A program of Lutheran Social Services in western North Dakota and Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership in eastern North Dakota

The Cost of Child Care in North Dakota

Child care can be costly, but programs that offer stable, quality care are also an investment in your child's healthy development. Click on your county in the map below to view average costs for licensed care

Need Help Paying for Child Care?

Find out if you qualify for financial support programs and tax credits.

What Are You Paying For?

Staffing
Staffing accounts for the largest portion of a child care program's budget, even though child care workers rank among the lowest wage earners in the state.

Licensing regulations determine the child-to-staff ratios programs must meet. Infants and toddlers need more individual care and attention, therefore more staff is needed and care costs are higher for younger age groups.

Programs that go beyond minimum staffing requirement for all age groups typically provide better care for children.

Facility Costs
Licensed child care programs must meet square foot/child space requirements and other safety and access standards set by state licensing regulations. Utilities and insurance must also be factored into the cost families need to pay for care.

Facilities that are are in good repair, have lots of natural light and are well-ventilated provide children with a safer, healthier environment.

Supplies
The cost of food, supplies for care/cleaning/sanitation and play/learning materials also contribute to the overall cost that families must pay for care.

Good quality programs provide nutritious meals/snacks, take extra steps to make sure the facility is clean and work to provide children with an enriching play and learning environment.