MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A new report says child care is no longer affordable for a growing number of parents – and one of the most expensive states is Wisconsin.
A survey by the group “Child Care Aware of America” said it cost the average Wisconsin family almost $9,600 a year to send a 4-year-old to a day care center.
Only New York and Minnesota charge more.
For infants, Wisconsin’s average cost for care is $10,775 a year, the 10th highest in the country. A two-parent family in Wisconsin pays 12 to 13 percent of its income on child care – and for single parents, it eats up 40 to 45 percent of their incomes.
For many, child care is their biggest expense – and it exceeds the cost of rent in all 50 states.
Ollie Smith of Child Care Aware said the rough economy has made child care a bigger financial burden.
Marsha Basloe of New York’s Early Care and Learning Council says more parents are turning to unlicensed centers which don’t have to meet health, safety, and training standards. And Basloe says it’s unfortunate, because high quality child care can have a huge impact on getting a youngster ready for school.