Daycare Costs top In-state Tuition Fees

Having and raising a child takes a tremendous amount of commitment. Not just of time and love, but also financially. That financial commitment just got more daunting for parents of young children who have to work outside of their home. According to a new report released by think tank, New America (via an article at CNN Money):

“The average cost of full-time daycare for kids up to the age of 4 has reached $9,589 a year…. That now tops the average cost of in-state college tuition, which runs about $9,410.
That means parents earning the national median household income (a little north of $53,000) would need to shell out 18% of their income for the care of just one child.
The younger your child, the higher your bill. Infant care costs about 12% more than toddler care. It ranges from a low of $6,590 a year in Arkansas, or 15% of median state income; to a high of $16,682 in Massachusetts, or about 25% of median income there.
And, of course, the lower your income, the higher your level of stress over footing the bill. Minimum wage workers, on average, will have to fork over nearly two-thirds of their pay for child care.
Having a nanny at home will cost far more - an average of $28,353 a year. Put another way, that's more than half of U.S. median household income, 188% of the income for a single minimum wage worker or three times the cost of average in-state college tuition.”

Childcare is an expense that may have been an afterthought in previous generations, but clearly now a parent who is a prudent planner should add it as priority to consider along with saving for college.