- Childcare exceeds rent in 500 of 618 neighborhoods for two-child families
- The worst is Binghamton, NY, where parents pay triple rent on childcare
- In 33 states and D.C. it is cheaper to pay 4 years in-state college tuition
- Economists say it is down to surge in demand as parents stay in work
- They fear the rapidly rising costs could push parents out of work to care
Childcare now costs parents more money than rent in most states of America, new research reveals.
A surge in working parents has driven up demand for nannies and daycare centers an astonishing 168 per cent since 1990.
Parents in Binghamton, New York, have it the worst case, paying triple their rent to have their sons and daughters looked after.
And in 33 states and Washington, D.C., it is cheaper to pay four years in-state college tuition than hire a nanny for their child’s early years.
The stunning figures are published in a new study by the Economic Policy Institute.
The research found childcare to exceed the cost of rent in 500 neighborhoods out of 618 for families with two working parents and two children.
Even families with one child pay more on support than they do on rent in 90 of the 618 neighborhoods studied.
Economists fear the lopsided surge in costs compared to income increases will have devastating effects on consumer spending.
Many also worry it could force parents out of work to care for children themselves, an ominous prospect as unemployment figures stagnate.
‘Parents of an infant are going to be, on average, younger than the parents of a college kid so they’re going to be earlier in their careers and it’s going to be even harder for them to make these kinds of payments,’ said Elise Gould, EPI senior economist and co-author of the report.
A surge in working parents has driven up demand for childcare an astonishing 168 per cent since 1990
Economists fear the surge in costs compared to income will have devastating effects on consumer spending
‘It’s not surprising that many women drop out of the labor force, so there are costs to this.’
Earnings in the report are calculated using state minimum wages, based on the assumption a parent works 40 hours a week for 52 weeks a year.
The cost of putting one child in a center ranges from $468 a month in Mississippi to $1,868 a month in the District of Columbia, the study found.
Three children in the District of Columbia will set parents back $2,784 a month.
Single parents with two children in Buffalo, New York – one of the starkest disparities in income and childcare cost – spend 33.7 per cent of their total family budget on childcare.
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