Editors' pick: Originally published Oct. 31.
Child care is in a state of crisis.
This may seem hyperbolic, but for many families, it's the truth. As Americans increasingly live in dual-income households, the issue of daycare has become a critical one for many families. Often lacking support systems, parents need safe, professional environments for children too young for school, but too old for parental leave.
And the costs are staggering.
As a recent study conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard found, money "is the most commonly reported challenge in finding care" for children.
"It continues to be an issue," the report found, "once parents have found care, with many saying the cost of care is a problem for their families - especially for those who feel their financial situation is not strong... Parents face challenges finding back-up care when a child gets sick and cannot receive their usual care. Many working parents have to miss work, and parents report negative repercussions for themselves or their spouse such as docked pay or getting in trouble with a supervisor."
How big is this problem? The think tank New America has done an analysis on state-by-state costs. Read on to see the average cost of child care in your state to see just how hard it is for working families to pay the bills…