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States With the Most Expensive Child Care: Colorado Is Among the Ten Worst

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Plenty of families are stunned by the cost of child care.

And Colorado is hardly an exception. In fact, it's the rule.

An ambitious new report from the Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute calculates the cost of child care in all fifty states — and EPI's stats show that Colorado is among the ten most expensive in the country.

The price tag is higher than those in any other state in the region — not to mention California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Alaska and plenty more.

Look below to count down the photo-illustrated top ten, featuring EPI data. (To see the complete report, click here.) That's followed by an accompanying policy paper with a straightforward headline: "It's Time for an Ambitious National Investment in America's Children."

Number 1: Washington, D.C.

Annual infant care costs:$22,631
• Median family income:$63,587
• Infant care costs as a share of median family income:35.6%
• Savings to typical families with an infant from capping child care expenditures at 10% of income:$16,272
• Share of median income freed up by capping infant care expenditures at 10% of income:39.7%
• Share of families able to afford infant care (i.e., costs are 10% or less of income):9.4%
• Full-time minimum wage salary:$21,840
• Infant care costs as a share of minimum-wage earnings:103.6%
• Median child care worker salary:$24,990
• Infant care costs as a share of child care worker earnings:90.6%
• In-state tuition for 4-year public college:$7,255
• Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition:311.9%
• Annual rent:$17,628
• Infant care as a share of rent:128.4%
• Increase in state’s economy from capping families’ child care expenditures at 10% of income:1.6% ($1.91 billion)

Number 2: Massachusetts

Annual infant care costs:$17,062
• Median family income:$87,580
• Infant care costs as a share of median family income:19.5%
• Savings to typical families with an infant from capping child care expenditures at 10% of income:$8,304
• Share of median income freed up by capping infant care expenditures at 10% of income:11.8%
• Share of families able to afford infant care (i.e., costs are 10% or less of income):18.7%
• Full-time minimum wage salary:$20,800
• Infant care costs as a share of minimum-wage earnings:82.0%
• Median child care worker salary:$25,050
• Infant care costs as a share of child care worker earnings:68.1%
• In-state tuition for 4-year public college:$10,702
• Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition:159.4%
• Annual rent:$14,800
• Infant care as a share of rent:115.3%
• Increase in state’s economy from capping families’ child care expenditures at 10% of income:1.6% ($7.07 billion)

Number 3: Minnesota
Annual infant care costs:$14,366

• Median family income:$76,538
• Infant care costs as a share of median family income:18.8%
• Savings to typical families with an infant from capping child care expenditures at 10% of income:$6,712
• Share of median income freed up by capping infant care expenditures at 10% of income:10.8%
• Share of families able to afford infant care (i.e., costs are 10% or less of income):17.8%
• Full-time minimum wage salary:$18,720
• Infant care costs as a share of minimum-wage earnings:76.7%
• Median child care worker salary:$22,200
• Infant care costs as a share of child care worker earnings:64.7%
• In-state tuition for 4-year public college:$10,355
• Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition:138.7%
• Annual rent:$10,173
• Infant care as a share of rent:141.2%
• Increase in state’s economy from capping families’ child care expenditures at 10% of income:1.5% ($4.83 billion)

Number 4: New York

Annual infant care costs:$14,144
• Median family income:$66,830
• Infant care costs as a share of median family income:21.2%
• Savings to typical families with an infant from capping child care expenditures at 10% of income:$7,461
• Share of median income freed up by capping infant care expenditures at 10% of income:14.2%
• Share of families able to afford infant care (i.e., costs are 10% or less of income):20.3%
• Full-time minimum wage salary:$18,720
• Infant care costs as a share of minimum-wage earnings:75.6%
• Median child care worker salary:$25,100
• Infant care costs as a share of child care worker earnings:56.4%
• In-state tuition for 4-year public college:$6,892
• Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition:205.2%
• Annual rent:$15,030
• Infant care as a share of rent:94.1%
• Increase in state’s economy from capping families’ child care expenditures at 10% of income:1.6% ($22.5 billion)

Number 5: Maryland

Annual infant care costs:$13,932
• Median family income:$86,833
• Infant care costs as a share of median family income:16.0%
• Savings to typical families with an infant from capping child care expenditures at 10% of income:$5,249
• Share of median income freed up by capping infant care expenditures at 10% of income:7.2%
• Share of families able to afford infant care (i.e., costs are 10% or less of income):27.7%
• Full-time minimum wage salary:$17,160
• Infant care costs as a share of minimum-wage earnings:81.2%
• Median child care worker salary:$20,500
• Infant care costs as a share of child care worker earnings:68.0%
• In-state tuition for 4-year public college:$8,320
• Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition:167.5%
• Annual rent:$15,700
• Infant care as a share of rent:88.7%
• Increase in state’s economy from capping families’ child care expenditures at 10% of income:1.3% ($4.37 billion)

