Cost of living on the rise across US and child care costs reflect that

"As rents and child care costs march steadily higher, keeping up with these rising costs may be one of many factors keeping parents up at night."

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Raising a child can be costly. But recent data shows that monthly child care costs nearly as much as monthly rents in the United States. With the cost of living on the rise, balancing the cost of rent and raising a family can be a challenge.

With 35 percent of the population being renters and a third of then have children, HotPads – an apartment and home search platform – discovered that the average monthly rental payment and monthly cost of child care were roughly the same. Taking data from’s Care Index and the Census Bureau, it concluded that nationally the cost of child care, both at-home and in-center, is $1,385 a month, while the media rent payment is $1,500 per month.

“As rents and child care costs march steadily higher, keeping up with these rising costs may be one of many factors keeping parents up at night,” Joshua Clark, economist at HotPads, said. “Rent appreciation has slowed from recent highs, but as the economic recovery matures, child care costs will likely continue to rise. For renters with young children in child care, that means any potential savings from softer rent appreciation could quickly be eroded by higher childcare expenses.”

The rise in rent is in part due to 8 millions homes being lost to foreclosure during the “housing burst,” according to Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017. And with the median rent increasing 2.3 percent this past year, the average cost of child care increased right with it at 1.6 percent, as reported by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

During its research, HotPads also determined that less expensive rental markets, such as Pittsburgh, Memphis and Louisville, had a higher monthly child care cost, while more expensive rental markets, like Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose, spent less on monthly child care by $180.

As the trend is predicted to continue, the balance between rent and child care cost will nationally affect many renters in the times to come.


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Ashley is an editor, social media content manager and writer at NationofChange. Before joining NoC, she was a features reporter at The Daily Breeze – a local newspaper in Southern California – writing a variety of stories on current topics including politics, the economy, human rights, the environment and the arts. Ashley is a transplant from the East Coast calling Los Angeles home.