How Much Does Day Care Cost in NJ? [AUDIO]
How much do you pay for child care? A new report finds in New Jersey, it may exceed the cost of your living expenses.
The report by Child Care Aware Of America finds that in almost all states, including here, the cost of center-based child care was more than annual rent payments.
"It's $11,000 for infants in a child care center and about $9,000 for four year-olds in a child care center" said Grace Reef, spokesperson for Child Care Aware Of America.
In almost half of all states, the cost of center-based care for one child exceeded annual median rent payments, the report said. And when two children are factored in, the costs exceeded rent payments in all 50 states. Child Care Aware also found that in 35 states, the cost to provide center-based care for an infant was higher than in-state tuition and fees for one year at a four-year public college.
She says child care is very tough today, especially with the current state of the economy. "We haven't bounced back yet, and families are still struggling. They need to have both parents work in order to survive."
She says many parents are deciding that the cost of center-based care is just too much. "Unfortunately they are going to unlicensed facilities that are much cheaper and we are hoping that the children stay safe."
Reef says these days, its not just an issue that affects low-income families. "Most families have a real challenge affording child care."
As a result, she says more households are having to make the difficult decision of paying rent versus paying for child care.