Magazine article USA TODAY

Child Care Remains Too Expensive for Families

Magazine article USA TODAY

Child Care Remains Too Expensive for Families

Article excerpt

Families cannot afford child care in 49 of 50 states, according to Child Care Aware of America, Arlington, Va., which has released its 10th annual report researching child care costs in counties and states across the U.S. "Quality, affordable child care is one of the most important investments we can make for our children," says Lynette M. Fraga, executive director. "Investments made when children are very young will generate returns that accrue over a child's entire life."

The Department of Health and Human Services, under the outgoing Obama Administration, announced a new standard of affordability for child care fees: from 10% or less of family income to seven percent or less. By this benchmark, only one state, Louisiana, qualifies as affordable for a married family paying for infant child care--and, in 39 states and the District of Columbia, the average cost of center-based care for an infant is higher than 10% of median income for a married couple with children.

The cost of full-time, center-based care for two children continues to be the No. …

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