Calculate Exactly How Much It Will Cost to Stay at Home With Your Children

According to research by the think tank Center for American Progress, staying home to take care of your children may cost more than childcare — yet another reason to value the work of nannies and babysitters.

The numbers differ widely across the states but the average American woman who misses out on five years of her career starting at age 26 will lose out on $467,000 in income, wage growth, retirement assets, and other benefits over her lifetime. An average American man of the same age will lose more — the figure placed at $596,000.

Michael Madowitz, an economist for the think tank said the cost for men is greater because their wages are typically higher and grow faster, plus employers don't expect men to take breaks from their careers.

While the cost of childcare has proven to be quite steep, it still seems to pale in comparison to the cost of a parent taking a break from his or her career to care for children.

In Washington, D.C., childcare has been ranked as one of the highest in the nation, though some reports show it could cost a family nearly $84,000 for five years of childcare — a number significantly lower than the cost of trying to take on the role of a "nanny" or "babysitter" yourself.

Find out how much exactly it would cost for you to stay home with your children here.

NEXT: Study Finds Children of Working Mothers Benefit Later in Life »

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