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Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Study: Hawaii Child Care Among Least Affordable in USA
By News Release @ 1:51 PM :: 2885 Views :: Education K-12, Family

Child Care Costs in the U.S.: Expensive and Rising

Quality care difficult to afford for working families as increases in the cost of child care outpace increases in family income

News Release from Child Care Aware

Arlington, VA, November 4, 2013 - The cost of child care continues to rise while families struggle to afford quality care, according to a new report from Child Care Aware® of America.

Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2013 Report reveals that families are paying more for child care, and are paying a significant part of their earnings for this care. In the last year, the cost of child care increased at up to eight times the rate of increases in family income.

“Child care is an increasingly difficult financial burden for working families to bear,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America. “Unlike all other areas of education investment, including higher education, families pay the majority of costs for early education. Too many families are finding it impossible to access and afford quality child care that doesn’t jeopardize children’s safety and healthy development.”

In 2012, the average annual cost of full-time care for an infant in center-based care ranged from $4,863 in Mississippi to $16,430 in Massachusetts. For an infant in a family child care home, the average cost ranged from $3,930 in Mississippi to $11,046 in New York.

For a 4-year-old, the average annual cost for center-based care ranged from $4,312 in Mississippi to $12,355 in New York. The average annual cost for a 4-year-old in a family child care home ranged from $3,704 in Mississippi to $10,259 in New York.

Findings in the report about the high cost of child care in 2012 include:

-Child care fees for two children (an infant and a 4-year-old) in a child care center exceeded annual median rent payments in every state.

-In every region of the United States, average child care fees for an infant in a child care center were higher than the average amount that families spent on food.

-In 31 states and the District of Columbia, the average annual average cost for an infant in center-based care was higher than a year’s tuition and fees at a four-year public college.

The report uses 2012 data from a survey of Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) State Networks and local agencies to show the average fees families are charged for child care centers and family child care homes in every state and the District of Columbia. Cost data is provided for infants,

4-year-old children and school-age children. This year, the report also examines why child care is so expensive, why it’s more expensive in some states than others, and families’ options for paying for child care.

“We call on federal and state policymakers to make child care a top priority when working on budgets, particularly in light of looming January cuts,” said Fraga. “We also call on parents, concerned citizens and early care and education professionals to urge federal and state legislators to address the high cost of child care.”

To download a copy of Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2013 Report, please visit www.usa.childcareaware.org

Key findings:

-The cost of full-time center-based care for two children is the highest single household expense in the Northeast, Midwest and South. In the West, the cost of child care for two children is surpassed only by the cost of housing in the average family budget.

-The cost of child care fees for two children exceeded housing costs for homeowners with a mortgage in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

-Center-based child care fees for an infant exceeded annual median rent payments in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

-Child care fees for two children (an infant and a 4-year-old) in a child care center exceeded annual median rent payments in every state.

-In every region of the United States, average child care fees for an infant in a child care center were higher than the average amount that families spent on food.

-In 2012, in 31 states and the District of Columbia, the average annual average cost for an infant in center-based care was higher than a year’s tuition and fees at a four-year public college.

-Even the annual average cost of care for a 4-year-old, which is less expensive than care for an infant, was higher than public college costs in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

The 10 least-affordable states in 2012 for center-based care based on the cost of child care as a percentage of state median income for a two-parent family (in ranked order):

For full-time center-based infant care: Oregon, New York, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Colorado, California, Illinois, Hawaii, Washington and Kansas.

For full-time center-based care for a 4-year-old: Oregon, New York, Minnesota, Vermont, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Washington, Rhode Island and Illinois.

Recommendations:

-A national discussion about the impact of the high cost of child care. This discussion should explore federal and state options; innovative, low-cost solutions that have shown success; and what has worked in other industries.

-Congress to require the National Academy of Sciences to produce a study on the true cost of quality child care and to offer recommendations to Congress for financing that supports families in accessing affordable, quality child care.

-Congress to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to ensure all children in low-income working families have access to affordable, quality child care.

-Congress to reauthorize CCDBG to include investing in Child Care Resource and Referral agencies to assist providers in becoming licensed and in maintaining compliance with licensing standards and help parents identify quality settings.

-The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to require states to eliminate barriers that prevent families from easily accessing child care fee assistance, maintaining eligibility and identifying quality settings.

Child Care Aware® of America, our nation’s leading voice for child care, works with more than 600 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies to ensure that families in every local community have access to quality, affordable child care. To achieve our mission, we lead projects that increase the quality and availability of child care, offer comprehensive training to child care professionals, undertake groundbreaking research and advocate for child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about Child Care Aware® of America and how you can join us in ensuring access to quality child care for all families, visit www.usa.childcareaware.org.

Appendices: Cost of Child Care in Hawaii Compared to other states

PBN: Hawaii one of the least affordable states for child care

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