Jul 7, 2023 - News

Colorado child care costs soar to fifth-highest in the U.S.

Average annual cost of center-based care for a toddler, by state
Data: Annie E. Casey Foundation; Map: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

Here's an alarming number that comes as no surprise to parents in Colorado.

  • The average cost of annual child care in the state is $16,333, according to a recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
  • That amounts to 14% of a married couple's median income and 41% of a single parent's income.

The intrigue: Colorado's child care costs are the 5th highest in the nation among states and Washington, D.C.

Why it matters: It's so expensive that parents are quitting jobs and staying home with their children. That's particularly true for Latino and Black families and lower-income households.

The big picture: Child care costs have increased by 220% since 1990, outpacing inflation, Axios' Astrid Galván writes.

  • Infant care is even more burdensome — it costs more than in-state tuition at a public university in 34 states and D.C.

Go deeper: Average cost of child care hit $10,600 in 2021

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