Source: Danielle A. Crosby, Julia L. Mendez, Amanda Barnes, National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families, October 2019
From the overview:
Hispanic households tend to have both high levels of parental employment and low levels of income, making access to good-quality child care a critical need for these families. Child care has the potential to serve as a two-generation investment strategy, with both short- and long- term economic and social benefits, by supporting parents’ ability to work and providing enrichment opportunities for children.
Affordability is a key factor shaping families’ access to care. Even when communities have an adequate supply of good-quality child care that meets parents’ and children’s needs and families are aware of these options, care remains inaccessible if costs are beyond household budgets. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends that child care be considered affordable if family out-of-pocket costs are equivalent to 7 percent or less of total household income. Yet in every state in the nation, the average price of formal child care (e.g., centers and licensed or regulated family child care) exceeds this recommended benchmark of affordability.
To reduce financial barriers and support more equitable access, several federal and state programs provide low-income families with no- or low-cost early care and education (ECE) options, including Head Start, public pre-kindergarten, and subsidies through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). While the reach of these programs has expanded over the years, funding constraints mean that not all eligible children can be served. In the absence of such programs or when co-payments are high, low-income families are often priced out of the formal, licensed care settings that tend to be more stable and of higher quality than more informal arrangements.
Source: Patti Banghart, Carlise King, Elizabeth Bedrick, Ashley Hirilall, Sarah Daily, Child Trends, October 2019
From the summary:
In 2018, Congress appropriated an increase of more than $2 billion to support states and territories in meeting the goals and requirements of the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). View the interactive maps and state profiles on this page to learn more about how states are using or planning to use this funding increase and the challenges they still face.
In 2014, Congress reauthorized the CCDBG, setting new standards around eligibility for child care subsidies, child care quality, health and safety, access to child care, and workforce supports for early childhood educators. The 2014 reauthorization law included policy changes requiring states to:
• Set provider payment rates to promote equal access to the child care market for parents receiving child care subsidies.
• Implement family-friendly eligibility policies that help families keep their subsidy without interruptions.
• Enhance health and safety practices for all CCDBG providers, including health and safety training and inspections and comprehensive background checks.
• Expand consumer education, which includes increasing online access to information on child development and other financial assistance programs and creating a hotline to report safety concerns.
• Increase the amounts of set-asides that states must spend toward supporting the quality and development of the child care workforce.
• Expand access to child care for vulnerable families and priority groups whose needs and characteristics limit the child care options currently available to them.
1. Use of Federal CCDBG funding increase
2. Implementing specific reauthorization requirements
3. Challenges to implementing reauthorization goals and requirements
4. Increased state funding for child care assistance
Information on how each state has used, or plans to use, increased federal funds.
Data notes (XLS) »
Source: Leila Schochet and Rasheed Malik, Center for American Progress, April 10, 2019
When families have access to high-quality, affordable child care, they thrive. Parents can work to provide for their families, knowing their children are safe; and young children can learn and explore, creating a solid foundation for future learning and development.
Yet many families struggle because they cannot afford or find child care. High-quality child care is expensive to provide, and without public investment, those costs are passed along to parents. As a result, half of Americans live in child care deserts, communities where there are not enough licensed child care providers to serve the population of young children who need child care.
Increasing access to affordable, quality child care and making sure parents have options to choose from requires both Congress and elected state officials to provide more public funding for child care. It is critical to address the nation’s child care shortage without sacrificing program quality or endangering child safety just to cut costs. Congress can act by increasing funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant and passing comprehensive reform that address affordability, quality, and higher wages for early educators.
Find your district using the dropdowns below:….
Source: Leila Schochet, Center for American Progress, March 28, 2019
More mothers would increase their earnings and seek new job opportunities if they had greater access to reliable and affordable child care. ….
….This report highlights the relationship between child care and maternal employment and underscores how improving child care access has the potential to boost employment and earnings for working mothers. Based on new analysis of the 2016 Early Childhood Program Participation Survey (ECPP), it demonstrates how families are having difficulty finding child care under the current system and how lack of access to child care may be keeping mothers out of the workforce. The report then presents results from a national poll conducted by the Center for American Progress and GBA Strategies, which asked parents what career decisions they would make if child care were more readily available and affordable. Finally, the report outlines federal policy solutions that are crucial to supporting mothers in the workforce. ….
Source: National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE), Snapshot, January 22, 2019
From the introduction:
These snapshots describe U.S. households’ costs for, and usage of, ECE in 2012, looking at differences by age of child, household income, and community urbanicity. These snapshots use data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE), a nationally representative study of U.S. households and early care and education providers conducted in 2012.
