ScoreCard Research

The Penny Hoarder’s Survey Finds 1 Out of 4 Americans Have Gone Into Debt to Afford Child Care


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Oct. 2, 2018) More than 25 percent of Americans have gone into debt to afford child care, according to a new survey by The Penny Hoarder.

The Penny Hoarder surveyed parents with children under the age of six to find out how the costs of child care have affected their financial well-being.

  • 19% of parents have quit their job due to the high cost of child care
  • 74% of parents were surprised by the high cost of child care
  • 79% of parents did not understand how much child care would cost before having a baby
  • 81% of parents cannot pay down debt due to the cost of child care
  • 63% of parents are often overwhelmed by the cost of child care; however, less than 20% receive any form of government assistance
  • 85% of parents say they had not saved for child care before having a child
  • 35% of parents we surveyed said they spent $1,000 or more on monthly child care expenses

“Housing affordability is something you hear about a lot, but what we found is there is a huge problem in this country when it comes to the cost of child care,” says The Penny Hoarder’s data journalist, Alex Mahadevan. “This is a poll of our readers, but it mirrors Census data showing it can cost more than rent in some places if you have several children under 6 enrolled in child care centers.”

For more information on The Penny Hoarder’s child care survey, visit:

Related Articles:

Our Survey Reveals How Parents Cope With the Staggering Cost of Child Care

Parents of Young Children Struggle to Pay the High Cost of Day Care

The Penny Hoarder surveyed 1,224 adult readers who have at least one child under the age of 6. Participants accessed the survey through email, Facebook and The Penny Hoarder did not weight the survey for the United States population. However, spending figures were cross-checked through an analysis of child care spending data from the U.S. Census Bureau provided by the University of Minnesota.

For complete survey methodology, please contact The Penny Hoarder’s data journalist, Alex Mahadevan, [email protected]


About The Penny Hoarder
The Penny Hoarder is a personal finance website that reaches millions of readers each month. Its mission is to put more money in people’s pockets, and it does that by sharing job opportunities, personal success stories, practical tips and more.


Media Contact
Maryann Akinboyewa
Public Relations Manager, The Penny Hoarder
[email protected]

Alex Mahadevan
Data Journalist, The Penny Hoarder
[email protected]