By the numbers: Steep costs of child care put pressure on Alabama families
If you’re a parent or even a grandparent, you know how expensive child care can be.
In fact, many parents find it’s cheaper to have one spouse stay home than spend an entire paycheck, or more, than go to daycare.
Other families rely on grandparents to fill in the child care gaps. However, a new report is shedding new light on the scope of the issue in America.
The Care Index, a data collaboration, between New America, Care.com and others took a look at the cost, quality and availability of child care in all 50 states.
While many child care workers earn poverty-level wages, the annual average cost of daycare is more than college tuition.
That’s about a fifth of the median family’s income. For those making minimum wage, it’s nearly two-thirds of their pay.
Closer to home, the news gets even worse. In Alabama, having someone care for your child in your home will cost more than $26,000, a daycare center more than $7,000, for an average of more than $14,000 a year — or more than a third of your household income.
If you’re making minimum wage, 95% of your paycheck goes to child care.
Costs are even higher in Tennessee, with child care costing 37% of household income. 108% for a minimum wage worker.
With numbers like that, it’s no surprise so many parents feel forced out of the workforce.
This link shows an interactive map with the breakdown of costs, quality and availability of each state: