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New study reviews child care costs

A new study indicates the cost of child care in Idaho is steep for working families.

Child Care Aware of America released its 12th annual “The U.S. and the High Cost of Child Care” report. It found the average annual cost of child care for an Idaho infant ranges from $6,254 for home-based care to nearly $7,300 for center-based care. And, for two children those costs can reach about $13,600 per year.

By comparison, an average year’s tuition at a public university is $7,250 and an average annual mortgage payment is $14,148.

In all regions of the country last year, the cost of center-based child care for an infant exceeded the costs of food and transportation combined.

According to the researchers, Idaho is one of only a handful of states that does not invest in pre-school programs.

“Working families across Idaho understand that high-quality child care is currently neither accessible nor affordable,” said Beth Oppenheimer, executive director of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children. “Too many are forced to choose between putting food on the table and having a safe, nurturing place for their child to learn and grow. That needs to change.”

You can see full details of the report here.

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