Report: Infant child care in Wisconsin costs more than college tuition

Source: MGN
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MADISON, Wis. (AP/WMTV) -- A new report shows child care providers charge more than federal subsidies provided to low-income parents in most states across the U.S.

The report, released Tuesday by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, focuses on the Child Care Development Fund, an $8.2 billion block grant.

The average cost of infant child care in Wisconsin is $12,597 annually, according to the Economic Policy Institute.It breaks down to $1,047 per month. Wisconsin is ranked 20th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia for most expensive infant care.

Wisconsin is one out of 33 states and the District of Columbia where infant child care costs more than undergraduate tuition. According to the UW-Madison, the cost for tuition and fees for a year of attendance costs $10,555.52 for Wisconsin residents enrolled as undergraduates.

The report states infant care for one child would take up 18.5% of a median family’s income in Wisconsin.According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), child care is affordable if it costs no more than 7% of a family’s income. By this standard, only 6.5% of Wisconsin families can afford infant care.

The federal recommendation is that states provide payment rates at the 75th percentile, which allows eligible families to access 3 out of 4 providers without paying more out of pocket. But the report shows most states set their rates much lower.

The Administration for Children and Families says it has placed 33 states on a corrective action plan to ensure they're complying with equal access requirements. ACF says it will provide states with training and guidance.

To view the full Economic Policy Report, click here