Rising Daycare Costs | VideoJessica Roose | 10/22/2012
Lee Winterberg and his wife have four little ones, three in daycare.
"We roughly spend about 9-10 percent of our income on daycare," he said.
He knows that he`s lucky to be able to afford to have his children in a safe place while he and his wife are at work.
According to a new report, families are paying an average of over $8,000 a year to have an infant in a care center. Which can be a struggle for low income families.
"If you`re spending the majority of your income on housing and childcare it leaves very little room for the other necessitates in life," said Renee Stromme with the North Dakota Women`s Network.
The state offers some assistance to those who qualify. A family of three earning less than $30,000 can receive up to $610 a month in assistance. With the average family getting about $375.
"The department has been aware of the rate changes in the child care rates throughout the state. We conduct market rate surveys and we do those every two years and that is required by federal law," said Director of Economic Assistance Carol Cartledge.
Stromme is hoping the state will do more in the upcoming legislative session to help those families.
"Childcare is the top priority for many many families. It`s really hard to be a worker if you leave your kid somewhere and do not feel comfortable and we want that quality and also to make it affordable for every family."
Families utilizing the assistance program right now have an average co-payment of about $185.
For more information on the childcare assistance program, go to http://www.nd.gov/dhs/services/financialhelp/childcare.html.
We`ll hear from a daycare provider about the possible reasons childcare is on the rise and about the shortage of available care in the state coming up later this week.