When I was pregnant with my first child, I went into sticker shock when I learned the cost of childcare. I had assumed it would be expensive, I just didn’t realize that my recent move to Massachusetts meant I would be paying prices that didn’t just rival – they exceeded -- New York and some other places I had previously lived in.
And the trend continues. A study by Child Care Aware® of America found that Massachusetts had the highest average annual cost for full-time infant daycare in the U.S. at an average $14,980 per year, and that top expense continues through age 4. It’s only when a child enters school that the state drops off the top 10 list.
Even if you look at the figure as a percentage of income, Massachusetts still ranks in the top 10. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that parents spend no more than 10 percent of their family income on childcare. Wishful thinking. In Massachusetts, the cost of care as a percentage of state median income for a two-parent family is 14.2 percent. If you’re a single mom, it’s crippling at 53.6 percent.
One kid is tough enough but if you’re considering a sibling, then better start saving as soon as your first is born: The study found that center-based childcare fees for two children ages 4 and under exceeded annual median rent payments in all 50 states, and also exceeded housing costs for homeowners with a mortgage.
Child Care Aware of America works with more than 600 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies to help families gain access to quality, affordable childcare. They offer training to childcare professionals in addition to researching and advocating for childcare policies.
The author is solely responsible for the content.