ST. CLOUD - Anyone with young children will tell you that day care can be a major expense. A new study by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies shows that the cost of center-based child care in Minnesota ranks as the 5th most expensive for full-time infant care nationwide.

However, Marcia Schlattman, Child Care Resource & Referral Program Manager of Child Care Choices in St. Cloud says Minnesota is not as high on the list as it was in years past.

Schlattman says Minnesota has strict standards with staff to child ratios, which accounts for part of the higher than average rates for day care.

Schlattman says many states in the U.S. do not need the high degree of education and experience Minnesota regulations require.

Minnesota also rated in the top ten least affordable states for full-time care for 4 year olds.

The average yearly cost for full-time care is nearly $13,000 - just shy of a full year of tuition at St. Cloud State University.