Report shows child care costs can be more expensive than college tuition

Jan 29, 2024, 1:00 PM | Updated: Feb 15, 2024, 12:37 pm

Throughout the country, childcare costs are getting even more expensive than college tuition....

Throughout the country, childcare costs are getting even more expensive than college tuition. (Canva)


SALT LAKE CITY — According to a new report from Care.com, it costs more for parents to pay for child care than sending those kids to college later in life. 2,000 parents nationwide were surveyed. 

According to the report, 47% of parents across the country spend up to $18,000 per year. Additionally, 20% of parents spend more than $36,000 a year on child care. 

Prices are high in Utah, however, they are slightly lower. The Economic Policy Insitute reports that Utah parents spend around $10,000 per year on child care during 2023. 

“Within the first five years of their child’s life, parents are being forced into a financial hole that is nearly impossible to climb out of,” said Brad Wilson, CEO of Care.com, in the report.

More than one-third of parents surveyed said they spend nearly half their savings yearly to cover the costs of child care. When those parents were asked how long their savings would last them, 68% of respondents said only six months. 

The report shows that many parents find themselves making work, life, or financial changes to accommodate costs. For example, 28% of respondents work multiple jobs and 25% moved closer to family to get assistance with child care. 

“A healthy economy depends upon the ability for people to save and spend, but given the crushing weight of child care costs, those pillars are crumbling. The child care crisis should be a major red flag for everyone, not just parents. It is a systemic failure that will impact our nation’s economic growth, and that affects us all,” Wilson said in the report. 

Tips to reduce child care costs

Care.com has a few tips for parents to help save money. First, research costs in your area for the age of your child so you are clear on what you can afford. 

Next, discuss child care benefits with your employer. Care.com suggests talking with your workplace’s Human Resources department to see if a Dependent Care Account is available to you.

Another tip is to research childc are subsidies and programs. Care.com has a list of resources for parents that could reduce how much you’re spending, click here for more information. 


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Report shows child care costs can be more expensive than college tuition