GoBankingRates.com reported that annual child care provider costs are becoming a massive burden for parents. The annual cost of infant care increased by about 2 percent last year and ranged from $4,600 in Mississippi to $15,000 annually in Massachusetts, according to a study by Child Care Aware of America.
The cost of a child care provider for older children jumped even higher last year. Paying a care provider for a four-year-old climbed 4 percent to $3,900 per year in Mississippi and almost $11,700 in Massachusetts.As a result of the massive increases, paying for a child care provider has become most parents’ largest household expense, putting additional strain on limited budgets, according to the report.
With child care becoming the largest household expense, parents have no option but to seek out ways to save money. Paying for a child care provider surpasses yearly costs for everything in the home, from food and auto maintenance to rent.
In almost half of all states, the cost of care for just one child exceeded annual median payments for rent. When two children were factored into the scenario, the costs exceeded rent payments in all 50 states.
Even more surprising is that despite the rising cost of tuition across the country, the cost of a child care provider for an infant is higher than in-state tuition and fees for one year at a four-year public college in 35 states.
To reduce the child care costs, some families in search of ways to save money are making difficult decisions when it comes to their children. Some have even taken the risky route of switching to unlicensed child care centers that aren’t required to meet health and safety standards.