National Report Shows Child Care Too Expensive for Families

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Child Care Aware® of America has released its Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2016 report. Now in its tenth year, the annual report shows that child care is considered unaffordable in 49 of the 50 states.

Here is where Minnesota ranks in a few key areas:

  • 6th least affordable center-based care for infants
  • 8th least affordable center-based care for 4-year-olds
  • 39th least affordable family child care for infants
  • 36th least affordable family child care for 4-year-olds

“Cost continues to be a huge barrier for families and their ability to access quality care,” said Ann McCully, Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of Minnesota. “Without support, it’s difficult for families to afford child care and for providers to keep their business open. The report shows how complex this issue is and helps make the case for investing more at a national and state level.”

“Quality, affordable child care is one of the most important investments we can make for our children,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., Child Care Aware® of America Executive Director. “Investments made when children are very young will generate returns that accrue over a child’s entire life.” 

The report also features county-level analysis for four states, including Minnesota. It was highlighted because the state is so heavily dependent on family child care – as opposed to center-based care – especially in rural Minnesota. More than 70 percent of centers are in eight of the state’s 87 counties, all in more urban areas. The high concentration of centers in the Metro helps explain why Minnesota ranks so high in center-based cost categories.

As cited in another report from the Center for Rural Policy and Development in Minnesota, A Quiet Crisis: Minnesota’s Child Care Shortage, the state has lost more than 15,000 family child care slots between 2008 and 2011. 

“It underscores how important it is to keep all types of care in business,” said McCully, who is also on Child Care Aware® of America’s Board of Directors. “Many families, simply because of their location, don’t have enough options. We need to help make child care a more viable career so more families can be served, no matter where they live.”

The full Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2016 report is available for download at usa.childcareaware.org/costofcare. This year’s report also includes a new interactive map that allows users to quickly access a variety of cost data for each state.

Links:
Download full press release (PDF)
Download full Parents and the High Cost of Care 2016 report (PDF)
Download full Appendices for Parents and the High Cost of Care 2016 report (PDF)
View interactive Cost of Care map