Child care costs vary from state to state, even county to county. But there is one common thread across the country it's really expensive. Both parents and child care providers are struggling to make ends meet with the rising cost of child care. Raising a kid in America is expensive.
The cost of child care has nearly tripled since 1990, which is more than the overall rate of inflation. The price families pay varies from state to state, even county to county. But in many places, it costs more to send a toddler to day care than it does to pay for housing, transportation or even college tuition. There is good reason child care is so expensive it's a very involved, labor-driven industry.
But the tension around the cost of child care in the U.S. really boils down to who foots the bill. In countries like Denmark and Sweden, the government covers much of the child care costs. In America, the costs are generally shouldered by parents and providers.
Federal child care funding in the U.S. has been in a perpetual ebb and flow in response to cultural values. During World War II, the federal government came the closest it's ever been to having universal child care. Now, with the 2020 election coming up, some candidates are making it a priority.