The bad news won’t stop coming.
Despite Connecticut’s public efforts to help low-income families survive in a challenging economy, our politicians sure ain’t doing a spiffy job when it comes to keeping costs down for a family’s most critical expense.
Connecticut By The Numbers reports that child care costs have completely outpaced inflation in the state, leaving many families struggling to stay afloat AND provide for their kids.
When it comes to infant care, Connecticut ranks 6th most expensive nation wide. Families hemorrhage about $13,880 a year to care for a child under the age of four. If we’re looking at the average family’s income, that’s eating up a little over 20% of it in all. Which, honestly, is unacceptable.
But the scenario is inherently worse for low-income families working minimum wage jobs. Parents have to work an estimated 36 weeks at their full-time jobs just to afford basic care for their little ones. That translates to over 60% of their salary. See a problem? Our politicians should.
Studies have concluded that “affordable” child care should cost less than 10% of a family’s annual salary. Going by this finding alone, it means that less than 30% of families in Connecticut can comfortably afford taking care of their young.
On a national level, it doesn’t look much better. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that childcare and nursery school costs have skyrocketed by 177% over the past 25 years while general inflation has only gone up about 77%.
What can be done to reverse this alarming trend?