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Oregon Tops List of Least Affordable States for Child Care

Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While the ever-rising cost of college grabs all the headlines, many families are finding that child care can be even more costly than higher education.

In fact, while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers 10 percent of family income for child care as a benchmark for affordability, the average cost of full-time care for one infant ranges from 7 to 19 percent of state median income for a married couple with kids, according to a report released this week by Child Care Aware of America, a nonprofit whose mission is to help families access quality, affordable child care.

The financial picture is grimmer for single parents. In all 50 states, the average cost of center-based infant care exceeds 25 percent of median income for single parents.

To rank states by child care affordability, the report, "Parents and the High Cost of Child Care 2013," used Census Bureau data and survey data from the Child Care Resource and Referral State Networks.

Oregon is the least-affordable state for center-based infant care, in which its average cost is 18.6 percent of the state's median income for married couples with kids, which is $72,226. Meanwhile, the dollar cost of center-based infant care is highest in Massachusetts, where the average annual cost of center-based infant care is $16,500.

Click here to see how your state ranks according to the affordability of infant care. You can also check out your state's average for tuition and fees at a public college, and the average child care center costs for 4-year-old's and school-age children.

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