Families from all 50 states took over the east lawn of the U.S. Capitol today, in the third annual Strolling Thunder event.
Local families say they are burnt out and cashed out, forced to pay skyrocketing day care costs.
In Washington D.C., a recent study by the non-profit Child Care Aware of America, found on average the cost of child care at a center is $23,666 per year. For an infant and 4-year-old, the cost is $42,323.
That number is about three times as much as the annual cost of a public university tuition.
"I'm here because her daycare does cost more than my mortgage," said Masha Sapper. Sapper is a single mother living in Silver Spring.
She says she pays $1,400 for an at-home daycare, which pales in comparison to friends who spend $2,000 per month at day care centers.
Strolling Thunder is in its third year. The group is hoping to get the attention of lawmakers to get parents nationwide more affordable, quality day care and to give parents time to bond with their baby.
The study also found out that for a single parent in DC, they are spending 91 percent of their income for one child in center-based care.
Some changes are on the way to help DC working parents. Starting next summer, the Paid Leave Act will provide 8 weeks of paid leave so parents can bond with children.