Day Care Services in The U.S. Generate $58 Billion And Are Always In Demand - Even in Recessions

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New market study analyzes the United States day care services/centers industry. A comprehensive business analysis of industry size, growth, major issues, political and legislative outlook, operating ratios, competitors and market share, fees, franchising, employer-based, church-based day care, industry structure/types of providers, and parent/customer demographics. Forecasts to 2013. Primary & secondary research study presenting data from trade associations, Census Bureau surveys, competitors, phone interviews & proprietary research.

"Day care is often a fragile and patchwork arrangement that's always on the mind of working parents."

Marketdata Enterprises, a 31-year-old market research firm, has just released its 7th edition in-depth market research industry study examining the non-profit and for-profit providers of day care services. This covers group day care chains, church or employer-based facilities, family day care homes, and care by nannies or foreign Au Pairs. The study examines national, state, and city receipts and growth from 1990 to 2013 Forecast, effects of the recession, operating ratios, factors affecting demand/customer demographics, major trends, government day care funding, franchising, major competitor profiles and rankings, and more.

"There is probably no consumer service that's more emotionally charged than day care. Fully 65% of mothers with children under age 6 are now in the labor force. Marketdata believes that many of the women that re-entered the workforce during this recession (to make up income lost by male wage earners) will choose to stay employed, as a new frugality takes hold. When the recession ends and live births top 4 million/year again, demand for child care should remain high," according to Research Director, John LaRosa.

Following are some findings from the Marketdata study:

  • No company dominates this fragmented field. Competition is keen. Franchising has been limited. The top 6 chains operate just under 4,000 group day care centers and this group generated $2.86 billion in 2009 sales. This is a small share of the total $58 billion market. Knowledge Learning Corp. is the largest day care provider, with 2,000+ sites and $1.33 billion in sales. Learning Care Group is second with $595 million. Both have been very active with acquisitions in recent years.
  • Marketdata estimates that America spent $58.6 billion on child care in 2009--a combination of federal funding from Head Start, Block Grants and other programs, and household expenditures. Receipts are forecast to grow by 5.4% yearly, to $71 billion by 2013. Receipts have not declined in 22 years, even during recessions.
  • In the United Sates, there are an estimated 819,000 day care facilities or sites in operation. Family day care is the most popular form of care, with 325,000 homes. For-profit group centers by large chains number 110,000, and various other facilities are run by: churches, colleges, employers, hospitals, the government, etc. They all compete for the same day care dollar.
  • Fees… In 2008, the average cost of full-time care for infants in a center was as high as $15,895 per year, 4-year olds paid up to $11,680, and parents of school-age kids paid up to $10,720. Fees are rising much faster than the overall inflation rate (up to 3-4 percentage points more).
  • As of 2009, the "average" day care services establishment had estimated annual revenues of $660,000--with for-profit facilities generating $708,000. The 2007 Census found that for-profit establishments had annual receipts of $554,000. Industry pre-tax profit margins fell to 4.9% of net sales in 2009.
  • The Labor Dept. estimates that 1.3 million people were employed by the day care sector in 2008 (429,00 self-employed). In addition, there are 1.2 million Nannies working in the U.S. today, earning $350-1,000/week, plus room and board. The recession did affect nanny jobs, as parents cut back their hours or dropped them. Foreign Au Pairs now number about 15-17,000 and cost parents $13-14,000 per year.

"Many think that things will get worse for child care before they get better, since state funding, temporarily boosted by the stimulus, will fall even more in the near future. Federal funding for Social Service Block Grants has been flat for the past five years,", according to John LaRosa.

About Marketdata

Marketdata Enterprises, Inc. is an independent market research firm and analyst of a wide variety of service sectors since 1979. The company publishes market research studies, performs consulting, and operates several unique websites:,,, and

About The Study

U.S. Child Day Care Services: An Industry Analysis, published in May 2010, is an independently researched "off-the-shelf" study. The study is 250 pages in length, via 10 chapters and 100 detailed tables/charts It costs $1,995 and is also sold by individual chapters at lower cost. A 38 pp. Executive Overview is available to the general public for $79. A free table of contents is available by email or fax. Contact: Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., 8903 Regents Park Drive, Suite 120, Tampa, FL 33647. Marketdata studies are also available online via the MarkIntel, Mindbranch, Profound, and commercial databases. John LaRosa is available for interviews.

Contact Information

John LaRosa,
Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., Tampa, FL
Phone: 813-907-9090
Fax: 813-907-3606
email: john(at)marketdataenterprises(dot)com

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