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Study: Minnesota is 4th most expensive state for childcare

The average annual cost of infant care in the state tops $16,000.

Minnesota is one of the most expensive states in the U.S. to pay for childcare, with the average annual cost of infant care standing at $16,087.

That's according to research by the Economic Policy Institute, which says the average weekly cost of infant childcare in the state is $1,341.

That's high enough for a ranking of 4th out of the 50 states in a list probably unsurprisingly topped by the District of Columbia.

Childcare for a 4-year-old is also hefty, at $12,252 a year or $1,021 a month in Minnesota.

For perspective, the EPI says that infant care in the state costs 43.3 percent more than in-state tuition at a four-year public college, as well as 30.8 percent more than the average rent.

There will be variances to the numbers of course. Childcare in Greater Minnesota is typically cheaper than you'd find in the Twin Cities, albeit average incomes tend to be lower outside the metro too.

Nonetheless it means working parents face a difficult decision to make over whether they should put their child in daycare or whether one of them should take a break from work.

The study found that infant care for one child would take up 21.2 percent of a median family's income in Minnesota, while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services classes childcare as only affordable if it costs no more than 7 percent of a family's income.

"By this standard, only 5.8 percent of Minnesota families can afford infant care," the EPI said.

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The situation becomes even more challenging for families with two children, given that childcare for an infant and a 4-year-old averages out at $28,338– or 60.7 percent more than the average Minnesota rent.

But despite the hefty cost taken on by families, childcare workers themselves are underpair.

A median childcare worker in Minnesota would have to spend 72.6 percent of their own earnings to put their own child in infant care, while nationally childcare workers' families are twice as likely to live in poverty compared to the median.

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