Iowa Child Care Rates

We conducted an unofficial survey of daycare centers’ rates and fees in Iowa’s ten biggest cities.  These rates should be used as a guide only and may not be representative of the cost of care in your specific county or town.  Usually, child care will be more expensive in the urban areas (where we conducted our survey) than in the rural areas.

Iowa Child Care Center Rates

Infants (usually up to age 2): As of 2008, most centers’ rates fall between $183.00-$232.00 per week.  The average center is currently charging around $200.00 per week.
Toddlers (age 2 up to 3): The typical range for two year olds is $163.00-$206.00 with most centers charging around $175.00/week.
3-4 year olds:  The range for 3-4 year olds is $149.00-$200.00 with most centers charging around $165.00.
5 year olds: The range for 5 year olds is $149.00-$190.00 with most centers charging around $155.00.
Enrollment fee:  The typical enrollment fee for one child for one year in Iowa was $50.00.

2nd Child Discount:  Additional children are typically given a 5-10% discount after you pay full price for your youngest child.  However, some daycares did not offer any discount.

Late Tuition Fees:  Some daycares charged a $10.00-$15.00/day late fee until tuition is paid while others were more lenient and charged a flat fee regardless of how late the payment was.

Late Pickup Fees:  Most daycares charge a fee if you are late picking up your child.  Usually the fee is $1.00/minute you are late although some daycares charge you a flat fee or give you a grace period.

Iowa Child Care Home Rates

Our survey showed that there was great variation in the rates and fees that home daycares charge.  Home daycares in Iowa were less likely to charge one flat weekly fee, but often charged by the day or by the hour.  Some caregivers charged the same rate no matter the age of the child, while others charged a lower rate for an older child.  You may expect to pay anywhere from $100.00/wk per child on up to $150.00/wk or more with most home daycares charging around $125.00/wk.

Need Help Paying for Child Care?
Iowa’s Child Care Assistance Program, CCA, helps qualifying families pay for child care.  To qualify, you must meet the financial eligibility requirements as well as be employed or attending school.  You can request an application from your local DHS (Department of Human Services) office.