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Child-care costs are drain on income, on par with college tuition. Which states are worst?

September 13, 2018
Darla Mercado
USA Today

Got $20,000? It could help pay for college tuition — or it can foot the bill for day-care expenses.

That’s close to the annual child-care bill for Kathleen and Dustin Farhat, a couple in Bath, Michigan, according to a report in Bridge Magazine, published by state-policy think tank The Center for Michigan.

Child care for the Farhats’ two children, a 5-month-old and a 3-year-old, will run $23,200 over the course of 50 weeks, the center found.

In comparison, the typical middle-class family can expect to pay about $40,000 for four years of tuition, fees, books, room and board at the University of Michigan, if they are state residents, according to the center.

The Farhats aren’t alone.

Across the country, the average annual cost of child care is approaching parity with the cost of in-state tuition at some universities, according to data from Child Care Aware of America, an advocacy group.