Child care costs can vary widely, depending on the location, size of the center, the age of the child, and other factors. To see what the average costs are for child care in Missouri, download a summary for centers and for family child care. If you need more detailed information for a particular area or type of program, please call us and a referral specialist can help.
Do You Need Help Paying for Child Care?
There are many options available to help make child care more affordable. The state of Missouri provides help with payments for child care to eligible families. Some child care programs offer multi-child discounts, a sliding fee scale, or scholarships from outside funding sources.
The Child Care Subsidy Program assists eligible Missouri parents/guardians with payments for child care. This program helps families with the cost of child care so that they are able to focus on finding and holding steady jobs.
What is a sliding fee?
The sliding fee is the portion of child care expense the family is responsible to pay directly to the child care provider. The amount of the sliding fee is based on the household’s size and gross monthly income. The sliding fee is waived for children that meet the definition of special needs. Failure to pay the sliding can result in the household no longer being eligible for Child Care Subsidy
What is a copayment?
A copayment is the portion of your provider’s actual charge that is over and above the amount reimbursed by the Child Care Subsidy program and your sliding fee. It is your household’s responsibility to negotiate this charge with your child care provider. The copayment and sliding fee are two separate charges in addition to the State’s reimbursement rate.
NOTE: A child care provider cannot charge a co-payment for Protective Services Child Care.
Financial Assistance Offered by Some Child Care Programs
Some child care businesses offer a discount if you have more than one child enrolled. Check with the child care program to see whether they offer this discount.
Sliding Fee Scale
A sliding fee scale is when a program considers a family’s income and bases the cost of child care on the income. For example, a parent who makes $200 per week will have a higher rate to pay than a parent who makes $100 per week. Parents are responsible for paying any costs based on their sliding fee scale set by the program.
Some child care programs have funding to offer scholarships for children. Criteria for these vary by program.