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Best and Worst States For Day Care

The 10 States With the Worst Day Care Systems

If you're like most working parents, you put a lot of thought into your child's day care — carefully weighing the pros and cons of each provider on your short list before selecting the one you'd send your kid to every day. But despite your best efforts, some factors are out of your control — like how some states simply have better quality facilities than others.

This discovery came out of the most recent study by personal finance site WalletHub — which compiled dozens of metrics to determine states most suitable for working moms. Among the data collected was day care quality — ratings obtained from Child Care Aware of America — and child-care costs, which was determined from labor statistics and adjusted for the median women's salary.

Here, a look at the best and worst states in terms of both the quality and cost of day care.

Day Care Quality

The most sought-after day cares in California — the ones with the buzzy curricula led by PhD-caliber educators with pages-long wait lists — might pale in comparison to a run-of-the-mill one in Texas. Parents sending their kids to day cares in Idaho and Nebraska, too, will have a far harder time finding one that's at the same level as the average Minnesota facility.


The 10 States With the Best Day Cares

  1. New York
  2. Washington
  3. North Dakota
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Texas
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Delaware
  8. Illinois
  9. Minnesota
  10. Tennessee

The 10 States With the Worst Day Cares

  1. Idaho
  2. Nebraska
  3. California
  4. Louisiana
  5. Alabama
  6. Maine
  7. Wyoming
  8. South Carolina
  9. Iowa
  10. Mississippi

Day Care Costs

Although those living in New York might have top-rung institutions to choose from, they're certain to pay the price for them. Mississippi, the state with the lowest child-care costs, saw fees accounting for 12 percent of an average woman's salary, whereas in the state with the highest cost, Florida, it totaled 26 percent — more than a quarter — of her pay.

The 10 States With the Lowest Child-Care Costs

  1. Mississippi
  2. Tennessee
  3. South Carolina
  4. South Dakota
  5. Missouri
  6. Louisiana
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Alabama
  9. Arkansas
  10. Wyoming

The 10 States With the Highest Child-Care Costs

  1. Florida
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Nevada
  5. New York
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Minnesota
  8. Montana
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Alaska
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