Indiana Ranks 8th for Least Affordable Infant Care

By WISE Web Admin
By Megan Trent
By Maureen Mespell

December 7, 2010 Updated Dec 7, 2010 at 11:44 PM EDT

INDIANA (Indiana's NewsCenter) - It comes as no surprise to working parents - a new study ranks Indiana eighth in the nation for least affordable infant care.

The study by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies says Hoosiers pay around $10,000 per year for full time infant care. Massachusetts came in at number one with an average annual cost of $18,000.

But local child care providers say they're committed to quality education, and sometimes that means paying a little more.

Sara Parker-Milligan with East Wayne Head Start says, "Early childhood used to be looked at as just a babysitting field. So, was it that important that children just go to daycare and just play? Where children now, we are focusing so much on what the children are learning. These are children's early years in school really. I think we have sometimes struggled to let the community know that we are an education field. We are teaching children. We have our degrees."

While the cost may be high for parents, providers say don't think it means your infant's teachers are rich. At Head Start, teachers make between eight and thirteen dollars an hour. Although Head Start is federally funded, those numbers aren't significantly different from what most teachers in private child care centers earn.

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