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Childcare is expensive! Here are the numbers

Posted October 1

— Whether you're a parent or not, it's no secret that childcare is expensive.

These are the numbers.

Families are spending more than a third of their income on childcare -- that's three times more than the amount recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services.

How talking "motherese" to your baby improves their language skills

According to studies, 10 percent of a family's income is a benchmark for affordable care.

Currently, the average cost of day care in the United States is $9,589 per year! According to data from New America, a think tank in Washington, D.C., and, that's more than the average cost of in-state college tuition, which rounds out at $9,410!

Child policy advocates said that, in the 90s, North Carolina was home to the premier example of quality childcare that was affordable. But once the recession hit, that affordability and accessibility started swinging in the opposite direction.

To top it off, 31,740 children are on the waitlist for state funded childcare in North Carolina.

Mikaya Thurmond: 'My jaw dropped' when I saw these childcare statistics

This week, WRAL will highlight these statistics and show some stories from real-life families who are struggling to afford decent childcare. Tune in to WRAL News on Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.


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  • Quid Malmborg Oct 2, 6:08 p.m.
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    The "millionaires" aren't paying.

    Ah, the slippery slope of Corporate Welfare, aka "Socialism."

  • Ed Brown Oct 2, 6:34 a.m.
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    Ah, the slippery slope of socialism . . . Fresh off their victory of "affordable" health care (subsidized by those of us who've been paying into the system for decades), they now have their sights set on "affordable" child care, "free" college, "free" maternity/paternity leave, sick leave, etc. Somebody has to pay for all of this, and if you think it's just going to be the millionaires who pay, you've been drinking the koolaid way too long!

  • Jerry Sawyer Oct 2, 1:32 a.m.
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    So many want the tax payers to pay their bills. What they want is socialism. One problem - when everyone is taking the tax money, everything implodes. But they don't care.

  • Jon Smith Oct 1, 8:33 p.m.
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    Rich? No
    Afford? Absolutely yes
    ... only have a child of you can support them without outside aid AND provide solid parenting so they are useful contributors to society.
    My wife and I did both for our children, don't expect me to do either for yours.

    If you are not prepared to do this, get a fish.

  • Jon Smith Oct 1, 8:27 p.m.
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    I wish you no ill will, but you are in the minority in your situation and I am sure you recognize this.
    The reality is many of those that should not be having kids are stay at home mom's... on state assistance. To bad many of them don't bother parenting their children while there.

  • Quid Malmborg Oct 1, 7:08 p.m.
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    My comment was a general one aimed at those who carelessly add to the gene pool; it was not aimed at a particular individual, certainly not one who experienced extreme hardship, and certainly not you personally. You have my condolences, as I, too, have suffered family hardships.

    "So your comment was just dripping with that free range rude."

    Only to mirror the world around me. And I've never been one for political correctness. Cheers.

  • Anita Gibson Oct 1, 5:42 p.m.
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    Did you ever think that contraception fails? Did you ever think that situations change? Loss of a spouse. Loss of a job. Catastrophic illness. It all happened to me. In the blink of an eye it all changed. My husband died after a long struggle. I lost my job a few months later through no fault of my own. Then I got sick. So your comment was just dripping with that free range rude.

  • Jill Glenn Oct 1, 5:05 p.m.
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    Yes, child care is expensive. Unfortunately, it is expensive to run a private child care as well. When you think of quality child care you don't think of a run down building, nor do you think of under educated teachers. People are looking for new clean buildings with security features and teachers who are educated. Buildings and maintenance cost money. Hiring and training for teachers cost money.

    It is hard to turn a profit in child care if you are running a quality facility with teachers who have higher education. There is a reason Child Care centers struggle to stay open or change ownership often! Running a child care facility is not going to make anyone rich!

  • Stacie Hagwood Oct 1, 4:10 p.m.
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    Why shouldn't childcare providers (and school teachers, for that matter) be paid at a level that recognizes how critical they are in a child's development? I get it that it is expensive. But raising fine, upstanding citizens has real costs.

  • Quid Malmborg Oct 1, 12:50 p.m.
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    Why do you say that? That's a bit extreme. What I'm saying is that people should exercise better judgment when procreating. Just because one can do something doesn't mean they should. Wealth has nothing to do with ability and means to raise children, and many people who have children shouldn't. The planet is overpopulated with free-range rude as it is. Cheers.