A new poll from National Public Radio (NPR) the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has revealed some sobering statistics about the cost of child care in America.
More than 70 percent of the people who took that poll stated that paying for day care is a major struggle. Much has been said about the high annual cost of in-state college tuition today. However, the yearly cost of day care for children has surpassed the annual cost of higher education.
New America, a think tank based in Washington D.C. recently conducted a study on this issue, which was performed in collaboration with Care.com, a website that helps parents find affordable child care. According to this study, the average annual cost of in-state tuition stands at $9,410.
However, the average cost of child care currently stand at $9,589. The rising cost of child care is getting hard to pay for even the most stable working-class families.
“All of a sudden, my wife is looking around, saying here’s the bottom line: There’s more red ink than there is black, we gotta do something about it,” said Mike Buchmann, a high school art teacher and football coach in Ohio who spoke with NPR about his experience.
Buchmann’s wife is an assistant controller at a private college in the neighboring state of Indiana. Him and his wife both have to work extra hours at jobs on the side to pay the steep monthly day care tab for their children. NPR also reported that there are a number of U.S. states where the high cost of child care is taking a toll on working-class families.
“In 11 states — Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington — and the District of Columbia, the average cost of full-time day care is more than 90 percent of median rent,” wrote Maureen Pao, an education correspondent for NPR.
This sobering reality is leaving many parents with the option of taking child care for their children into their own hands.