(NEW YORK) — The cost of child care in the U.S. is rising at nearly double the pace of overall inflation, according to a new report by tax firm KPMG.

Between 1990 and April 2024, the cost of day care and preschool rose 263%, according to KPMG. The consumer price index, the government’s key measure of inflation, has increased 133% in the same time frame.

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“The child care crisis, which was simmering prior to the pandemic, has come to a boil,” the report’s researchers said.

Diane Swonk, KPMG’s chief economist, told ABC News the high cost of child care is a key reason why Americans are downbeat about the economy, despite strength in other indicators like unemployment.

And while many companies have returned to pre-pandemic work patterns, Swonk said women are still disproportionately staying on the sidelines of the workforce because of child care responsibilities.

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The labor force participation rate of women with kids under the age of 6 was 69% in 2023. The rate of men in the same group was 95%.

“This is an untenable choice — a catch-22 — choosing between caring for and providing for your family,” Swonk said.

A separate report by the Federal Reserve found parents in the U.S. paid a median of $800 per month for child care.

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