EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A new study from lendingtree.com shows that childcare continues to be a very large expense for families in both Texas and New Mexico.
The study looked at what percentage of a family’s weekly income went to childcare costs and found both states are among the most expensive in the nation.
One important note, the study only looked at families who DO pay for childcare to rank the states. The researchers claim that only about half of U.S. families report that they pay others to watch their children.
As you might expect, many families report that they rely on other family members to care for children when the parents are at work or unavailable.
But among those who do have childcare costs, New Mexico proved to be a tough place. Families in the Land of Enchantment spend about 22-percent of their weekly average income on childcare costs, which ranked third in the entire country.
Meanwhile, Texas households spend approximately 20.4-percent of their income on childcare, which was the seventh-highest mark for any state.
“The demand for quality childcare is enormous and always will be,” said LendingTree chief credit analyst Matt Schulz. “That allows top childcare facilities to charge higher rates for their services, knowing that people will often be willing to pay more for the quality they provide.”
The most affordable states for childcare were South Dakota and New Hampshire, where families spend 11.6-percent of their income on outside help to watch their children.
According to the study, the average family in the United States earns $1,650 weekly, with $293 or 17.8-percent going to childcare costs if they do not other options available such as a family member who can help or a free daycare center nearby.