Child care bills rising faster than income

  • Study shows child care costs jumped 7 percent from 2004 to 2010, while wages stayed flat
  • Child care takes a much bigger slice out of the family budget than before.
  •  Single parents took the hardest hit, with child care outpacing income by 14 percent.

“The issue of affordability is huge,” said Bobbie Weber, OSU researcher and co-author of the report. “Families are facing serious challenges and they want to do the right thing for their children, but faced with these unbearable costs, they do what they can to make it work.”

  • Child care averaged $10,392 annually per family in Oregon. Washington County ranked most expensive with an average price tag of $11,880.
  • In rural counties, such as Umatilla and Morrow, costs were lower. In Umatilla County, parents paid an average of $6,360 per year, and in Morrow County, $5,188.
  • The report also suggested that more low-income parents rely on relatives and friends to look after their children for free. The number of parents who reported using paid care dropped 7 percent since 2004.
  • Quality of overall child care appears to have decreased. About 19 percent of parents said their children didn’t feel safe and secure at their day care facility and 46 percent said their children’s situations were less than ideal.

“The cost of getting quality care and education is not possible for many Oregonians, including many in the middle class,” Weber said.


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