PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island parents are finding themselves in a difficult spot when it comes to paying for child care. New data shows the average cost is 23% of a household’s income.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, child care is no longer affordable if it exceeds 7% of a household’s income.

But the data from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute’s County Health Rankings & Roadmaps shows the national average of child care costs is 25% of a household’s income. That means a quarter of every dollar earned goes to paying for child care.

Locally, the report states that the child care cost burden, which measures the percentage of household income needed to pay for care for two children, ranges from 19% to 27% in Rhode Island counties.

In Massachusetts, that figure is even higher at 39%.

“It’s for that reason that we haven’t pursued child care. It’s incredibly expensive,” said Ryan Crowley of Warwick. “While I realize that they’re taking care of your child, it’s essentially the cost of tuition, and that’s on the low end.”

Ryan and Briana Crowley are trying to enroll their 2-year-old daughter Ryleigh into daycare in the fall, but they were shocked to see the prices when shopping for a school.

“We’ve seen anything from one day a week being $140, which ends up being $6,700 a year, and five days a week is ranging up to $13,000 a year,” Briana said. “That’s only for one child.”

Stories like these are what led Sen. Sandra Cano to push for change. The senator representing District 8 in Pawtucket introduced a child care package that’s making its way through the State House.

One bill, the “Child Care Is Essential Act,” aims to lower the cost of child care for families. The other, the “Early Educator Investment Act,” aims to raise the wages of child care providers and offer them incentives to continue in the field.

“The providers don’t have the assistance they need by the state with the reimbursements that they get, but families also cannot afford to send their kids to high-quality childcare,” Cano said. “They get paid $13, $14 an hour to take care of our kids, so we need to take care of our staff, and that is why there’s a two-fold solution to the problem.”

She said leaders in the Senate have vowed to make child care a priority during this legislative session. So far, the Child Care Is Essential Act hasn’t yet made its way out of the Senate, while the Early Educator Investment Act was recently passed and is now headed to the R.I. House of Representatives.