Mt. Vernon Register-News

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March 29, 2013

The cost of raising a child, from birth to age 17

(Continued)

In a report released by Child Care Aware of America, the average yearly cost of a daycare center is $15,000 in the state of Massachusetts and $5,000 in Mississippi, just to give an idea. And to take care of children around 4 years of age, it will cost you anywhere from $3,900 to $11,700 yearly.

In addition, the report stated that today’s daycare costs equal today’s college tuition prices. In fact, when researchers compared the current prices for daycare centers, the prices were higher than tuition amounts for public colleges in 19 U.S. states.

Deeann Puffert, CEO of Child Care Resources of Seattle, says the worst thing about daycare costs is the timing, because most young families with small children haven’t even begun to make their highest salaries yet.

“It’s sticker shock," Puffert said, in an interview with the Seattle Times.

“Young families, who are nowhere near the peak of their earning power, are being asked to shoulder the cost of child care, which is the equivalent of going to the UW (University of Washington) for a year.”

Babysitters and miscellaneous costs

Even the cost of hiring a babysitter has gone up in recent years. If you’re looking to get your neighbor’s teenage daughter to watch your child, offering them anything less than $10 an hour would be insulting, experts say.

And we can’t forget about miscellaneous costs, which are probably the expenses you’re least able to plan for. We’re talking about money needed for anything under the sun, whether it’s for school-related activities, entertainment, socializing, allowance, or whatever your child feels they need to be happy for the moment.

As far as clothing your child, it will run you about 6 percent of the overall costs, with the average amount from birth to age 17 being $14,094.

There’s no doubt that parents really have their financial work cut out for them, so it would be wise to make a conscious decision about having a child, and make as many financial arrangements beforehand that you’re able to.

This approach won’t really save you money when raising your child, since children cost what they cost, but at least you’ll be better prepared.

Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.

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