New Article: The True Cost of Child Care

Posted by Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity on July 13, 2021

In this Spotlight Exclusive, child care policy expert Simon Workman describes his new paper that explores the child care crisis and offers updated data from a tool the Center for American Progress has used to gauge child care prices since 2018. He describes how the tool is a cost model that has calculated the average true cost of care for an infant ($1,300 per month), a toddler ($1,100 per month), and a preschooler ($890 per month). He stresses that quality child care can be out of reach for parents who have low salaries, and that many annual child care subsidy programs do not cover the full cost. Workman argues the pandemic shined a light on the child care crisis. “What happened with the pandemic was suddenly it didn’t matter how much money you had,” he says. “If child care centers were closed, child care centers were closed. People recognized just how much child care was essential infrastructure.”

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