Study: Minnesota ranks fourth among most expensive states for childcare

This won’t come as a shock to parents out there, but daycare is expensive.

Some new research has shed light on just how much it costs for childcare in Minnesota and it’s putting some parents in a tough spot.

According to numbers from the Economic Policy Institute, Minnesota is one of the most expensive states for childcare. That cost is forcing some families to make difficult choices.

Summer living is stress for when you’re little, but for parents, those costs can be all-consuming.

“They’re both not in school and then we have to pay in home childcare for both,” said Yvette Scanlon, a mother. “Summers are a little more flexible because I’m a teacher and get to keep them over the summer, but I know that’s not an option for a lot of teachers or professions.”

That parent to-do list includes daycare and how to pay for it.

“You want the best for your child, so you kind of have to balance, do I pay a high price and get the best care for my child or is that something I’m willing to skimp on,” Scanlon said.

Scanlon’s two little ones are under the age of three and she says the cost of daycare has figured into her family’s long-term planning.

A study from the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit research group, found that Minnesota is the fourth most expensive state when it comes to infant care.

They found it costs families an average of $1,341 a month per child for infant care which is 30 percent more than the average rent in the state.

“You have all these pockets you have to put your money into and daycare is one of them,” said Peg Keenan, the executive director of ICA Food Shelf.

Local food shelves like ICA in Minnetonka are seeing the impact of those rising childcare costs as more families come in.

“The costs really add up, so you’re having to shift your load. You only have so much money, so do you get the job first of all? And if you have the job, how do you make ends meet?”

They say they’ll be there to help those families trying to balance it all.

“It’s expensive,” Keenan said. “It’s expensive when wages haven’t caught up with expenses.”

There is help out there from the state of Minnesota to cover daycare costs for those who qualify.

You can find those resources at the Minnesota Department of Human Services website.