By Daniel Taub / Bloomberg
August 31, 2018

More than a third of Americans who rent their homes also have children — and the two expenses aren’t that far apart.

The average cost of child care in the U.S. is $1,385 a month, according to a HotPads analysis of a Care.com index. That’s slightly less than the median rent payment of $1,500 a month across the country, said HotPads, a unit of Zillow Group Inc.

For now, housing is on track to stay pricier than having kids in child care. The median U.S. rent rose 2.3 percent in the past year, while the average cost of child care increased 1.3 percent. The greater space demanded by larger families also has an impact: The median rent for two- and three-bedroom rentals rose even faster, climbing 3 percent, compared with a 2 percent gain for one-bedrooms.

“Rent appreciation has slowed from recent highs, but as the economic recovery matures, child-care costs will likely continue to rise,” HotPads economist Joshua Clark said in a statement Wednesday. “For renters with young children in child care, that means any potential savings from softer rent appreciation could quickly be eroded by higher child-care expenses.”

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