Study: Child Care In Minn. Among Most Expensive

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota ranks among the least affordable states for child care, according to a new national study, and those high prices coupled with the recession have resulted in more parents receiving state subsidies for the service.

The study by the National Association of Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies found that Minnesota ranks as the fifth least affordable state for prekindergarten child care, after New York, Montana, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.

And the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that’s after the annual cost of infant care in the state dropped 5 percent to $12,900 and the cost for a preschooler fell 4 percent to $9,900.

The study included only the state’s 1,500 center-based providers and didn’t include the more than 11,000 in-house care providers, which are often less expensive.

Families earning less than half of the state’s median income are eligible for child care assistance from the Department of Human Service. That includes parents like Nyapai Kek of St. Paul, a single mother of three.

Kek, whose youngest child is 5 months old, said she doesn’t know how she would manage without the assistance. She recently found a job, but while she was unemployed and on bed rest during her pregnancy, it was helpful to be able to have her older children in day care.

The number of Minnesota children receiving public assistance for child care has increased 13 percent since 2006, according to the state Department of Human Services. On average, families receive about $900 per month. Last year, the families of about 33,700 children in Minnesota on average received monthly subsidies.

Minnesota is among the most expensive for child care partly because the industry is highly regulated by the state, said Ann McCully, executive director of Minnesota Child Care. For example, Minnesota requires a lower ratio of staff to children than other states.

Without assistance, parents who feel they can’t afford child care are stuck making a hard choice between quality and cost, McCully said. Some might be able to negotiate for cheaper rates or shorter hours with care providers, but others might turn to unlicensed care.

“That’s not necessarily bad,” she said. “You might want your child to stay with a grandparent or sister. But it’s when it’s not a true choice that we worry.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • justaxnspend

    And if you think they are expensive now…….What would happen if they were
    unionized !!??

    • Facts

      I agree with your statement.

      But once again, WCCO is misleading. They do have in the body that this study is only on Center Based Daycare, so the whole story is only about 12.5% of the daycares in Minnesota.

  • Marie

    Thats centers for you, use in home daycare far cheaper and much better than centers. Lots more one on one. My kids were in a center and I am so glad I switched to in home daycare.

  • Gavin

    well minnesota is definitely a blue state and the taxes on everything are astronomical, so childcare is bound to be. thats why dayton has his tax shelter over in the dakotas.

    • Sam

      Yep. It’s all about Democrats (nevermind that Dayton is the first Democratic governor in decades)… oh, wait, Montana’s not a blue state. Why is it higher on the list than Minnesota? And Wisconsin has been creeping into the red, with more and more tax cuts for big businesses, trying to break unions, etc… Certainly that should have taken them off of the top of the list.

  • Jorja Blue

    I love this state we live in! If you don’t feel like taking care of your kids you can drop them off and have everyone else pay! I love this system!

    • waste

      Remember that single mother of 8 children who lost daycare during the shutdown and then lost her home to the tornado?

      She was a single mother of 8 kids. She received $43,200 a year for child care assistance. She received the assistance so she could work a part time job. How much do you think that job paid?

      It would take over 10 tax payers, making $50,000 per year to cover just this one Minnesota citizen’s daycare subsidy.

      And now the Governor wants to unionize daycares to payback his campaign donors. All you working parents and tax payers just wait until the union and the governor start setting the subsidies.

      What a waste!

    • Jorja Blue

      It would be helpful for me to have free child care to.

  • pat

    What does McCully mean by this statement:
    “Without assistance, parents who feel they can’t afford child care are stuck making a hard choice between quality and cost, McCully said.”

    So if the parent needs to go to a lower cost daycare, the quality of the daycare is automatically lower?

    Really? That’s what the “Executive Director of Minnesota Child Care” feels.

    My children went to an affordable in home daycare after going to an expensive center. Let me tell you, the inhome daycare had a MUCH higher quality than the center did.

  • Kevin

    Is that why the tax payers of MN are paying for the child care of over 37,000 children? Thank the Lord they will be Union soon….that will drive the cost down while the services will soar……

  • Brent

    If you read through the article again, you’ll see that this has nothing to do with red state/blue state, union/non union, or republican/democrat. The writer of this article is comparing expensive private daycare options in Minnesota, with ALL day care options in other states… which isn’t a fair comparison. If the lower cost in-home day care options in Minnesota were included, Minnesota would not be that high on the list. People need to read more carefully to make sure they understand, before they start the blame game. And the article writer should not be comparing apples to oranges.

  • Bill Clintons Cigar

    Keep having babies you can not afford…I love paying for them…..could you send the mothers over to clean my windows in retun?

  • ToddlerTeacher

    It’s nothing about your children, it’s all about MAKING MONEY on your children and using/abusing people who take care of them. Turnover in our field is outstanding, even in so called low ratio centers. If you pay double more, your children still won’t see a penny or better care. If your child is happy and learns a lot @ center, it’s nothing about how much you pay. It means your teacher stretches herself beyond and above her human abilities (for max. &12.00 hr). And there will be never a Union, just wait and see.

  • Brenda

    Why are we taxpayers paying for child care while this woman lays in bed, unemployed? This is outrageous. Our hard earned money is going for this kind of garbage. This is an incredible abuse and I can’t believe that she receieved state money for daycare for her older kids. People who work and try to make a living can’t get any daycare assistance but here we are giving money away to someone laying in bed. This isn’t about daycare costs, it is really about the abuse of the system for daycare assistance.

    • jm

      @Brenda,you are right on. She is single, unemployed and knocked up with her third child. Cut these free loaders off.

  • justaxnspend

    Now you are talking !!!…..We have to stop the abuse of the system, you can sure bet the abusers will not stop It !!!!!

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