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Cost of child care outpaces inflation, research shows

With inflation at a 40-year high, most families are feeling the pinch of higher prices at the grocery store, on their heating bill and when they pay rent. But, as Market Watch reported, there’s one expense that’s grown even faster in recent years: child care. 

The growth in child care prices exceeded the annual rate of inflation in 2020 and 2019, according to a new report from Child Care Aware, an advocacy and research organization. The average annual cost of day care for infants hit just over $12,300 in 2020, an increase of  $1,000 over the prior year. 

Inflation, which measures how fast prices increase over time, hit an annual rate of 7.5% in January, which means that households are spending about $250 more per month on goods and services than they were in 2019, as Market Watch cited, when inflation was about 2.1%.

Meanwhile, over the past three decades, child care costs have accelerated faster than other basic family expenses such as housing and groceries, and incomes haven’t kept pace, according to research from First Five Years Fund, a group that advocates for affordable child care.