Day Care Costs MORE than College in 31 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. That expense is day care.
A report last fall by Child Care Aware America, a national organization of child-care resource and referral agencies, found 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 grand, but in-state college tuition is only $6,500 — a difference of over $8,000. Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado and Oregon also have large gaps, driven primarily by the high cost of day care in those states. 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.