3. Hawaii
Hawaii
Avg. annual cost of child care: $12,600
Cost as a % of median income: 15%

There's a lot to love about living in Hawaii, but if you want to raise your little one here, it's going to cost you.

On these islands, steep housing prices and high wages contribute to the overall tab. Then there's the regulations. For example, a family child-care provider can watch no more than two babies at a time. Not to mention rules about space and proper equipment.

What's more, relatively few child-care centers can afford to operate in the state.

Despite the costs, "about a third of the parents that call us report that they cannot even find a vacancy," acknowledged Katy Chen, executive director of PATCH, Hawaii's statewide Child Care Resource & Referral Agency.


Last updated September 27 2011: 5:29 AM ET
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Child care costs: What do you pay?

In Massachusetts, the cost of child care for a two-parent, middle-class family averages 16% of their annual income. In Mississippi, costs average 7.3%. See how your state ranks.

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