Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Community News Network

April 10, 2014

Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states

College costs loom large in the parental mind. According to a 2013 report by Sallie Mae, half of parents are putting away money for their kids' education. Those who aren't are fretting about it, saying that they feel "frustrated," "overwhelmed" and "annoyed" when they think about college savings.

But most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.

A report by Child Care Aware of America, a national organization of child-care resource and referral agencies, found last fall that the annual cost of day care for an infant exceeds the average cost of in-state tuition and fees at public colleges in 31 states.

The biggest gap is in New York, where day care will set you back nearly $15,000 a year but in-state college tuition averages just $6,500 — a difference of over $8,000.

Maryland, Massachusetts, Colorado and Oregon also have large gaps. Maryland, for instance, is ranked fifth in the nation when it comes to the annual cost of putting an infant in day care, at $13,055. But it's in the middle of the pack with regards to in-state college tuition, at $8,220 per year. This means Maryland parents will pay nearly $5,000 more per year, on average, to put a kid in day care than they will to put the child through college.

At the other end of the spectrum is South Carolina, where in-state tuition is higher than the cost of day care by about $4,000 a year. This is in part because the state cut funding for higher education by 67 percent from 1980 to 2011, according to the American Council on Education, forcing parents to pick up the slack in the form of higher tuition.

In addition to differences in the size of their higher-education budgets, states rise and fall on the list because of variations in overall cost of living and — more importantly — the stringency of regulations and licensing requirements for day-care providers. Stricter rules may mean safer toddlers, but they are also likely to mean bigger monthly day-care bills.

Unlike the high cost of college, the high cost of day care may come as a bit of a shock to the family wallet. While couples have years to prepare for college costs, there is little if any time to save for child care. A baby is born, and parents typically have to go back to work in just a few weeks.

It typically takes 18 years to sock away a sufficient college nest egg. Considering that child care is an equivalent, if not greater, expense — and that the average maternal age at first birth is now 26 — this suggests that people should start putting away money to care for their future children by the time they're roughly 8 years old.

Sorry, kids: Half of your third-grade allowance is now going to be set aside in the day-care fund.

This may not be a realistic solution. But it does raise the question: How do people cover the enormous cost of child care? A report out Tuesday by the Pew Research Center finds that an increasing number of parents are simply avoiding child-care costs by staying home.

Nearly 30 percent of moms now drop out of the workforce or never enter it, up from 23 percent in 1999. For many families, it simply makes more financial sense for a parent to stay home with a young child than it does to incur thousands of dollars in day-care costs.

Who are these stay-at-home moms? Pew reports that just 5 percent of "U.S. married stay-at-home mothers (with working husbands) had at least a master's degree and family income exceeding $75,000."

"Stay-at-home mothers are younger, poorer and less educated than their working counterparts," Pew reports. " For example, 34% of stay-at-home mothers are poor, compared with 12% of working mothers. They are also less likely to be white and more likely to be immigrants."

This suggests that stay-at-home motherhood is primarily driven by people having too little money, rather than having the luxury of an expendable second income.

What can be done? For the college-bound, there is always the solace of myriad sources of potential financial aid for students who need or deserve it. Some day-care providers also offer sliding-scale payments based on income.

So far, however, no matter how smart the kid may be, there are no merit-based scholarships for day care.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.