Inaccessible and Unaffordable: Lack of Child Care, High Cost Hurt Families, Workers, Economy

50-State Data Show Every State Lacks Essential Child Care for Working Parents

BALTIMORE, June 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The country’s lack of affordable and accessible child care short-changes children, costs the American economy billions of dollars a year, stymies women professionally and is pushing families to the breaking point, according to the 2023 KIDS COUNT® Data Book, released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

New Hampshire ranks first in child well-being in 2023. How does your state compare in this year’s KIDS COUNT Data Book?

Each year, the report sheds light on the well-being of America’s kids and ranks the states according to how children are faring overall. New Hampshire, Utah, and Massachusetts rank first, second, and third in overall well-being in the 2023 Data Book; Mississippi, Louisiana, and New Mexico ranked 48th, 49th, and 50th.

This year, separately, the report also focuses on the child care crunch:

  • In 2020—21,13% of children under age 6 lived in families in which someone quit, changed or refused a job because of problems with child care.
  • The average annual national cost of child care for one child in 2021 was $10,600, a tenth of a married couple’s median income and more than one-third of a single parent’s income, according to one analysis. The shortcomings of the child care system disproportionately affect the financial well-being of women, single parents, parents in poverty, families of color and immigrant families.
  • Child care workers are paid worse than 98% of professions. Median national pay for child care workers was $13.71 an hour in 2022, less than retail or customer service.
  • The failings of the child care market also affect the health of the American economy, costing $122 billion a year in lost earnings, productivity, and tax revenue, according to one study.

“A good child care system is essential for kids to thrive and our economy to prosper. But our current approach fails kids, parents, and child care workers by every measure,” said Lisa Hamilton, president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “Without safe child care they can afford and get to, working parents face impossible choices, affecting not only their families, but their employers as well.”

Find the KIDS COUNT Data Book at

Paige Travis | [email protected] | 630-430-1513
Beau Boughamer | [email protected] | 410-458-5018

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SOURCE The Annie E. Casey Foundation

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