Priced Out of Licensed Child Care?

August 20, 2013

"Many families are priced out of licensed child care services… the health and safety of those children are at risk." –Lynette Fraga  CNN Money

Raising a child will cost families more than $240,000 before a child’s 18th birthday an August 2013 US Department of Agriculture report showed.

The second biggest expense in that $240,000? Child care and education – not including college.

o-INFOGRAPHIC-COST-OF-RAISING-CHILD-900Child care is one of the biggest costs to raising children

Between 1960 and 2012, child care and education expenses went from 2 percent of the cost to raise a child, to 18 percent. Child care and education takes up a bigger chunk of the pie than healthcare and food. Child care and education is the second biggest expense behind housing.

Families are forced to make tough choices as the cost of child care continues to rise and wages stay the same or go down. But there is an even bigger unknown than child care costs. What is the quality of the child care program?


Quality child care too expensive for some

We know many parents turn to unlicensed child care settings because licensed care can be more expensive. Unlicensed programs are not required to meet basic state health and safety standards. Their providers are not required to complete a comprehensive background check and their buildings are not required to be regularly inspected. That leaves children to chance.

Quality requires Accountability

In the United States, nearly 11 million children under age 5 are in child care each week and although child care costs are high, most states have inadequate requirements for the quality of care. Currently, the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which provides funds to states to help make child care more affordable for families, does not require that funds be used to pay for licensed care.

Child Care Aware® of America is pushing for the passage of the CCDBG reauthorization, that would raise the standards for quality child care in this nation.

The costs to raise a child are high. But the risk of unlicensed child care is even higher.


Learn more about CCDBG. Watch the webinar.


Topics: Policy & Advocacy, News

Lynette Fraga, Ph.D.

Written by Lynette Fraga, Ph.D.

Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA), has been a passionate practitioner, advocate, and leader in the field of child care and early learning for more than 25 years. Dr. Fraga’s experience in Military Child Care, higher education, federal programs, and corporate and non-profit executive leadership distinguish her as a leader with subject matter expertise. Her experience working directly with children and families, educators, national leaders and federal officials positions Child Care Aware® of America to be the nation’s leading voice on child care in policy, practice, and research.