Child care is part of the daily routine for millions of families with young children. Working parents rely on child care to earn the income they need and ensure that their children are well-cared for while working. Quality child care helps children enter school prepared to learn.
According to data gathered by Childcaring from regulated child care programs across Waushara County; families can expect to pay about $143 per week or $7,150 per year for full time care of their infant. For the family who has two children, this cost becomes about $278 per week or $13,900 per year in Waushara County. So the cost of child care becomes more expensive than many families’ housing or transportation and more than food in any given month.
Child care fees are expensive because caring for a young child is labor-intensive work. Child care providers cannot lower their prices while maintaining the low child to caregiver ratios that lead to better learning environments for children. Training and education for child care providers, safe facilities, and other quality investments may also increase child care fees for parents.
To make child care more affordable for families, the parent fees must be supplemented by outside investments. Child care staff are barely earning minimum wage. According to data gathered by CCR&R, the average wage of a child care teacher in Waushara County is $8.96/hour with very few benefits.
Investments in child care infrastructure and improvement in the overall quality are necessary to reduce the cost of child care for all families, but especially for those earning low incomes. To see if you qualify for child care assistance, visit www.access.wi.gov . All children deserve excellent early childhood care and education!