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(CBSDFW.COM) – The national cost of daycare is higher than the cost of in-state tuition, but Texas falls below the national average – in more ways than one.

In the New America Care Report from The Care Index, the average cost of full-time daycare is at $9,589 a year for kids four and under. The national average for in-state tuition is about $9,410.

The study says a good daycare system has three fundamental parts: cost, quality, and availability to the parent. The troubling news; Texas is below the national average in all three categories.

When looking at the maps on The Care Index, (Note: availability and quality are for in-home caregiving and child care center data) state daycares average about $8,229 per year, but care is low quality, and not as readily available.

No state does well in all three categories that the study examined. The report proposes many changes such as better training, better pay, and more investments in education and care.

The Care Index is a data and methodology collaboration between New America, and others.

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