2020 Cost of Living Calculator for Child care:
Houston, Texas vs New York, New York

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Our Premium Cost of Living Calculator includes Child Care Costs for infants or toddlers, at Home-based Day Care, or at a Day Care Center. Child care costs can vary greatly depending on where you live. Click here to customize.

Child care cost in New York, New York is 33.9% more expensive than Houston, Texas

Cost of Living IndexHouston, TXNew York, NYU.S. AvgDifference
Child care
100 = US Average. Below 100 means cheaper than the US average. Above 100 means more expensive. About our Cost of Living Index
In order to keep your same standard of living your salary can vary greatly. - whether you buy or rent, require child care, or want to include taxes. This is why we are now offering a Premium Salary & Cost of Living Calculator.

Our Premium Calculator Includes:
- Compare Cities cost of living across 9 different categories
- Personal salary calculations can optionally include Home ownership or rental, Child care, and Taxes (with details on state and local sales, income, property and automobile taxes)
- Includes the cost of Child Care for toddlers or infants, at a day care center or home care
- Groceries prices, detailed for 29 staple items in six categories
- Difference in cost of Utilities, including electric, gas and fuel oil
- Health Care Premiums and hospital expenses for major surgeries
- Taxes, Fees and Expenses you should know about, such as local car insurance rates, automobile taxes and registration, commuting costs.
- and 100s of other items you should consider before you relocate

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Miscellaneous ExpensesHouston, TXNew York, NYU.S. AvgDifference
Child care average
Infant at a Center
Infant at Home
Toddler at a Center
Toddler at Home

Note: Figure represents the average of costs for annual care of an infant and a 4-year-old. In urban areas the cost is for care at a child care center and for home care in rural areas.

BestPlaces data for child care expenses is the annual cost of child care for both home-based care and at larger child care centers. The average child care cost includes costs for both center-based child care facilities and home-based care for infants and toddlers. (“Toddlers” are defined to be children one to four years old.)

In determining the average child care cost for each county, we used the costs for center-based child care in counties which are part of a major metropolitan area. For rural counties which are not part of a major metro area, we used the costs for home-based child care because these providers are more likely to be available than the larger child care centers.

The expense of infant child care is greater than toddler care because babies require more attention and care. Infant care needs a lower ratio of caregivers to children, so costs are higher. Our analysis finds that in child care centers, infant care is on the average 25% more expensive than toddler care. For home-based child care, the difference is only 11% since home care generally already has a lower child-caregiver ratio.

Our BestPlaces child care statistics are based on our research of child care providers across the United States and reports published by Child Care Aware of America, Care.com and the Economic Policy Institute. For some counties, child care expenses were not directly available. Using the available data at the national, state and county level, we used linear regression to identify the most significant predictor variables and create equations to provide values for the missing data.

Child care centers are usually associated with:
• Larger facilities, with many children (from 20–100 or more)
• Separate areas for different age groups
• Larger staff, often with some professionals and certified caregivers
• Professional administrators

Child care centers are likely to have these benefits:
• Caregivers with professional or specialized training
• More children and teachers for your child to socialize and bond with
• A more structured environment and a professional infrastructure
• More teachers, which means substitutes are readily available
• Supervision of caregivers by managers

Home-based providers often have:
• Smaller facilities, such as a home or church
• Few children, often 3-10
• Mixed ages
• Fewer caregivers, usually 1-4

Home-based care usually has these advantages:
• Less expensive
• Mixed age groups for diverse interactions
• Lower risk for communicative illnesses (fewer children)
• More home-like, less institutional
• Fewer children per teacher

IRS Child care credit
You may be eligible to claim a tax credit for expenses related to child care and dependent care.

If you paid a care provider (such as a daycare center, babysitter, or summer camp), to care for a child under age 12 or younger (or a disabled dependent of any age), you may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35 percent of qualifying expenses of $3,000 for one child, or up to $6,000 for two or more children or dependents.

There is a dollar limit on the amount of your work-related expenses you can use to figure the credit. This limit is $3,000 for one qualifying person, or $6,000 for two or more qualifying persons. If you received dependent care benefits that you exclude or deduct from your income, you must subtract that amount from the dollar limit that applies to you.

Your child care credit is determined by multiplying your work-related expenses by a percentage (after applying the earned income and dollar limits). This percentage varies from 35% (if your adjusted gross income is $15,000 or less) to 20% (if your AGI is over $43,000). The maximum child care credit can vary from $1,200 to $2,100 (depending on your income and assuming $6,000 or more of child care expenses).

To claim the credit, complete and file IRS tax form 2441 with your Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040NR. Consult the IRS publication 503, “Child and Dependent Care Expenses” for more details.


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Before moving to a new city you want to know how much it will cost to live there. “Cost of living” is the amount of money you need to maintain a certain lifestyle in a given place. The price of goods and services vary from one city to another, calculating the cost of living will help you determine how much more or less you need to make and help you factor in expenses.

The expenses that go in to determining cost of living include housing prices for renters or homeowners, housing affordability, entertainment costs, transportation expenses, food prices, and taxes.


A cost of living index allows you to compare what it costs to live in one place against another, helping you get a glimpse of how far your money will go before you move. For example the cost of living in New York City is almost twice that of Portland, Oregon.

Our goal with the Cost of Living Calculator is to help you feel more confident in deciding where to live and help you find your best place to live.

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