• In 2012, 50 percent of infants and toddlers and 63 percent of 3-to-5-year-olds were in regular nonparental care. An additional 10 percent of 3-to-5-year-olds were already in kindergarten.
• Within every income level, 3-to-5-year-olds were more likely than infants and toddlers to be in regular nonparental care.
• Among children in regular nonparental care, infants and toddlers were more likely than 3-to-5 year-olds to only use care provided by an individual, such as a family member, friend, or family child care home.
• Among children using regular nonparental care, 3-to-5-year-olds were more likely than infants and toddlers to be in center-based care only.
• Among children using regular nonparental care, about half of infants and toddlers and one-third of 3-to-5-year-olds had no out-of-pocket costs associated with their care. Free care was much more common among households with lower incomes than households with higher incomes. Still, 27 percent of infants and toddlers from higher-income households had no out-of-pocket costs associated with their care.
• Considering only children whose care had out-of-pocket costs, the median weekly cost of care was about $100 for an infant or toddler, and about $80 for a 3-to-5-year-old.
Source: Heidi Steinour, The Conversation, February 22, 2019
The cost of having children in the U.S. has climbed exponentially since the 1960s. So it’s no wonder the growing crop of Democratic presidential candidates have been proposing ways to address or bring down the costs tied to raising a family.
Most recently, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she wants to provide universal access to child care. According to her proposal, the U.S. would partner with local governments and other organizations to provide various child care options, paying for it with revenue from her wealth tax.
Whether or not Warren’s proposal becomes law, the data show a worsening problem. In 2015, American parents spent, on average, US$233,610 on child costs from birth until the age of 17, not including college. This number covers everything from housing and food to child care and transportation costs. This is up 8 percent from 1990.
As a mother myself, as well as a sociologist who studies families, I have experienced firsthand the unexpected costs associated with having a child. And this spike in costs has broad implications, including leading fewer families to have children…..
Source: Rasheed Malik, Katie Hamm, Leila Schochet, Cristina Novoa, Simon Workman, and Steven Jessen-Howard, Center for American Progress, December 6, 2018
A new analysis of child care supply in every U.S. neighborhood finds that approximately half the country has too few licensed child care options.
Source: Simon Workman and Steven Jessen-Howard, Center for American Progress, November 15, 2018
A state-by-state analysis of the true cost of infant and toddler child care finds it is unaffordable for most working families.
Key findings from this analysis include:
Licensed infant and toddler child care is unaffordable for most families:
– The average cost to provide center-based child care for an infant in the United States is $1,230 per month. In a family child care home, the average cost is $800 per month.
– On average, a family making the state median income would have to spend 18 percent of their income to cover the cost of child care for an infant, and 13 percent for a toddler.
– In no state does the cost of center-based infant or toddler child care meet the federal definition of affordable—no more than 7 percent of annual household income. In 12 states, the cost of child care for just one infant exceeds 20 percent of the state median income.
Current public investments in infant and toddler child care fall short:
– On average, child care for an infant costs 61 percent more than for a preschooler, yet child care subsidy rates are only 27 percent higher for infants than preschoolers.
– Child care subsidies only cover the average cost of care for an infant in three states—Hawaii, Indiana, and South Dakota.
– The gap between the child care subsidy rate and the cost of licensed infant care exceeds $400 per month in nearly half of all states.
To address these findings, policymakers can take some immediate actions, such as conducting a full cost-of-quality study and updating child care assistance policies, but they must also look to longer-term solutions such as increasing pay for infant and toddler teachers and enacting comprehensive child care reform…..
Source: Grant Suneson, 24/7 Wall St., September 27, 2018
Parents aim to create a nurturing environment for their children. Raising a child, however, is not cheap, and to provide children with food, clothing, health care, and any other needs, most parents must work. Going to work entails leaving young children in the care of others, be it friends, neighbors, family members, or professional day care centers.
In most American counties, annual average child care costs exceed $6,000 per year, though it can be significantly higher in some places. In some American counties, child care costs are more than double that $6,000 figure. These places tend to be the most affluent in America.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator to determine the county with the most expensive child care in each state for a two-parent, single-child household…..
Click here to see the counties with the most expensive child care in every state.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.
Source: Robert Paul Hartley, Beth Mattingly, Christopher T. Wimer, Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, August 2018
From the press release:
About nine percent of working families with children under the age of six are pushed out of the middle class as a result of their child care expenses, according to new research released by the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.
The researchers also found that many middle-class families do not pay any out-of-pocket child care expenses, perhaps by relying on family and friends, or by turning to lower-cost, less-qualified care. If all middle-class working families with young children were to pay what typical upper-middle and middle-class families pay for child care, roughly $6,900 per year on average, an additional 21 percent would be pushed below the middle-class threshold….