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The rising cost of care in America

  • Parents are spending bucket loads of money on child care, and it's not getting any cheaper.
  • Nearly one in three families spend 20 percent or more of their annual household income on child care, according to Care.com.
Camille Pitzer, 3, bites into a freshly sliced orange at MaineLy Childcare -- one of several local daycares working to improve the food it serves.
Ben McCanna | Portland Press Herald | Getty Images
Camille Pitzer, 3, bites into a freshly sliced orange at MaineLy Childcare -- one of several local daycares working to improve the food it serves.

Baby-sitters, day-care, nannies. Parents are spending bucket loads of money on child care, and it's not getting any cheaper.

Nearly one in three families spend 20 percent or more of their annual household income on child care, according to the latest survey by Care.com. The report interviewed 1,000 parents nationwide.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 parents would put themselves in debt to pay for child care, up from 25% in 2016.
  • 72% of parents budget for child care. However, 30% are not able to stay within their monthly budget.
  • 40% of parents say child care costs have caused tension in their relationship.
  • 20% of families say they had fewer children than they would have liked because of the high cost of child care.
  • 63% say child care costs influenced their career decisions.
  • 73% of working parents say their job has been affected because of child care plans falling through at the last minute
  • 68% of families say the current tax deduction they receive from the Dependent Care FSA isn't enough to have a meaningful impact on their child care expenses.

How much parents are paying

The average cost of day-care for infants is about $10,468 a year, but prices ranged from $6,605 to $20,209 a year, according to Care.com.

The average cost of day-care for toddlers is about $9,733, but prices ranged from $8,043 to $18,815 a year. On the other hand, the average cost of a nanny who cares for one child is about $28,905. However, prices ranged from $27,019 to $32,677.

The best & worst for care

Where you live can make a big difference. According to the survey, Mississippi, New Mexico and Arkansas are the least affordable states for a nanny. District of Columbia, Oregon and California are the least affordable states for day-care.

Which are the most affordable states? New Hampshire, New Jersey and Maryland are the most affordable states for a nanny. North Dakota, Utah and Delaware are the most affordable for daycare.