High cost of child care - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

High cost of child care

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Ask anyone working parents; the cost of day care is very high.  In fact, child care is so expensive, in some parts of America it is actually more costly than tuition of state colleges.  A new report from Child Care Aware of America says child care rose an average of 3% nationwide in 2012.  The price tag grew eight times faster than the family income, according to the nonprofit group.

"Child care is an increasingly difficult financial burden for working families to bear," said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., Executive Director of Child Care Aware of America. "Unlike all other areas of education investment, including higher education, families pay the majority of costs for early education."

Child Care Aware of America looked at the cost of care centers, including those run by religious organizations and family care homes.  Nannies, friends and family members who cared for children were not included.  Their research ranked U.S. states according to the affordability of child care.  Massachusetts had the highest cost for full-time infant care last year.  As much as $16,500 per year was spent.

Alabama, however, ranks as one of the more affordable states.  The state is number 49, to Mississippi.  CCAA reports child care costs are less than 10% of the family's median income.  This isn't necessarily the best of news, though.  In the report, it shows states were the cost for child care is least expensive/most affordable also have some of the lowest scores in CCAA's most recent reviews of the strength of state child care licensing regulations and oversight.

According to the CCAA report though, nearly two-thirds of the country pays more than yearly tuition and fees at a four-year public college for child care.

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