Raising a child is an expensive endeavor. Between food, housing, and healthcare, a kid can end up costing their middle-income parents an average of $245,000 before they hit age 18. According to a new report from Care.com, parents spend a significant chunk of that cost on hiring other people to watch their kids for them.
The child care website recently surveyed their users about how much they spend on babysitters, daycare, nannies, and other care services. Fifty-four percent of families reported devoting at least 10 percent of their household income to child care, and 20 percent said it claimed a quarter of their income.
If the trend from the past few years is any indication, child care costs are on the rise. When Care.com compared their 2015 figures to data from the national organization Child Care Aware they found that prices are climbing among care providers across the board. In 2013, parents paid an average weekly cost of $180.60 for an after-school sitter and today they’re paying $214.05 for the same service. The average weekly costs of family child care centers have also risen significantly—up to $181 in 2015 from $127 in 2013.
The cost of child care is more relevant to parents today than it was a few decades ago. In nearly half of all two-parent households, both the mother and the father work full-time jobs. That could help explain why Millennials are putting off having kids longer than previous generations. When Care.com asked parents if child care costs delayed the decision to have kids, 21 percent said yes. Among Millennials, that number rose to 26 percent.