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MINNEAPOLIS – Local child-rearing experts were not surprised by a new federal study on the cost of raising children. Minnesota parents have become only too familiar with the costs of parenting youngsters.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a report Monday indicating that Uncle Sam estimates the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years at $241,000. That includes housing, health care, transportation, clothing, food, child care, education and miscellaneous items.

"It sounds totally reasonable. I actually expected it to bea little bit higher," said Dr. David Vang, Professor of Finance at the University of St. Thomas. "There was a similar report about 10 years ago that came up with a least $180,000 and the rates have gone up since then."

A similar study in 196 estimated the cost of child rearing at just $25,000. Vang said the cost of child raising should give would-be parents a bit of pause.

"If you are going to have a child, I would suggest that you probably wait until your income level is about $30,000 a year or more," said Vang.

Century College Professor and mother, Dr. Jill Hildebrandt, joked "only $250,000?" Hildebrandt shepherded her two children around a Golden Valley playground Monday.

"I was thinking about when we put our son into day care as an infant, it was $325 a week," said Hildebrandt. "So, we spaced both of our children out for five years because some of our friends were paying up to $25,000 almost a year on yearly day care. So, there alone, $25,000 times 10, there is your $250,000."

Hildebrandt admitted that few, if any, would keep a child in day care for 10 years, but even half that, she pointed out, would be daunting financially.

"Then you factor in diapers," added Hildrebrandt. "You factor in piano lessons and tennis lessons and Kung Fu because you want them to have this edge in life."

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