Summer Child Care Out of Reach for Many NV Families
CARSON CITY, Nev. – When children are out of school during the summer, many Nevada families struggle to pay for child care, according to recent analysis from the Center for American Progress.
The analysis compares costs of summer child care to median incomes in each state. Cristina Novoa, a policy analyst who worked on the report, says Nevada is the least affordable state in the nation for summer programs for children.
"For two adults that have two children in summer care, in summer programs, in Nevada it would cost just over half of a family's summer income," she states.
The analysis found summer child care options in Nevada cost families more than $6,000 on average for five weeks of care – more than twice the national average.
Novoa says that ends up putting lower-income children at a disadvantage if their parents aren't able to afford summer activities for them.
Another recent study from the National Center for Education Statistics confirms children from lower-income families end up spending more time than their higher income peers watching TV over the summer, and less time participating in educational enrichment activities.
When the school year starts up again, Novoa says children who haven't been learning over the summer fall behind in math and reading.
"A lack of summer care and a lack of high quality learning experiences during the summer just exacerbates that slide and increases this income-based academic achievement gap," she stresses.
Rep. Ruben Kihuen of Nevada is among lawmakers supporting a bill known as the Child Care for Working Families Act, which proposes to limit child care payments to 7 percent of a family's income.
Novoa says unless child care is made accessible for all families, inequalities will continue.