New America and Unveil Index Measuring U.S. Child Care by Cost, Quality, and Availability

Index Accompanied by New America Care Report, featuring Independent
Analysis and Reporting

WALTHAM, Mass. & WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, public policy institute New America and (NYSE: CRCM),
the world’s largest online marketplace for finding and managing care,
released the Care Index, which offers a first-of-its-kind series
of insights into the cost, quality, and availability of child care in
each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Highlights from the Index, which is a data and methodology collaboration
between New America and are:

  • The average cost of full-time care in child care centers for all
    children ages 0-4 in the United States is
    $9,589 a year, higher
    than the average cost of in-state college tuition ($9,410).
    cover the cost of full time in-center care, a family earning at the
    median household income level would need to spend one-fifth (18
    percent) of its income. For an individual earning minimum wage,
    full time in-center care is even less affordable: Child care costs
    two-thirds (64 percent) of their earnings.
  • Nationally, the cost of full-time care in child care centers is 85
    percent of the monthly U.S. median cost of rent
    . In four
    states—Kentucky, Montana, Oregon, and Wisconsin—the cost of full-time
    care is more than the median rent in the state. In 11 states—Idaho,
    Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio,
    South Dakota, Vermont, Washington—and the District of Columbia,
    full-time care is greater than 90 percent of the typical cost of rent.
  • Infant care in centers is 12 percent higher than for older
    children, and outstrips the cost of in-state tuition and fees in 33
    . Full-time infant care in centers ranges from a low of
    $6,590 in Arkansas, about 15 percent of median income, to a high of
    $16,682 in Massachusetts, where it costs one quarter of the median
  • The typical cost of full-time care using an in-home caregiver, or
    nanny, is $28,353 a year, equal to 53 percent of U.S. median household
    income, or 188 percent of income for a minimum wage earner
    , and
    three times the average cost of in-state college tuition. Full-time
    in-home care costs range between $25,774 a year in Wisconsin and
    $33,366 a year in Washington, D.C.
  • Nationally, only 11 percent of child care establishments are
    by the National Association for the Education of the
    Young Child or the National Association for Family Child Care.
    Accredited child care centers and family homes range from a low of 1
    percent in South Dakota to a high of 46 percent in Connecticut. In
    Washington, D.C., 56 percent of child care establishments are
  • Care is most available in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New
    , Rhode Island, and Vermont. Alaska,
    Hawaii, Utah, Idaho, and South Dakota
    are among the states with the lowest availability of care.
  • Care is not always available for families who need it. South
    Dakota has the highest share of families where all parents work (82
    percent) yet has among the lowest availability of care, suggesting
    families rely primarily on informal or “gray market” care. Utah has
    the lowest share of such working families, but still has a majority
    (63 percent) of all parents working.
  • No one state does well in all three categories, and families, care
    providers, and policymakers in every state make trade-offs between
    cost, quality, or availability.

“Families are united both in their need for child care and in the
challenges they face managing the cost and access to quality care,” said Sheila
Lirio Marcelo
, Founder, Chairwoman and CEO of “The Care
Index and New America Care Report represent the first comprehensive data
deep-dive into this critical topic and we believe it will put a
spotlight on the challenges we face as a country and the opportunities
we have to do better for all families.”

The Care Index’s findings are drawn from a variety of sources including
unique, proprietary data on the cost, quality and availability
of in-home care, and a new national survey of more than 15,000
households with children under 18 in every state, conducted in October
2015, as well as data from the U.S. Census, and the National Association
for the Education of Young Children, among other sources.

In addition to the data and methodology collaboration of the Care Index,
New America is releasing the New America Care Report, which
includes independent analysis, data visualizations, policy
recommendations, and editorial and video narratives documenting
real-life experiences of parents, child care providers, advocates, and
policymakers in Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Mexico. The
Care Report can be found online.

“This research is especially timely in our current political climate,”
said New America President and CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter. “For the
first time, child care is a major issue in the national presidential
campaign, and both candidates are putting forward proposals to make
child care more affordable for the families who need it.”

The New America Care Report proposes systemic change to the early care
and learning infrastructure, including additional public and private
investment in early care and learning, better training, pay and
professionalization of the teaching workforce, as well as policy
recommendations to make high quality care more affordable and accessible
to all families, including:

  • Universal paid family leave
  • Expanding and improving cash assistance programs
  • Implementing high quality universal Pre-K programs
  • Focusing resources on programs aimed at dual-language learners

Online Resources:

For the state-by-state rankings and select metro-level data, view the Care
Index here
or download it here.

For analysis of the data, in-depth narratives of the child care
experience in four states, video, a complete methodology, and policy
recommendations, view the New
America Care Report


Since launching in 2007, (NYSE: CRCM) has been committed to
solving the complex care challenges that impact families, caregivers,
employers, and care service companies. Today, is the world’s
largest online destination for finding and managing family care, with
11.6 million families and 9.1 million caregivers* across 18 countries,
including the U.S., UK, Canada and parts of Western Europe, and more
than 1 million employees of corporate clients having access to our
services. Spanning child care to senior care, pet care, housekeeping and
more, provides a sweeping array of services for families and
caregivers to find, manage and pay for care or find employment. These
include: a comprehensive suite of safety tools and resources members may
use to help make more informed hiring decisions – such as third-party
background check services, monitored messaging, and tips on hiring best
practices; easy ways for caregivers to be paid online or via mobile app;
and Benefits, including the household payroll and tax services
provided by HomePay and the Benefit Bucks program, a
peer-to-peer pooled, portable benefits platform funded by household
employer contributions which provides caregivers access to professional
benefits. For enterprise clients, builds employers customized
benefits packages covering child care, back up care and senior care
consulting services through its Care@Work business, and serves care
businesses with marketing and recruiting support. To connect families
further, acquired community platforms Big Tent and Kinsights in
2013 and 2015, respectively. Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, has offices in Berlin, Austin, New York City and the San
Francisco Bay area. For more information, please visit

*As of July 2016

About New America:

New America is a think tank and civic enterprise committed to renewing
American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age. We
generate big ideas, bridge the gap between technology and policy, and
curate broad public conversation. In 2014, New America launched the
Better Life Lab, which aims to create a community engaged in issues that
include work-family balance, improved access to child care, our changing
definition of family, and opportunities for female leadership.


New America
Maria Elkin, 202-847-4769
Communications Manager
Bushkin, 781-642-5919
VP, Global Public Relations & Corporate