Childcare Not Affordable in Oregon

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Oregon mom and two toddler-age children.

The main findings in Oregon State University’s newly released report on childcare affordability and access in Oregon (Child Care in Oregon and Its Counties: 2012) are not surprising: the long-term trend towards higher prices for care and lower wages for those paying the bill and providing the care continues.

Report author Bobbie Weber calculated that between 2004 and 2012, the cost of childcare increased 13% and wages decreased by 9% (15% for single mothers).  A finding that reinforces what we already know: childcare is not a good the market provides well and its failings make it harder for parents to work and less likely that kids have equal access to quality early-life learning. The report includes several interesting data points that ought to be a wake-up call:

  • The median annual price of toddler care in Oregon is $11,064, compared to the $6,679 average annual price of public university tuition in Oregon.  
  • Toddler care requires 60% of a minimum wage worker’s annual salary.
  • Only a fraction of those eligible for ERDC subsidies are receiving them (21% in 2009-10, less in 2012).
  • The highest median salary for childcare workers is $26,683.

Read the full report here.

From the June 2013 OSU Report

From the OSU June 2013 Report

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