Child care is quickly becoming unaffordable for the families who need it. The average annual price of a child care center exceeds $10,000, and this price is growing. Over a 12-year period from 2000 to 2012, child care costs for a typical middle-class family grew by $2,300. In 31 states and the District of Columbia, the cost of full-time, center-based child care trumps the average annual cost of tuition and fees for a public four-year university. Existing programs designed to help families afford child care, including the Child Care and Development Block Grant and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, reach only a small portion of families and do not reflect actual child care prices.
The Center for American Progress proposes a High-Quality Child Care Tax Credit available to help low-income and middle-class families afford child care. The tax credit would provide up to $14,000 per child to reflect the cost of high-quality child care paid directly to providers on a monthly basis to help families afford child care
For more on this idea, please see:
- A New Vision for Child Care in the United States by Katie Hamm and Carmel Martin