Arlington, VA - According to a report released by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) today entitled Parents and the High Price of Child Care: 2008 Update, the price of child care is rising faster than the average rate of inflation. The report, which provides typical prices of child care for infants and for four-year-olds in centers and family child care homes in each state reveals that over the course of a year, the average price of full-time center care for one infant and one 4-year-old child increased an average of 6.5 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively, almost twice the rate of inflation.
According to the report, in 2007, the average price of full-time care for an infant in a center was as high as $14,591 a year. For a 4-year-old in a center, parents paid up to $10,787 a year for full-time care. Parents of school-age children paid up to $8,600 a year for part-time care in a center. Additionally, the report also found that average prices for full-time care for an infant in a family child care home were as much as $9,630, $9,164 for a 4-year-old, and $6,678 for a school-age child. While the report demonstrates that costs are lower for family child care homes, many of these providers are unlicensed, leaving the health and safety of children in these types of homes unknown.
"The cost of quality child care is out of reach for too many families," said Linda Smith, Executive Director of NACCRRA. "No parent should have to choose a poor-quality child care setting just because they cannot afford anything better for their children. It's time to increase our public investment in improving the quality of child care for all families."
In order to improve access to affordable, high-quality child care for all families, NACCRRA supports the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which provides federal funds to states to help pay for child care and improve the quality of care. Reauthorization of CCDBG should include not only an increase in the amount of money to pay for child care slots, but also in the "quality set-aside," the amount of money that states use to improve the quality of care available to families. 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.
Parents and the High Price of Child Care: 2008 Update provides results from a 2008 survey of Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) State Networks, which asked for the average 2007 prices charged by child care programs listed in CCR&R databases. Located in every state and most communities across the nation, CCR&Rs provide services in 99.3 percent of inhabited zip codes. CCR&Rs work with parents to connect them with the child care that meets their needs and with caregivers to help raise the quality of child care in their communities.
For a copy of the full report, please visit www.naccrra.org.