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There’s only one place in the US that pays more for child care than Mass.


Massachusetts trails only Washington, D.C., in child care expenses in the United States, according to an analysis by the progressive think tank Economic Policy Institute.

The average annual cost of infant care for one child in Massachusetts is $17,062, or $1,422 per month, the study found.

That’s $6,360 more expensive than in-state tuition for a four-year public college, the institute said.

Massachusetts joins Washington, D.C., and 32 states as places where day care is more expensive than college.

In the nation’s capital, the average annual cost of infant care is $22,631, or $1,886 per month.

The institute called for reforms, saying child care is unaffordable for many families. Infant care costs for one child in Massachusetts would take up nearly one-fifth of the typical family’s income, the institute said.


For low-wage workers, paying for child care is essentially out of the question.

“A minimum-wage worker in Massachusetts would need to work full time for 43 weeks, or from January to October, just to pay for child care for one infant,” the institute said.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at