Child Care Officially Costs More Than College — & Your Mortgage

The cost of childcare in the United States is so high that it is almost laughable. It's so high that it might even make people reconsider having kids at all. It takes such a financial toll on families and things are only getting worse instead of better. A new study has revealed some pretty upsetting information on the subject, boiling things down to the simple fact that the cost of childcare is more than your mortgage and college. Are we surprised, though?

The Child Care Aware of America reports that in 30 states and the District of Columbia, according to Yahoo News, the annual price of center-based infant care is more than in-state tuition and fees at a public university. Basically, if you've ever questioned being able to afford college for your kids, you're kinda already paying those hefty fees.

The report, called “The US and The High Price of Child Care: An Examination of a Broken System,” demonstrated what many parents already know: that childcare is not affordable in all 50 states.

The breakdown goes a little something like this: The price of center-based infant care made up 18 to 42 percent of average income for millennials (defined by the study as those born between 1981 and 1996). Furthermore, in 39 states and D.C., center-based care for 2 children (an infant and a 4-year-old in this study) is higher than the average annual mortgage payment. Are you depressed yet?

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Then, there's the fact that across the country, parents will pay an average of $9,100 and $9,600 annually for care for a young child. So if you have more than one child, it's almost like you are working to pay for your childcare.

And there is a difference in prices depending on where you live. In Massachusetts childcare costs $20,880, which is 41.8 percent of the average millennial income,  California (41.4 percent of income), Colorado (39 percent), Minnesota (38.3 percent), and District of Columbia ($24,081 yearly, which is 38.2 percent of an average millennial’s income).

And to make matters worse, the study dug a little bit deeper to reveal that the daycare centers actually aren't making that much money, to begin with. It revealed that the annual price of center-based care for 2 children exceeds the average salary of the childcare providers who work there.

So what does Child Care Aware of America suggest to resolve the issue? State funding and tax credits for childcare, and increasing awareness about assistance.

“Quality, affordable childcare should be, and can be made available and accessible to all children in the U.S. — regardless of age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or geographic location,” said Dr. Lynette M. Fraga, executive director of Child Care Aware of America.

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