National group reports on the cost of child care

The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) recently published its 2011 report on national trends in the cost of child care. Before we discuss that, here’s some background:

NACCRRA is the parent organization for more than 600 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral Networks (CCR&Rs), which help parents find child care. Here in Washington, we at DEL partner with the Washington State Child Care Resource & Referral Network to help families find the right child care arrangement for their children. We also partner with the Network to support child care providers in improving quality, through our Quality Rating and Improvement System.
The NACCRRA report presents 2010 data about what parents pay for full-time child care in the United States. The information is split out by several categories, including by region, by age of children being cared for and by child care facility versus family child care homes.

Some highlights of the report’s findings:

  • Child care costs increased 1.9 percent in centers and 1.8 percent in family child care homes from 2009 to 2010.
  • In 40 states, the average annual cost of center-based care for an infant exceeded 10 percent of the state’s median income for a two-parent family.
  • In 36 states, the average annual cost for center-based care for an infant was higher than a year’s tuition and related fees at a four-year public college.
  • The 10 least affordable states for child care were Massachusetts, New York, Hawaii, Colorado, Minnesota, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Montana and Pennsylvania.
  • In Washington, the average annual costs for centers range from $4,650 to $11,450 and for family care homes from $3,800 to $8,650.

The report makes recommendations to help families pay for child care, to improve the quality of care through additional provider training and inspections, and to help CCR&Rs assist providers in becoming licensed.

Related links: