Childcare and Working Parents: The Juggle Is Real

By Darlena Cunha


Bree and Tor aren’t the only parents barely scraping by because child care consumes their budget. According to Child Care Aware of America, (CCAoA), a nonprofit group in Arlington, Virginia, nearly 11 million children younger than age 5 are in some type of child-care arrangement, whether it’s center-based, home-based, or family and neighbor care. And it’s prohibitively expensive: In 30 states and the District of Columbia, center-based infant care costs more than in-state college tuition. “This is an extreme crisis,” says Michelle McCready, chief of policy for CCAoA. “When we talk with families, they tell us they’re spending more than 20 percent of their income on child care, and we know that this causes panic.” Child care is considered affordable if it eats up no more than 10 percent of a family’s income, but in most American families (especially with a single parent) the bill is well over 30 percent.


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