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Parenting

Dave Ramsey is caught off guard by the exorbitant cost of daycare when caller asks for advice

"I mean, are they going to Harvard?"

cost of childcare; child care prices; child care crisis; Dave Ramsey daycare; parents respond to Dave Ramsey
Photo of Dave Ramsey|Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons – Photo of daycare|Yan Krukau via Canva

Financial expert Dave Ramsey caught off guard by today's cost of childcare

Dave Ramsey is a financial guru who is famous for creating the "envelope method" to help stay on a budget and pay off debt. Churches across America have had him come in and help their congregation with becoming debt free, so it's safe to say he's built a solid following.

People generally find his advice really helpful and swear by his methods. But in a recent episode of his podcast, The Ramsey Show, it would appear the price of daycare in America might have proven to be a bit out of his depth. A caller sought Ramsey's show out for help to figure out how to save money as he and his wife have found themselves in a cycle of borrowing money to make ends meet.

Ramsey is confused when he learns the caller makes approximately $180K a year but the confusion turns to bewildered when the man explains childcare eats up $80k annually.


Once the man adds in student loan payments, mortgage and basic living expenses, the couple struggles. Ramsey nor his cohosts seem to understand how or why the family pays that much for two children to attend daycare. The financial guru even tosses out that the couple should "find free summer camps." Ramsey's suggestions were so inaccessible that parents flocked to the comments to tell him that he may need to sit this one out.

The cost of childcare is directly related to the cost of living in the state in which you reside. Generally childcare is cheaper in southern states, but even though this is true, daycare for my child averaged just under $14K per year in the state of North Carolina. This wasn't the fanciest daycare in the small town we lived in at the time, but it was safe and developmentally appropriate, both things that were important to me and my husband. The price tag was also for one child and did not include extended care hours.

@daveramsey

This couple is spending $80,000 a year for child care. #childcare #daycare #moneytok

But the caller needed extended care and was paying for two children to attend the childcare facility. A 2022 annual report from Care.com reveals that 67% of parents spend 20% or more of their household income on childcare costs. This is staggering when compared to the 7% the US Department of Health and Human Services says marks the affordable threshold.

Care.com ranked Washington D.C. as the most expensive place for daycare, parents of infants pay about $419 per week for one child, while in Arkansas, parents can expect to pay $129 per week for daycare. The idea of free summer camp would be laughable if it wasn't something families desperately need. But Ramsey must not be aware that there isn't a such thing as free summer camp unless you qualify for a low income subsidy program. The lower cost summer programs are still pretty pricy, especially if you have more than one child and others only offer child care for a few hours.

It's no wonder parents had a lot to say, some making their own videos to show the financial consultant exactly how parents spend large quantities of money on childcare.

"Dave Ramsey should get on three-way calls with childcare facilities to find his callers cheaper alternatives," one person writes.

"Free summer camp?! Where? We even had to pay a few hundred for half-day day camp at the YMCA for my kid," another commenter questions.

"I’m in Massachusetts and the average around us is $400-500 per kid per week for full time daycare. It’s not affordable," one mom explains.

@sheisapaigeturner

There is a childcare crisis in our country. The cost of childcare is astronomical. The cost of childcare is typically the biggest financial burden for a family with young children. The cost of childcare is rising at a faster rate than any other expense for families. People like Dave, pretending that this isn’t happening is wild to me because it is documented that this is indeed the cost of daycare. Dave should not be giving advice unless he’s well-versed in the topic. ##daveramsey##childcarecrisis##childcare ##daycare##daycarelife##millennialmom##workingmom

Paige, a mom that lives in Massachusetts took to social media to explain that it did in fact cost $20K-$26K a year in her state to send a child to daycare. In the caption of her video she explains in part, "There is a childcare crisis in our country. The cost of childcare is astronomical. The cost of childcare is typically the biggest financial burden for a family with young children. The cost of childcare is rising at a faster rate than any other expense for families."

Maybe this is news to Ramsey, but to people raising children outside of rural areas, the cost of the caller's childcare makes sense. There is a childcare crisis in America and many parents are finding themselves in an insurmountable hardship with seemingly no end in sight.

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