Oklahoma City, OK - According to a report released by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) today entitled Parents and the High Price of Child Care: 2008 Update, the price of child care is rising faster than the average rate of inflation. The report, which provides typical prices of child care for infants and for four-year-olds in centers and family child care homes nationwide reveals that over the course of a year, the average price of full-time center care for one infant and one 4-year-old child increased an average of 6.5 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively, almost twice the rate of inflation.
Oklahoma ranks in the middle of states regarding the cost of care for an infant, 4-year-old and school-age child.
According to the report, in 2007, in Oklahoma the average price of full-time care for an infant in a center was $6,029 a year. For a 4-year-old in a center, parents paid up to $5,277 a year for full-time care. Parents of school-age children paid up to $3,915 a year for part-time care in a center. Additionally, the report also found that average prices for full-time care for an infant in a family child care home were as much as $5,392, $4,439 for a 4-year-old, and $3,901 for a school-age child.
A single earning household paying for infant care in a center can expect to spend almost 37 percent of their salary and a two income household would pay 11 percent. The cost is equivalent to the average cost for rent per month. “With rising prices of fuel, food and utilities, child care is just one more expense that Oklahoma families are struggling to meet,” said Linda Whaley, Interim Executive Director of the Oklahoma Child Care Resource & Referral Association (OCCRRA).
In order to improve access to affordable, high-quality child care for all families, NACCRRA and OCCRRA support the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which provides federal funds to states to help pay for child care and improve the quality of care. Reauthorization of CCDBG should include not only an increase in the amount of money to pay for child care slots, but also in the “quality set-aside,” the amount of money that states use to improve the quality of care available to families.
Additionally, NACCRRA recommends providing resources for planning and developing child care capacity to increase the availability of child care options for working families; reducing barriers in the subsidy administration process that prevent families from accessing assistance; ensuring that public pre-kindergarten programs are designed to meet the child care needs of working families, and improving federal and state tax codes to help families at all income levels pay for care.
Parents and the High Price of Child Care: 2008 Update provides results from a 2008 survey of Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) State Networks, which asked for the average 2007 prices charged by child care programs listed in CCR&R databases. Located in every state and most communities across the nation, CCR&Rs provide services in 99.3 percent of inhabited zip codes. CCR&Rs work with parents to connect them with the child care that meets their needs and with caregivers to help raise the quality of child care in their communities.
To download a copy of the full report, please visit www.naccrra.org. In Oklahoma, you can search for child care options or find out the average cost of care in your area by contacting your local Child Care Resource & Referral agency at 888-962-2772.
OCCRRA, the Oklahoma Child Care Resource & Referral Association, Inc., is a private, non-profit organization established in 1999 to promote child care quality, affordability and availability for all Oklahoma families. Its services are provided throughout the state by eight regional resource and referral agencies which help families find and choose child care and learn about what to look for when selecting quality care.
NACCRRA, the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, is our nation’s leading voice for child care. We work with more than 800 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies to ensure that families in every local community have access to high-quality, affordable child care. To achieve our mission, we lead projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, undertake research, and advocate child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about NACCRRA and how you can join us in ensuring access to high-quality child care for all families, visit us at www.naccrra.org.