While many new working parents wonder how they will pay for their children's college education, there's a more immediate issue facing them – the rising cost of child care in America. The average cost of full-time daycare for kids aged four and under now tops the average cost of in-state college tuition, according to a new report by think tank New America.
The study shows full-time day-care has now reached $9,589 a year. That's compared with the average cost of in-state college tuition o fabout $9,410. To cover the cost of full-time care for one child, a family earning the median household income of $53,000 would need to fork over 18 percent of its income. For an individual earning the minimum wage, full-time care for their child is even less affordable, costing 64% of their earnings.
Other highlights from the New America report:
-Nationally, the cost of full-time care in child care centers is 85 percent of the monthly U.S. median cost of rent.
-The cost of infant care in centers is 12 percent higher than for older children, and outstrips the cost of in-state tuition and fees in 33 states.
-The average cost of full-time care using an in-home caregiver, or nanny, is $28,353 a year.
-Nationally, only 11 percent of child care establishments are accredited by the National Association for the Education of the Young Child or the National Association for Family Child Care.
-Care is most available in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Alaska, Hawaii, Utah, Idaho, and South Dakota are among the states with the lowest availability of care.
The issue of child care is getting serious attention in this presidential election. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both offering very different plans. Clinton wants to cap the cost of child care to no more than ten percent of a family's income up to a certain amount. She is also proposing universal pre-Kindergarten and 12 weeks of guaranteed family paid leave.
Trump has a proposal to let parents take a tax deduction for child care costs. He would also let women who have babies collect six weeks of unemployment benefits if their employer does not offer paid leave.