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Report: Child Care Costs Rising for Ohio Families

PHOTO:Ohio is doing a good job of offering affordable options when it comes to child care, according to a new national report. Photo: children playing with blocks. Credit: M. Kuhlman
PHOTO:Ohio is doing a good job of offering affordable options when it comes to child care, according to a new national report. Photo: children playing with blocks. Credit: M. Kuhlman
November 12, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio is doing a good job of offering affordable options when it comes to child care, according to a new national report.

But the research from Child Care Aware of America, also found that in the last year, child care costs have increased at up to eight times the rate of increases in family income.

Todd Barnhouse, CEO of the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association, says the average Ohio family pays about $8,000 a year for infant care in a child care center.

"If you look at us compared to other states, we are rather attractable in where our costs are for child care,” he says. “But it's still high to a family that doesn't have a significant amount of income."

For a family of three at the poverty level, child care costs in Ohio account for almost 45 percent of its income. The states with the highest cost of child care are New York and Massachusetts – Ohio ranks 36th in terms of affordability.

Barnhouse says Ohio is fortunate to have an administration that supports early learning and development as key factors in a child's success.

Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grants have helped to improve quality ratings, but he says more needs to be done to ensure all parents have access to quality care.

"We don't want to see them choose a lower quality of care for their child because they can't afford it,” Barnhouse. “Every child deserves a positive experience."

To address the high costs of care, the report recommends Congress reauthorize the Child Care and
Development Block Grants, and to invest in programs that help parents identify quality care settings and assist providers in maintaining licensing compliance.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH