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Cost Of Childcare In Colorado All Over The Map

Vicki Watkins
Flickr - Creative Commons

The cost of childcare in Colorado is wildly different depending on where you live, according to a new report by The Women’s Foundation of Colorado.

The report calculated the price of childcare compared to the median income in each Colorado county for two categories of working parents: single mothers and married couples.

"Colorado is the fifth-least affordable state in the country for center-based care for infants and for 4-year-olds."

Stacy Buchanan is a researcher for Qualistar and was involved in the report. She said they found single mothers in the state spend substantially more of their income on childcare than married couples.

“At the statewide level for an infant in a childcare center, married couples with children are spending 15 percent of their family income for that care,” Buchanan said. “And for single mother families that number is 49 percent -- nearly half of their income.”

The report found Routt County is the most expensive for married couples, where child care costs almost 17 percent of the median income. Gunnison is the most expensive for single mothers, where a whopping 85 percent of the median household income is spent on child care.

Colorado is the fifth-least affordable state in the country for center-based care for infants and for 4-year-olds.

Costs are so high that licensed child care in Colorado is more expensive than in-state tuition and fees at a public four-year university, according to the College Board.

The report is the first in a three-part series from The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Qualistar Colorado and the Colorado Children’s Campaign that will explore the affordability of care statewide.

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