U.S. Parents Are Sweating And Hustling To Pay For Child Care

Life is pretty busy for Mike Buchmann, a high school art teacher and football coach, and his wife Shannon, who works as an assistant controller at a small private college near their home in Mishawaka, Ind. Everyone is out the door by 7:45 each morning: Mike shuttles their two older kids to before-school care, while Shannon drops off their 14-month-old at a church-based child care center before they head off to their full-time jobs.

After their mortgage — which is about 20 percent of their combined take-home pay — child care is the family’s biggest expense. In fact, the cost of their youngest child’s day care alone — $660 a month — is more than half the family’s monthly mortgage payment.