Child care now costs more than in-state college tuition

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — More and more parents with young children are heading back to work, but they are finding its extremely expensive to pay for good child care.

The average cost of full-time daycare for kids up to the age of 4 now costs $9,589 a year. That’s more than the average national cost of in-state college tuition, which runs about $9,410.

The report, from think tank New America and reported by CNN Money, shows parents earning the median household income of $53,000 a year would need to spend 18% of their income just to care for one child.

It gets more expensive the younger your child is. Infant care is 12% higher than toddler care on average.

If you think getting a nanny instead is your answer, think again. The average in-home nanny will cost you an average of $28,353 a year. That’s more than half of the medium household income.

Ohio is slightly lower than the averages. It costs $8,322 on average if you use a child care center, and $26,898 if you choose an in home nanny. Still, those prices would eat up 92% of someone’s income working minimum wage.

The cheapest places for child care are West Virginia, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada and Oklahoma.

Click/Tap here to see an interactive map of every state.

While unaffordable for many, the the authors of the study say accredited early care centers foster a child’s brain development and ability to learn.

“An effective system should be built on three pillars: affordable cost, high quality and easy availability. That is not happening in the current fragmented, patchwork system,” they wrote.

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