February 14, 2006
Minnesota has the most expensive day care in the nation. On average, single parent families with median incomes put 40% of their income toward day care. Two-parent families put 15% toward day care. And you wonder why we have no interest in day care.
The article blames part of the problem on government regulation. State law requires at least one teacher for every seven toddlers and one teacher for every four infants (the ratio is 1:10 for pre-schoolers, which are considered 31 months to kindergarten, a fact the article neglects to mention). Apparently they've never tried to supervise seven toddlers. We could certainly make child care cheaper, but it would also put quite a dent in the quality. Imagine what kind of care your kid gets in South Carolina or Georgia where one teacher can supervise 16 children.
It seems to me that if the state is going to have such high standards, which are good, they should also be willing to help out with the funding. Yet childcare assistance was cut 21% since 2003.
A 4-year-old in day care can cost an average of $763 a month, and it will cost more for a toddler (16-31 months) and much more for an infant (6 weeks to 16 months).
And this is why I'm going to be a stay at home dad.