You just had your first child and now taking maternity leave. What a joy to begin a family. It's a new beginning on several fronts. Parenting is number one. And, after a few months, you will try and resume your life and your job.

Several responsibilities come with having a child especially if both parents will continue to work outside the home. If that is the path you will resume taking then child care will need to be discussed. And that can be difficult in finding a good match for your baby and an expensive one.

Young parents in Minnesota can experience daycare shock when searching for their child's caregivers.

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The state of Minnesota is in the upper tier of child care and that can be a financial burden for many who want to and need to get back to work.

Here are the 10 states with the highest child care costs:

  1. Massachusetts ($20,913)
  2. California ($16,945)
  3. Minnesota ($16,087)
  4. Connecticut ($15,591)
  5. New York ($15,394)
  6. Maryland ($15,335)
  7. Colorado ($15,325)
  8. Washington ($14,554)
  9. Virginia ($14,063)
  10. Illinois ($13,802)

According to a study conducted by Economic Policy Institute, the average annual cost of child care in Minnesota is $16,087. That's over 21% of the annual median family income of $75,756.

If a person in Minnesota is working for minimum wage and you need to take your child to daycare, then over three-quarters of your income is going to that provider.

In 28 U.S. states, the annual cost of child care exceeds the cost of college tuition.

To ease the strain of high infant care Minnesota's Child Care Assistance Programs (CCAP) can help make quality child care affordable for eligible families.

In comparison, South Dakota's average annual cost for child care is $6,511. That's the 4th lowest in the country.

And, here in South Dakota, parents can take advantage of childcare subsidies.

Around the region, the Department of Social Services (DSS) has been holding town hall meetings that invite child care providers to let their voices be heard regarding what the state should do with $38 million in discretionary funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to support child care.

The DSS visited Sioux Falls on Monday. On Friday, August 12 meetings will be held in Aberdeen followed by Rapid City on Monday, August 15. Listening sessions are also scheduled.

For South Dakota families needing financial assistance, there are programs to help them.

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