Illinois parents know that college is expensive, and many plan to save for college while their children are young. For many of these same families, the high cost of daycare in Illinois — which can surpass college tuition — is a hidden shock that upsets family finances. Learn the high costs of hiring an Illinois childcare provider now to prepare yourself for parenting.
What Does a Year of College Cost in Illinois?
2015-2016 annual tuition and fees at Illinois public universities range from a low of $10,924 for a year at Governors State to $20,630 for a year at the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign (for students in Business, Chemistry and Life Sciences, and Engineering programs).
University of Illinois campuses are the most expensive public schools in Illinois, with no program below $14,600 for the academic year 2015-2016. Students who can attend other in-state public schools will be rewarded with less expensive tuition.
How Much Does a Year of Child Care Cost in Illinois?
In the U.S., daycare costs range from $5,000 at the low end to $16,000 at the high end. While Washington D.C., New York, and Massachusetts had the highest childcare costs, Illinois costs were well above the average.
Illinois daycare cost an average of $12,964 in 2015, according to Child Care Aware America’s (CCA) 2015 report. For the same period, the average cost of a year of public college in Illinois was $12,770.
Parents of infants pay the highest costs for their children’s care while childcare costs decrease as children reach school age. Single mothers are also unfairly burdened with child care costs; CCA found that single mothers could expect to spend 52 percent of their income paying for child care.
For single parents, there is simply no choice between staying home and caring for their children or seeking employment to provide for those children.
Recognizing that parents must work and pay for childcare, the state does offer some cost-sharing arrangements for low-income parents (including single parents). These allow parents to make sliding scale payments to daycare centers in Illinois.
Not only does quality child care give families a safe option for their children, it benefits children by increasing engagement and learning. While state measures to reduce child care costs are a start, Illinois needs to do more to make child care more affordable for all its families.