EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) – When it comes to caring for your child, Wisconsin is one of 33 states where child care costs are higher than a four-year college degree.
The Economic Policy Institute found Wisconsin ranks 20th in affordability..
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers child care affordable if it costs 7% or less of a family’s income. In Wisconsin, the price tag is more than 18% for just one child.
Cassi Stoeklen, the owner of the Learning Tree Child Care Center in Eau Claire, said part of the reason is the cost of living. As average rent payments rise, so does the cost of running a business. Day cares also need to cover licensing and certification costs.
Stoeklen said higher quality child care is costly for both parents and the business.
“We always hire teachers with education and those teachers you have pay more if you want to keep them,” Stoeklen said. “We just like to provide good quality care and provide what you need to have good quality teachers.
Stoeklen believes the benefits of day care outweigh the price, saying it helps kids build social skills and give them a leg up in their education before school.