Study: WA child care costs among least affordable in US

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by JAKE WHITTENBERG / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jakewhittenberg

KING5.com

Posted on November 5, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 9:00 AM

It's a common complaint among parents: the cost of child care is too high.

A new study by Childcare Aware of America shows that last year the average annual cost of infant child care in Washington State was $12,108, making it the 9th least affordable in the nation. The cost makes up an average of 47 percent of a single mother's median income.

Perhaps more concerning, child care costs grew eight times the rate of incomes, and in 2/3 of the country, the average cost of child care is more than tuition at a four-year college.

Why so high? Experts point to the high cost of operating a daycare. Additionally, child care is one of the lowest paying professional fields.

Oregon took the top spot for least affordable child care in the latest study, on average costing 18 percent of a family's income. States with the cheapest childcare on average: Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, South Dakota and Tennessee.

The entire Childcare Aware of America study is here.

 

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