This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Day Care Now Costs More Than College

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- The cost of child care is the single largest expense for families in almost half of the states in the nation and has been growing steadily, outweighing costs of food and housing.

The cost of infant day care rose by 2.7% and preschool rose by 2.6% from 2011 to last year, according to a report from Child Care Aware of America based on data by the State Child Care Resource and Referral Network and local agencies.

One of the most surprising findings, though: The cost of infant day care now surpasses that of in-state tuition for four-year public colleges in 31 states.

Putting two children into full-time center care is now the largest expense for households in the Northeastern, Midwestern and Southern regions of the country.

"Child care is an increasingly difficult financial burden for working families to bear," said Lynette M. Fraga, executive director of Child Care Aware of America, in a press release. "Unlike all other areas of education investment, including higher education, families pay the majority of costs for early education. Too many families are finding it impossible to access and afford quality child care that doesn't jeopardize children's safety and healthy development."

Infant care now exceeds annual median rent payments in 22 states and the District of Columbia, with day care for two children (an infant and a 4-year-old) estimated at more than the annual median rent payments in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Center-based child care fees for two children was found to be more expensive than a mortgage and associated housing costs in 20 states. And whether parents rented or owned, putting an infant in child care for a year cost more than what most families spend on food annually in every region of the country.

The average yearly cost of full-time day care varies wildly by state. For a 4-year-old it averaged only $3,900 in Mississippi, but was $11,700 in Massachusetts, whereas for an infant it was $4,600 and $15,000 respectively.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the benchmark cap for affordable child care is 10% of a family's annual income. Yet couples with infants were found to be spending that in more than half of the states and at times consuming as much as 19% of a married couple's income. Single parents suffered much more, many times spending upward of a quarter of their yearly income.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.92 -0.37%
FB $101.47 0.47%
GOOG $681.89 -0.33%
TSLA $153.00 6.50%
YHOO $26.70 -1.50%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 15,647.96 -266.78 -1.68%
S&P 500 1,835.31 -16.55 -0.89%
NASDAQ 4,275.63 -7.9620 -0.19%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs