Study Finds Day Care Rivaling College In Expenses

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Jessica Rivera wants the best for her children. Being a working mom, she has had no choice but to pay for day care so that she could help her husband keep the house up and running.

“A thousand dollars a month for two children so that along with mortgage and everything it was hard.”

It became so overwhelming that Rivera sought financial help.  Her daughter America was accepted into a program called ChildCareGroup.

But millions of parents are feeling the pinch from child care.  A new study released by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies found that in 36 states the average annual cost of child care was higher than a year’s tuition at a four year public college.

>>Click here to read the study<<

In Texas one year of public college averages $7,743. While one year of child care for a four-year-old is $6,600.  But the cost of child care for an infant was greater than a year of college at $7,850.

Susan Hoff is a child care advocate for United Way. She says finding affordable quality child care is a huge problem, but adds educating babies and toddlers requires a significant investment just like higher learning does.

“Those first four years of life are the greatest amount of brain development in young children… It’s important to our entire public.”

According to the study New York is the least affordable state for child care, while Louisiana is the most affordable. But that’s based on a two parent income. Its even more difficult for single parents.

“A little bit more than half my income goes to paying day care,” says Maria Ruiz, who is raising her three-year-old son Sidney alone.

She just moved her son from one day care because they went up on the tuition, again.  “It was hard trying to find something that would meet my budget and at the same time meet my needs for my son.”

And meeting their children’s needs is every parents concern– no matter the cost.  “His education means a lot,” says Ruiz.

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  • C Bauer

    Yeah, no sh**t. Tell me something I don’t know…

    • dave

      One of the things missing from this article is the monthly income Jessica and her husband earn and the rest of their actual expenses, Rent, utilities,transportation, insurance, and entertainment, Another issue is the availability of childcare by other family members, which is a common source of childcare for low income families. This article might illustrate a common problem that occurs when people become 2-earner families and then start buying more expensive homes & cars.

  • Gayle

    I would like to know where you can send your child to a 4 year university for $7000.00 a year. Not in Texas, State Schools start at about 19,500.00. If you meant community college you should say so.

    • Mikey

      Texas actually funds part of the in state colleges with funds from oil and gas taxes, it’s called the Permanent University Fund.

      • Matt

        and it’s not from taxes on oil and gas. its the proceeds from oil and gas leases owned by the fund.. When it was set up, the land was pretty useless and only got money from selling grazing rights. Then oil was discovered and UT and aTm haven’t looked back since. But only schools in the UT and aTm systems are eligible for that money.

      • Matt

        that only goes to UT and aTm, not all state colleges in Texas.

  • Mark

    Gayle, $7000 is pretty close to one year of tuition in Texas. That does not include ANY other expenses like books or room/board. This article also fails to mention the tax breaks for day care, you can get quite a bit back.

    • C Bauer

      You can get a decent percentage back, but it’s not anywhere close to covering all of it. Our daycare is higher and costs in the neighborhood of $10,000 per year, and our tuition is average. There are more expensive places like Creme de la Creme, etc. that are even more money.

  • Rick McDaniel

    Time for people to wake up to the real cost of having children. They all think it is some kind of magical entitlement, that they don’t really have to pay for…….and that simply is a myth.

    • C Bauer

      Not a myth if you’re a parasitical welfare scammer who lives off the government teat from cradle to grave…

  • Terry Knows Moore

    I have always said anyone who uses any daycare while a child in under 6 years of age, the most important years of a childs life simply put themselves and “things” before being a parent, period.

  • juliafriedl

    “And meeting their children’s needs is every parents concern– no matter the cost. “His education means a lot,” says Ruiz.”
    Really? If meeting their children’s needs is really a concern, no matter the cost, than why are all of these parents going to work instead of having one parent stay home with the kids? Single-parent homes are one thing, but for these folks paying $10K in childcare, it seems their lifestyles are more important than their kids.

    • C Bauer

      Julia, I agree with you and Terry, and that is why my wife and I have recently come to the reality that one of us will stay home from this point on, until our daughter is school age. The expense and the fact other people are raising our child with their values is unsettling.

  • David Anderson

    Boo hoo, having children is a lifestyle choice. Most people put more though into buying a car than producing a child, most of these “single mothers” need to stop shooting out children like human photocopiers.

  • Chris

    My 4-year-old and 2-year-old cost me and my wife $26,000 per year in Boston metro..and that’s the cheapest we could find in the area.

    That’s almost as much as we pay for our mortgage.

    I cannot wait until they are both in school.

