A lot of parents have no idea such a huge cost is coming — until they have no other choice.

Wait, it costs HOW MUCH!?

We all know that babies are expensive. I mean, I don't even have kids and I know this. Want to be able to feed, clothe, and maybe even bathe your baby? Better pay up. But there's one price tag that takes a lot of new parents completely by surprise: the cost of day care.



Hold up, whaaaaat? Yep, up to $24,000 per year. Granted, that's on the highest end of the spectrum, but the state averages are equally upsetting. Full-time infant care in Washington, D.C., averages $21,948 per year; in Massachusetts, the average is $16,549; in New York, it's $14,508.


That's Lynette Farga, who runs the organization Child Care Aware.

You may be thinking, "Wow, day care's gotta be almost more expensive than college!" BINGO. In many states, it is.


Holy crap. What does all this mean for moms and dads? And for anyone thinking about becoming a mom or dad at any point in, well, ever? In some cases, it means folks are having to quit their job to stay home with the baby because the cost of day care is higher than the parent's salary.


Tiffany's a mom who had to quit her job at Walmart to take care of her second daughter.

In other cases, the cost of childcare means folks are having to stay at home with their baby and stay up late into the night working.


Say whaaaaat?

This is not OK. The cost of childcare is not okay.

What are we going to do about it? Organizations like Child Care Aware advocate a better, more affordable, national childcare system. And thanks to their efforts and those of many other similar organizations, President Obama even addressed the cost of childcare in his 2015 State of the Union address.

Finally, the issue of childcare affordability is on the map.

To hear more from the parents featured here, check out the full story on "PBS NewsHour" in the video below:

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