Increase support for child care in Ohio. This is a no-brainer. (Ohio Capital Journal)

By: David C. DeWitt Access article


When I talk to my friends who have children and they tell me how much child care costs, I cringe. Often the figures they throw out resemble the price tag of tuition.

According to Child Care Aware of America, the average price of center-based infant child care in Ohio is indeed nearly the same as the average annual tuition and fees at a public four-year college or university, costing $10,009 compared to $10,790. The cost of child care for an infant and a 4-year-old averages at $18,267 per year at a center.

A 2016 recommendation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said families shouldn’t spend more than 7% of their income on child care, but there’s no state in the country where parents can follow that recommendation, a 2018 analysis by Child Care Aware of America found.

In Ohio, the analysis shows single parents pay 43.8% of their income for center-based infant child care. Married parents of two children living at the poverty line pay 62.6% of their household income for center-based child care. Even a married couple with one infant in Ohio fail the 7% guideline, paying 11% at a center. Two children bumps it up to 20.1%.

Meanwhile, Groundwork Ohio estimated that nationally, businesses lose $12.7 billion because of “their employee’s child care challenges.”

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