  • Chris

    “If meeting their children’s needs is really a concern, no matter the cost, than why are all of these parents going to work instead of having one parent stay home with the kids? Single-parent homes are one thing, but for these folks paying $10K in childcare, it seems their lifestyles are more important than their kids”

    Because most of use make more than $10K per year. Do the math. People can’t live on a single income anymore…not with 2 kids.

    • C Bauer

      Yes you can. It takes a spreadsheet and real discipline combined with PRIORITIES.

  • Dave Hilling

    Terry thats a pretty shallow view. My wife didnt spend 8 years in college getting two bachelors degrees to stay at home and in today’s world even with how expensive child care is she cant afford to. Even without 1300 a month for child care the 500 a month for student loans, and in even a modest car payment and there is no way we could afford for her to stay home. I pay for pretty much everything but her student loans, car payment, and child care its just not something easy to do with how expensive everything is.

    • Dave Hilling

      and we arent complaining about it we love our kids dearly and would love to spend all the time with them we can but even where we live our child care is more than our house payment.

      • Cunning Wii

        My wife spent five years getting two bachelors degrees (one of them engineering), worked for two years, then quit when our oldest daughter was born. I was terrified when she suggested it. It cut our income by about 45%, and it was a tremendous struggle financially. However, if we had it to do all over, we would not hesitate. We have four lovely, well-adjusted, productive citizen daughters (two still in school). I realize that not everyone can do it, but most people could if they chose to. We gave up a lot of stuff so we could give our daughters the parenting they needed.

  • Jason

    To “Juliafriedl” and “Terry Knows Moore”, daycare (i) allows children to socialize and interact with others their age, (ii) exposes children to trained and often certified teachers and caregivers who often do a better job than most parents can in teaching the children, and (iii) exposes the children to a diverse environment and learning experience. I would rather my child have the opportunity to learn from several diverse and trained professionals than only one parent who may often be overstressed from never getting a break from the kids. It doesn’t mean the parent is not also involved. And if part of the reason for working is to keep the kids in a decent home in a town with good school systems and to make enough money to pay for college, I don’t see how that is putting lifestyle in front of the children. Your views are extremely narrow.

    • Thomas D.

      Jason – has it ever dawned upon you how you even made it to where you are at today? Daycare is a relatively NEW concept, within the last 50 years or so. Based upon this, can you please tell me how all the generations of times past seemed to be able to raise healthy, socially interactive, intellectually astute, morally conscious people who transformed the world into a place it is today! For example: Columbus had no GPS system, Einstein had no CPU’s to test his theories, Khan had no motorized mobility, Justice Clarence Thomas grew up in a home with dirt floors, yet somehow they prevailed!? You really need to grow-up and you can start by reading about human history; you’ll be amazed at what parents can do when they put children in front of their own lifestyle!

  • D Smith

    Wow $7,000 or $10,000 a year is cheap. We recently paid $19,500 for two toddlers to go to all day care. Of course I do not live in Texas, but even with a tax break, we had to pay our state of residence extra $1,000 in taxes just to send our kids to school. Mother worked to pay for the school so the children could get time with other kids their age and learn. Certainly not a social status thing. We noticed dramatic improvement in rate at which they learned new things was exponential. Many school in area had higher tuition per child, so we were in the middle tuition wise for local area. There is definitely a cost to having kids. Those who do not think government should give breaks to citizens who help ensure continuous population, social, economical, and tax base of future are not thinking big picture.

    • C Bauer

      “Wow $7,000 or $10,000 a year is cheap.”

      $19,500 is for TWO is just under $10,000 for ONE, genius. Maybe in your case it is better for others to educate your children.

  • Thomas D.

    The author totally missed adult care! My wife, when alive, had MS and required 9+ hour day care while I worked or when I was not at home. Children AREN’T the ONLY humans who need care and this seems missed by not only our “well informed” media but our politicians, who make the rules, too!

    • DDT

      Sorry about your wife, but the story was about “day care” as most people know it – for CHILDREN. Refocus.

  • Terri Chris

    The large number of single mothers in America is a problem. Taxpayers should not have to pay.

  • carman1111

    Get an education in a field that is demanded in the marketplace. Skip the “easy” PoliSci, Communications, Humanities and Early Childhood Ed majors in college and focus instead on science, math, statistics, engineering, medicine, etc. Then, if you choose to have children, have one parent stay home with them.

    The trouble is, too many people don’t want to sacrifice their time or lifestyle early in life, and instead of investing in themselves get hooked on car payments and mortgages before they have their education complete. No one says it will be easy, or that you will have the lifestyle you want by age 30. But if you sacrifice early, you can be financially fit by age 40 or soon after.

