'Are They Going To Harvard?' Dave Ramsey Sparks Backlash After Slamming Dad Paying $80,000 For Childcare

Outspoken finance personality Dave Ramsey has ignited a heated debate on TikTok after describing the decision to pay substantial amounts in child care as "dumber than crap."

Ramsey's remarks came in response to a Philadelphia dad named Dave, who sought advice on managing his family's finances while his wife completed medical school.

"Are they going to Harvard?" Ramsey asked, astonished at the costs. "They're not even in school and you're already paying $25,000 a head?"

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Dave revealed he pays $80,000 a year for his kids' daycare, which includes before and aftercare plus the cost of hiring a nanny in the summer. "It is a pretty fancy daycare," he admitted.

Ramsey's co-host, Jade Warshaw, suggested, "There's cheaper routes. You can downgrade." However, the clip of the interview, posted on TikTok in January, left viewers unconvinced, leading many to label Ramsey "out of touch."

Child care costs in the U.S. have been a growing burden for parents, with more than half spending over 27% of their household income on child care expenses, according to the Care.com 2023 Cost of Care Survey. In cities like Washington, D.C., day care can cost an average of $417 per week for one child, and in states like Washington, California, and Massachusetts, the weekly cost ranges from $288 to $326. The second child typically receives a national average sibling discount of 10%. Care.com also reports that a nanny costs $766 per week per child.

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The backlash on TikTok was fierce. One user commented, "Crazy how ‘financial experts' are so out of touch with today's costs." Another user added, "Please find me a free summer camp for my children who are two and 6. Thank you." Another remarked, "Free summer camp hasn't existed in at least two decades. I pay $320/week for my 1-year-old, plus $180/week each for after-school care for my older two. $680/week = $35,360 a year."

Users expressed frustration over Ramsey's comments, highlighting the unrealistic nature of his suggestions. "Can we have Dave look up daycares on his show and post a video showing his reaction to the cost of average day cares? He has no clue how expensive they are," one user said. Another sarcastically commented, "A free summer camp??? Where in the world is that?"

While spending $80,000 on day care may seem extreme, it highlights many parents’ financial challenges today. Ramsey's response has sparked a broader conversation about the realities of child care costs in the U.S. and the importance of seeking personalized financial advice. Consulting a financial advisor might help families find more practical solutions for these high expenses.

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