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Parents and the high price of child care: 2009 update

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National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA)
Publication Date: 
22 Jun 2009

Description: Parents and the High Price of Child Care: 2009 Update presents 2008 data on child care costs collected through a January 2009 survey of Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) State Networks, which asked for the average prices charged for child care for infants, 4-year-olds, and school-age children in centers and family child care homes in every state. This year's report reveals that child care costs continue to rise with costs often times exceeding monthly food and other household expenses. According to the report, in 2008, the average price of full-time care for an infant in a center was as high as $15,895 a year. For a 4-year-old in a center, parents paid up to $11,680 a year for full-time care. Parents of school-age children paid up to $10,720 a year for part-time care in a center. Average prices for full-time care in a family child care home were as much as $10,324 for infants, $9,805 for a 4-year-old, and $7,124 for a school-age child. Additionally, the report found that average monthly child care fees for an infant were higher than the amount that families spent on food each month. In every state, monthly child care fees for two children at any age exceeded the median rent cost, and were nearly as high, or even higher than, the average monthly mortgage payment. To improve access to affordable, high-quality child care for all families, NACCRRA is calling on Congress to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the primary public source of child care funds to states to help pay for child care and improve the quality of care. Additionally, NACCRRA recommends providing resources for planning and developing child care capacity to increase the availability of child care options for working families; reducing barriers in the subsidy administration process that prevent families from accessing assistance; ensuring that public pre-kindergarten programs are designed to meet the child care needs of working families, and improving federal and state tax codes to help families at all income levels pay for care.