    • Dave Hilling

      My wife and I both make great incomes(computer science and nursing) but along with those jobs came student loans, our house was only 90K we have modest cars, life is way more expensive than what most people can afford on one income, in part because if we ever wish to invest any money which we are doing there wouldnt be any to do so on 1 income.

  • homeschooler

    Oh yes they can! I’ve finished homeschooling mine, who will be attending a selective university. I had to make a decision early on—-my career or my family. I chose my family and I don’t regret it. We don’t take fancy vacations or live an “upscale” life but the college funds are in place, we’re saving the max for retirement and we’re free. And my husband isn’t making mega bucks either.

    Take responsibility and stop whining. I have friends who are at home with 4 and more kids.

    • HomeschoolerToo

      I agree. Similar story. My oldest is also in grad school at an elite university.

      Sometimes I made do without a car or new clothes. I taught myself frugal gourmet cooking.

      I have great memories and no regrets.

      I never considered that my education disqualified me from staying home.

      I figured my kids benefited from interacting with an educated mom.

      To those who say, “I could never do that!”, I reply, “Believe in your dreams!”

      • Cunning Wii

        Good for you, HS2. We did not homeschool, but if we were doing it over we would seriously consider it given the state of public schooling. My wife would echo your comments about “doing without” but having no regrets. I told our story elsewhere in these comments, but I’m convinced that there are three things that would make a huge difference in kids today, and one is a stay-at-home parent.

    • Cunning Wii

      Kudos from me also. My wife was until recently home with four. The youngest left for college last year.

    • Mikey

      “Take responsibility”

      Better words have yet to be spoken. Kudos to you homeschooler.

  • kevin

    “A thousand dollars a month for two children?” You kidding me! That is cheep!
    Come on up here to Boston. I had one kid in daycare as an infant it was about 1250 per month and when he reached age two or three it dropped to about 600 or so. Either way it’s crazy. But its the price you pay. I had it my way I’d stay home if I could

  • carman1111

    Also, we have too many people who fail to get and stay married, mainly out of selfishness on the part of at least one of the parties. A traditional marriage that stays in tact, coupled with a relevamnt education, and then living on less than you earn is old-fashioned and out-of-style. But it is the surest path to financial and personal happiness.

    • HomeschoolerToo

      Needs to be said more often!

  • D Wills

    $1,000 a month for two kids in daycare? MAN! Must be nice… I wish ours was that cheap.

  • Jd Noland

    What an Idiot 4 years of college vs 10 years of kid care!!
    Do the math we all knew that! This reporter needs to look for some better ground breaking news!

  • Cunning Wii

    I’ve seen apples-to-oranges comparisons before, but this really takes the cake. First, Texas school tuition may be around $7000-8000 per year, but fees almost double that, and room and board and other expenses bring it easily to $25000-30000. Second, what does child care have to do with college? It’s like saying that it’s ridiculous for my electric bill to cost more than my vacation budget. Third, child care is a very labor intensive, all day affair. College is not. A more accurate comparison would be to public schools, which cost anywhere from $6000-15000 per pupil per year (numbers pulled out of the air).

  • Tracy R. Twyman

    Who cares? Lots of things that people choose to have cost money. Why have kids if you are going to ship them off to an institution to raise? I wouldn’t get a dog and just stick it in a kennel all day long & pay them thousands a month to train, play with and care for MY DOG! Adults go to great lengths to avoid ever having to go to prison, but for some reason they’ll PAY to put their kids in a private jail and not only do they think it’s perfectly moral, they actually complain about the cost and want someone else to pay for it. BTW it’s really easy to not get pregnant. Even a total moron could do it.

  • *POCSmom’s Insight: College Cost Perspective | POCSmom's Insights
  • Dave Hilling

    Jail, my kids are there learning at a daycare while their parents make money so they can have a nice life growing up. They learn sign language, colors, numbers etc and we continue that education in the evenings. I want to be able to take my kids on vacation etc like my parents could not unfortunately afford.
    My parents both worked very hard to give us what we had growing up and I thank them for it. Yes we were in daycare until we were like 8 but they had to do it so they could provide for us we didnt have a huge house never went on vacation etc because they couldnt afford it and my goal is to provide for my kids to have even more after all thats the american dream.
    I wish it was the 1950s and my salary alone was enough but even though I make well over the poverty line by myself its still not enough to cover even a cheap house, all the utilities, student loans, and even modest car payments. The whole ozzy and harriet attitude is ridiculous if you have a 150,000 dollar job good for you but even those of us with college educations at good companies get that kind of money and can afford to live on one salary. If you take taxes, home repairs, saving for retirement, student loans, utilities, fuel, house payment, child care, etc etc etc into account it would be damn tough for most people to live on.

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