by: Evan Anstey
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Many people will say that New York State is an expensive place to live, and a new study on the cost of child care supports that statement.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average cost of child care for an infant in New York is $15,394 per year. That adds up to more than $1,200 every month.
But for a four-year-old, for example, it’s a little less — $12,358 per year (or $1,030 per month).
If these numbers sound high, it’s because they are. Child care in New York is ranked the sixth most expensive out of all 50 states and Washington D.C.
To compare, infant care in New York is, on average, more expensive than college. It’s the same way in more than 30 other states.
The Economic Policy Institute says it is nearly 94 percent “more per year than in-state tuition for four-year public college.”
New York political activist Jimmy McMillan famously stated “the rent is too damn high,” as part of various campaigns for office, but in comparison, infant care is even higher.
The study claims infant care costs 4.7 percent more than the average rent in the state.
So, how does this add up for an average New York family’s income?
According to the study, infant care for a single child takes up just over 22 percent “of a median family’s income.”
“According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), child care is affordable if it costs no more than seven percent of a family’s income,” the Economic Policy Institute said. “By this standard, only 9.4 percent of New York families can afford infant care.”
For example, an average New York family with an infant and a four-year-old would have to dish out nearly 40 percent of their income on child care.
The Children’s Agenda in Rochester are also reacting to the study. The initiative says there’s need to be more funding to subsidies for surrounding counties so that parent’s in need have the available resources for quality childcare.
“Very young children, its expensive for the provider to offer that care, that’s the highest cost of care for parents. If someone’s been out of work because they had a child and they’re re-entering the workforce, the cost of that, that’s when people talk about $15K a year for a single child care,” said Pete Nabozny, Director at The Children’s Agenda in Rochester.
“A minimum wage worker in New York would need to work full time for 35 weeks, or from January to August, just to pay for child care for one infant,” the study says.
Raising children takes a toll on the bank accounts of many Americans, but it’s harder for New Yorkers when compared to most other states.
MORE | See the whole study here.
The Children’s Agenda advocates for effective policies and drives evidenced-based solutions for the health, education and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health inequities and trauma.