant.

Some suburban areas may have lower living costs and therefore offer more affordable daycare options. Additionally, you may find that these smaller communities offer a more relaxed and less crowded environment for your child.

Negotiating Rates

Don’t be afraid to negotiate rates with daycare providers. Many providers are willing to work with parents to find a fee that is mutually beneficial. Before entering into negotiations, it is important to research the average daycare rates in your area so that you have a benchmark to work with.

Highlight the qualities that make your child a good fit for the daycare and explain your financial situation. Providers may be willing to offer discounts or flexible payment plans to accommodate your needs.

Remember, while saving money is important, the quality and safety of the daycare should always be a top priority. It is crucial to thoroughly research and visit any daycare facility you are considering to ensure it meets your child’s needs and provides a safe and nurturing environment.

For more information on daycare costs and tips for saving money, check out the Child Care Aware website. They provide valuable resources and information for parents seeking affordable and high-quality childcare options.


Daycare in Houston costs an average of $175 – $250 per week based on the child’s age. While prices are high, financial assistance and smart selection strategies can help Houston parents access quality care at an affordable price.

With proper planning, even those on a tight budget can find safe, nurturing early childhood education experiences for their little ones in Houston and its suburbs.

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