D.C. has highest daycare costs in nation, study finds

A study says the D.C. area is among the most expensive in the country for children's daycare.

A study by a national childcare association shows that parents in most states are paying more for childcare than they would for a public college education, but the District tops the list. Here, it costs almost $20,000 per year to send a child to daycare.

Parents interviewed Wednesday know these costs all too well.

District resident Toni Cox worries about the high daycare costs for her 3-year-old daughter. "It is a huge expense. It's like having a car note without the car," Cox said.

At $700 a month, Cox is on the low end of the spectrum.

“That doesn't surprise me, everything is expensive in the District,” she said.

According to a recent study, Virginia has the lowest daycare fees in the region with $8800 per year per infant on average. In Maryland it's $12,400 and in the District, it jumps up to just over $18,000, making D.C. the most expensive place in the country for daycare.

Capitol Kids owner Helen Marinello says her clients pay around $19,000 a year. She says that allows her to give the 60 children the best care possible and keeps her business afloat. She says her clients' fees typically go up 2 percent every year to cover the rise in fixed costs.

One stay-at-home mother said she is sending her child to daycare next year and worries about the pressure that will put on her family’s pocketbook.

Not only do parents have to deal with rising costs. They are also faced with more competition to get their child into daycare. In fact, the daycare owner we spoke with says she has several names on the waitlist of women who aren't even pregnant yet. The wait is usually a year and a half.

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Daycare costs in D.C. DC - ChildCareInAmericaFacts Daycare costs in Virginia Virginia - Childcare in America Facts Daycare costs in Maryland Maryland - Childcare in America Facts