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This Is the Most Expensive State in America for Child Care

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preschool class Preschool class | iStock.com

Who knew that having a bundle of joy could cost so much money? Most people know that raising a child is expensive. But that’s mostly in relation to hospital costs, keeping them fed, and sending them to college. It’s the cost of day care and other early education programs that shock many new parents. In many states, the cost of caring for a child before they’re old enough for school can be just as expensive as those college costs — if not more.

Parents might choose to have one partner stay home with the kids, giving up a paycheck but still perhaps saving on child care. But in other instances, both parents might want or need to work. And for single parents, there’s almost certainly a need to continue working. According to a recent report from Care.com, 66% of parents are surprised by how much child care costs them — even if they began budgeting for child care during pregnancy.

It’s not that parents are ignorant; the child care costs are simply astronomical. According to CNN Money, the cost of child care in 23 states is more expensive than the price tag of in-state colleges. Across the board, the majority of American families pay more than 10% of their household income for child care. In the most expensive states, those percentages are even higher. Here’s a look at the 11 states where families pay the most for child care, per a study by Child Care Aware. Did your state make the list?