Childcare Costs Rival Rent, Tuition

Childcare Costs Rival Rent, Tuition

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Childcare in Cook County costs more than public university tuition, and it’s rising rapidly. That’s based on research out today from Illinois Action for Children.

For a two-year-old in Chicago, the cost of childcare has jumped 40 percent since 2000. To put an infant in a daycare center, a typical family can expect to pay nearly a fourth of its income – almost the same as the average rent. Illinois Action for Children spokesman Peter Gray says that puts childcare out of reach for many.

GRAY: For a productive workforce, we have to have solid childcare options. And if we’re pushing the limits of what they can afford for childcare, it’s a disincentive for parents to have careers.

Before-and-after-school care has gone up especially sharply – more then 50 percent in the city.

GRAY: If you look at juvenile delinquency and crime in Chicago, that’s a problem.

We want people to have good options for their kids after school. Illinois Action for Children is pushing the state to beef up its assistance program and make more families eligible.