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Condition of Education Looks at Changes in the Cost of Nonparental Childcare

Between 2001 and 2016, childcare cost rose nearly 50 percent or more for children under six years old not yet enrolled in kindergarten, according to a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics. In 2016, center-based care was the most expensive childcare arrangement, with an average hourly out-of-pocket expense of $7.60, which is 72 percent higher than in 2001, when accounting for inflation.

Childcare arrangements can be influential in a child’s development and readiness for school, making data on access and cost an important indicator for policymakers, education leaders and the public. Children whose parents said they had difficulty finding child care, nearly one-third (32 percent) identified cost as the primary reason, followed by a lack of open slots for new children (27 percent) and quality (22 percent). Read More