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Millions Of American Families Can't Find, Afford Quality Child Care

Photo by Pragyan Bezbaruah from Pexels CC0: http://bit.ly/2UmsRCl

The price and availability of quality child care is a problem for families across the U.S., and disproportionately affects low-income and single-parent households. Families who make less than $1,500 a month spend around 40% of their income on child care.

The average annual cost in Texas is $7,062 ($589/month) for a 4-year-old and $9,864 ($777/month) for infant care, making it one of 33 states where infant care is more expensive than in-state college tuition. Families with more than one child face an even bigger financial burden.

In December, White House officials met to discuss child care and family leave. Several Democratic presidential hopefuls have proposals to address child care costs. 

A 2008 report found that the lack of affordable child care options in San Antonio was significant. More than a decade later, an update on “The Status of Women in San Antonio” revealed that there continues to be very limited resources to address the city’s child care needs, especially for poor women and women of color. 

What's been done to address this issue in the past decade? Why hasn't more progress been made? What would good child care reform look like? What are the biggest challenges and opportunities?

Why is the cost of care increasing? Why is the number of family child care providers also decreasing? What other barriers exist for families trying to access quality child care? 

How does the lack of affordable options impact the workforce, parents' quality of life and overall health and educational outcomes for children?


"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, February 4.

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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.