Child care costs are killing us

The cost of putting two children in child care exceeded median annual rent payments in every state last year, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies. These parents find ways to get by -- but it's a constant struggle.

LaShonda Washington
Age: 28
Hometown: Flowood, Miss.
Annual cost of child care: $4,800
Cost of care as a percentage of annual income: 20%

I'm a single mom and I have two children so I moved back in with my parents. I get a day care voucher from the state, but I still have to work two jobs to cover the cost and buy groceries. Other bills don't get paid and my credit is shot right now.

My daughter is in child care full time now. But as soon as school started, I had to take my son out of the after-school program because I couldn't afford that $550 anymore. Now, my 80-year-old grandmother watches my son when he gets home -- or more like he watches her.

By Jessica Dickler - Last updated September 22 2011: 6:03 PM ET
Child care costs: What do you pay?

In Massachusetts, the cost of child care for a two-parent, middle-class family averages 16% of their annual income. In Mississippi, costs average 7.3%. See how your state ranks.

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