Continue to keep counting down the states with the most expensive child care

Number 6: Connecticut

Annual infant care costs:$13,880
• Median family income:$86,981
• Infant care costs as a share of median family income:16.0%
• Savings to typical families with an infant from capping child care expenditures at 10% of income:$5,182
• Share of median income freed up by capping infant care expenditures at 10% of income:7.1%
• Share of families able to afford infant care (i.e., costs are 10% or less of income):28.1%
• Full-time minimum wage salary:$19,968
• Infant care costs as a share of minimum-wage earnings:69.5%
• Median child care worker salary:$21,840
• Infant care costs as a share of child care worker earnings:63.6%
• In-state tuition for 4-year public college:$10,128
• Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition:137.1%
• Annual rent:$14,866
• Infant care as a share of rent:93.4%
• Increase in state’s economy from capping families’ child care expenditures at 10% of income:1.2% ($3.03 billion)

Number 7: Colorado

Annual infant care costs:$13,154
• Median family income:$69,903
• Infant care costs as a share of median family income:18.8%
• Savings to typical families with an infant from capping child care expenditures at 10% of income:$6,164
• Share of median income freed up by capping infant care expenditures at 10% of income:10.9%
• Share of families able to afford infant care (i.e., costs are 10% or less of income):22.6%
• Full-time minimum wage salary:$17,285
• Infant care costs as a share of minimum-wage earnings:76.1%
• Median child care worker salary:$22,970
• Infant care costs as a share of child care worker earnings:57.3%
• In-state tuition for 4-year public college:$8,228
• Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition:159.9%
• Annual rent:$10,884
• Infant care as a share of rent:120.9%
• Increase in state’s economy from capping families’ child care expenditures at 10% of income:1.5% ($4.43 billion)

Number 8: Illinois

Annual infant care costs:$12,964
• Median family income:$67,694
• Infant care costs as a share of median family income:19.2%
• Savings to typical families with an infant from capping child care expenditures at 10% of income:$6,195
• Share of median income freed up by capping infant care expenditures at 10% of income:11.3%
• Share of families able to afford infant care (i.e., costs are 10% or less of income):22.3%
• Full-time minimum wage salary:$17,160
• Infant care costs as a share of minimum-wage earnings:75.5%
• Median child care worker salary:$21,820
• Infant care costs as a share of child care worker earnings:59.4%
• In-state tuition for 4-year public college:$12,520
• Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition:103.5%
• Annual rent:$10,841
• Infant care as a share of rent:119.6%
• Increase in state’s economy from capping families’ child care expenditures at 10% of income:1.6% ($11.4 billion)

Number 9: Rhode Island

Annual infant care costs:$12,867
• Median family income:$67,119
• Infant care costs as a share of median family income:19.2%
• Savings to typical families with an infant from capping child care expenditures at 10% of income:$6,155
• Share of median income freed up by capping infant care expenditures at 10% of income:11.3%
• Share of families able to afford infant care (i.e., costs are 10% or less of income):21.9%
• Full-time minimum wage salary:$19,968
• Infant care costs as a share of minimum-wage earnings:64.4%
• Median child care worker salary:$20,300
• Infant care costs as a share of child care worker earnings:63.4%
• In-state tuition for 4-year public college:$10,809
• Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition:119.0%
• Annual rent:$11,110
• Infant care as a share of rent:115.8%
• Increase in state’s economy from capping families’ child care expenditures at 10% of income:1.5% ($832.4 million)

Number 10: Washington

Annual infant care costs:$12,733
• Median family income:$68,794
• Infant care costs as a share of median family income:18.5%
• Savings to typical families with an infant from capping child care expenditures at 10% of income:$5,854
• Share of median income freed up by capping infant care expenditures at 10% of income:10.4%
• Share of families able to afford infant care (i.e., costs are 10% or less of income):24.0%
• Full-time minimum wage salary:$19,698
• Infant care costs as a share of minimum-wage earnings:64.6%
• Median child care worker salary:$22,130
• Infant care costs as a share of child care worker earnings:57.5%
• In-state tuition for 4-year public college:$8,766
• Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition:145.2%
• Annual rent:$11,464
• Infant care as a share of rent:111.1%
• Increase in state’s economy from capping families’ child care expenditures at 10% of income:1.4% ($ 5.96 billion)


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