It Now Costs More to Send Your Kid to Day Care Than to College

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The rising costs of child care have scored a starring role on the campaign trail, and both candidates are offering up ways to lower expenses for parents of young children.

According to a report from the think tank New America, the average cost of full-time daycare for kids four and under has reached $9,589 a year — surpassing the average cost of in-state college tuition, which runs about $9,410.


New America paired with— an online service that links babysitters and other caregivers to families that need their services —to survey more than 15,000 households with children under 18 in every state. The study examined in and out-of-home daycare, and found that “families, providers, and policymakers in every state make difficult compromises that often shape family decisions and can determine the course of children’s futures.”

The report proposes “systematic change” to bring quality care to American households. Specific proposals include:

  • Universal paid family leave
  • Expanding and improving cash assistance programs
  • Implementing high quality universal pre-K programs
  • Focusing resources on programs aimed at dual-language learners

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