For so many parents, the struggle is real. Daycare can be a family’s biggest expense and according to a new report, Indiana is among the biggest anywhere.
When it comes to caring for our kids, there are no shortcuts. Child care costs a lot; from the parent’s pockets and the overhead to keep the facility running. There are staff salaries and training, rent, utilities, insurance, along with costs for food and milk.
Child Care Aware of America says Indiana is the fourth least-affordable state in the country, costing parents close to $11,000 per year, on average.
Evansville child care specialist, Alysia Rhinefort says that is the cost of doing business. But how to pay for it is still one of the biggest questions she’s asked.
“It’s like a second mortgage these days,” she says.
For a single parent making the Indiana median income of $26,000 they would spend nearly half of their income on child care for a toddler.
In Indiana, it may cost more to send your kid to daycare than college.
But what can parents do to help cover the cost? There are resources available, and Ark Crisis Child Care Center in Evansville is one. Their service is free and there is high demand.
“Our goal is to try and get families to the point where they no longer need us,” Executive Director, Angie Richards Cooley says. “There’s always another family waiting for that spot once it opens up.”
You may qualify for financial help and not even realize it. There are voucher programs for low-income families, and child care centers are often willing to work with parents on sliding scale payments.
In Kentucky, you can start getting help with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
(This story was originally published December 13, 2017)