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Study shows childcare costs are expensive for most families

A new study shows that families may be paying more for childcare services than what they’re paying for rent.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends parents spend no more than 10 percent of their income on childcare, but the study found that most families spend anywhere between 7 to 16 percent.

“To pay a daycare bill like that, it’s pretty high,” said Tawnya Tucker, mother.

A new study by Child Care Aware of America shows that for single parents, like Tawnya Tucker, childcare exceeds 10 percent of the median income in every state.

“I’ve got a few friends that don’t have to put their kids in daycare but that wasn’t an option for me as soon as Trinity turned 9 months old,” said Tucker. “It was a big bummer for me.”

The Idaho Child Care Program does aim to help families in need, and lower their daycare bill. Tawnya and her daughter Trinity benefit from ICCP and without it, their $400 monthly bill would turn into $800.

“We’re trying really hard to make sure we have good incentives and good programs in the works that will help childcare providers become better at what they do every day that will make a difference in the lives of the children they provide care for,” said Genie Weppner, ICCP program manager.

Last year, ICCP spent about $23 million to help 6,418 children from 3,500 families.

“I need the help because I’m a single mom and I make minimum wage, work five days a week and sometimes more than that,” said Tucker. “For the past three weeks I’ve had three days off — one day a week. It’s hard.”

Which means Trinity needs to be in daycare almost every day of the week. Tawnya’s struggle is common. Dozens of comments on our Facebook page voiced similar concerns.

If you do not qualify for ICCP, The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare suggests looking for certain daycare centers who might offer scholarship programs to help lower costs.

Visit for more information.

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