The Heller School For Social Policty And Management The Heller School For Social Policy and Management Brandeis University

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Child Care Affordability for Full-Time Year-Round Working Parents

Policy Brief, Indicators | January 8, 2018 

Child care is an important work support for families, but cost can be a barrier. Many families spend far more than the federal child care affordability benchmark of 7% of income. Our two new indicators measure the percent of family income that parents working full time and year round would have to spend to place their children in full-time center-based care, paying full market price.

The first indicator measures the cost of child care as a percent of family income. Overall, parents would spend 10% of family income, while low-income parents would spend over one-quarter of income on child care (28%). The second indicator captures the percent of parents who would have to spend more than the 7% affordability benchmark: nearly two-thirds of parents and 95% of low-income parents. Black and Hispanic working parents are disproportionately low-income and, therefore, face greater child care affordability constraints. 

Click to read the Data-for-Equity Research Brief and to explore the child care affordability indicators for full-time year-round working parents at the national and state level. 01.08.2019