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Child care costs in Nebraska continue rising amid inflation

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The cost of raising and supporting children has increased dramatically in recent years.

On Tuesday, early childhood advocates, city officials, child care providers, teachers and community members came together to address issues of affordability, accessibility and labor ‘work.

Lincoln Vital Signs reports that the average annual cost of child care in Nebraska for infants was just under $10,000 in 2019. It nearly doubled in 2021, leaving many families with tough decisions to make. .

“We know that with inflation and other high costs, parents just aren’t able to afford a high quality education, most parents aren’t,” said Anne Brandt, executive director by Lincoln Littles.

It’s also important to keep in mind the annual median income of child care workers in Lincoln.

They earn less than $23,000 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“You can practically make more money doing almost anything other than taking care of our kids,” Brandt said.

Betsy Tonniges, owner of a South Lincoln daycare center, says the price hike is tied to state labor.

“We’ve had to increase teachers’ salaries by up to 25-30% to stay competitive in our unemployment market,” she said.

Child care advocates say the whole community needs to work together and seek collaborations between the public and private sectors to find a solution.

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