Currently in the U.S. the average cost of full-time help in child care centers for children ages 4 and under is $9,589 a year (higher than the average cost of in-state college tuition), and the average cost of full-time help from a nanny is $28,353 a year (53 percent of the median household income). This is just one of many upsetting stats offered in the New America Care Report, an independent review of U.S. child care, which may make you feel like you’re lighting your money on fire in the name of date night.
In partnership with Care.com, New America’s Better Life Lab launched The Care Index extensive research that combines propriety data from Care.com users as well as publicly available data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Association For The Education Of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association For Family Child Care (NAFCC). The report’s and index’s goal is to initiate change in the current system based on affordable cost, high quality, and easy availability. The Care Index ranks states and metro areas based on those 3 areas, and at least delivers bad news your favorite way — in the form of interactive graphs.
While some areas stack up better than others (shout out to Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Vermont), you might be wondering what the hell happened everywhere else. As the report reveals, in 1971 a bipartisan bill that would’ve created a comprehensive child care system was vetoed due to fear women in the workplace and the destruction of the nuclear family. If only they knew that was going to happen anyways, it wouldn’t cost the U.S. $4 billion a year in absenteeism and lost productivity due to child care crises. Clearly that money could be better spent on the 12 million children under the age of 5 needing child care on any day of the year.