Lists

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

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

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts