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Infant care costs in Virginia weighing on wallets

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Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 3:06 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - It costs a little over $14,000 on average a year for infant care in Virginia, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

That’s close to in-state tuition costs - not including room and other extras - at the University of Virginia.

ReadyKids Charlottesville works with families to set kids up for success. The nonprofit says child care is expensive because group care involves reliable, trained adults, and the highest cost is paying their salary.

“We want people to be well-paid because they’re doing very hard work and we want them to stay in the position, and so, unfortunately, it is really hard to pass on those costs to families because, usually, when they have young children, they’re at the beginning of their earnings, and so it’s a mismatch in our system,” ReadyKids Director of Early Learning Gail Esterman said.

Virginia has expanded eligibility for child care subsidy and if you qualify you can receive government assistance to pay for childcare for up to a year. United Way and Child Care Aware of Virginia also helps families find affordable options.

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