Daycare Dilemmas: Wisconsin Centers Among Most Expensive in Nation
Daycare Funding Hard on Northland Families
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It’s no secret, child care is expensive in Minnesota.
The average center based day care costs $11,000 a year.
A daycare in Wisconsin also struggles financially.
We visited a daycare in Superior that costs $200 a week and the struggle families have affording the service is real.
Twenty years ago, Happy Hearts Daycare started off with 23 kids.
“We’ve had a few drop off. County funding, for example, was hard on some of them so the parents could not afford to come,” said Happy Hearts owner, Beth Jennings.
That number has only increased slightly.
“When the economy kind of topped out, we dropped a lot of kids. A lot of parents lost their jobs and it was hard,” said Jennings.
One reason centers are more expensive is because they require a lower child to adult ratio.
“We can have eight babies with a teacher and assistant. We can have six toddlers with one teacher if they are over two. If they are three and above, we can have 10 for one teacher,” said Jennings.
The early years are among the toughest for parents to find a way to afford child care.
Jennings said you need two incomes now a days to afford child care.
Parents may start to feel it isn’t worth it.
“Some of these people pay more than a mortgage a month,” Jennings explained.
Putting more than one child in day care really starts to tip the scales which has parents stopping at one child.
Although it may seem like there is no affordable option, Jennings tries to help as much as she can.
“I try to offer a little discount if they have more than one child who comes, but it’s hard,” Jennings expressed.
Paying for staff and meals is a big expense she needs to cover.
As for the future, Jennings believes it will only get harder for many to afford quality child care.
“It’s too bad, I don’t know what is going to change,” Jennings said.