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Coping with the rise in child care costs

The cost of child care is on the rise and it's now costing more than some people's rent or mortgage.

That's according to a nonprofit organization called Economic Policy Institute.

We found out how parents in Oklahoma are coping with the rising costs.

Eight-month old Silas and his mother Lindsay bremmer love spending time at the park.

Bremmer, who is a stay at home mom, said a lot of thought went into deciding to quit her job or place Silas in a child care center.

"For us me staying at home with the baby was definitely the right decision because I would be spending over 50 percent of my income on somebody else watching my son. That just wasn't worth it to me, Bremmer said.

According to the Child Care Resource Center in Oklahoma the average cost of child care for one infant is $9,000 a year and for a young child it's about $7,000.

"The cost of care is higher than family's rent or mortgage and in Oklahoma the cost of care is higher than tuition at OSU or OU. That's the thing that's unexpected and that families don't know," said Karen Smith, Program Director at Child Care Resource Center.

The EPI study said $4,500 dollars is the average monthly income necessary to secure a modest -standard of living for a family of four.

Smith said the problem is most people can't afford quality child care. The cost is nearly double what most families are paying right now.

"There is a huge gap in what really quality costs and what parents pay and what parents can afford to pay," Smith said.

While parents are struggling to make ends meet Smith said so are child care centers.

"In the past five years we have seen a decrease in about 40 percent of our programs in the Tulsa metro have the licensed programs have closed," Smith said.

Smith believes the government should find a way for everyone to have access to affordable and quality child care.

In the meantime mothers like Bremmer are forced to find other solutions in order to keep their little ones safe.

"My husband he is working a lot. He's picked up extra shifts at his job for me to stay at home," Bremmer said.

If you need help finding a child care facility in Green Country you can reach out to the Child Care Resource Center at 918-834-CARE or www.ccrctulsa.org. The Child Care Resource Center is located at 16 East 16th Street Suite 102.

You can also call the Community Service Council at 1-800-438-0008.

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