Day Care Adds to Soaring Cost of Raising Children

The cost of raising a child in the U.S. continues to rise.  According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, American couples spend an estimated 25 percent of their income on child care, which number soars to nearly 53 percent for single parents.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates an overall cost of $233,610 through age 18.

“Day care is a huge cost, I know for a lot of families day care can cost more than their rent for their mortgage,” says Dr. Jennifer Shu, spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

According to 2016 member data, the average cost of center-based day care for infants is about $10,468 per year, but prices can range from $6,605 to $20,209 a year. Similarly, the average cost of center-based day care for toddlers is about $9,733, but prices can range from $8,043 to $18,815 a year.

Financial experts suggest saving six months of living expenses even before the baby is born.

“Think about the car seat, the stroller, the crib, changing table and rocking chair, all of that stuff can definitely add up,” says Shu.

Then there are health care costs, clothes for school, youth activities, and travel as your child grows.  All of this before your child even applies for college.

“In certain parts of the country if it's preferable to have private school versus public school, that can definitely add up,” she says.  “So you're thinking maybe 18 years of your child being on your payroll, and then if they go to higher education like college, that can be many more years.”

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