By Lynne Adkins

By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Thinking that college may be the largest child-related cost? Don’t forget daycare.

A nationwide study suggests that daycare can rival or surpass the cost of some college educations. Shawn Towey, Childcare Policy Coordinator for Public Citizens for Children and Youth agrees. Childcare takes a huge bite out of the family budget.

“The median cost of care in a center in the five county area ranges from about 11,000 in Philadelphia to 13,000 in Montgomery County,” she said. “It’s a bit more in Chester County and that’s for an infant.

It’s easy to understand how daycare can cost more than housing in many family budgets.

“We looked at a familiy of four with say two children who were young — one infant and a preschooler — the average cost of care could range from 24-percent of a family’s income to 60-percent.”

She says one reason is Pennsylvania’s requirement that there be one teacher for every four infants — that cost ads up quickly.

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