Report: Child care a big cost burden on Hawaii families

Updated: Dec. 10, 2015 at 10:03 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii married couple earning the median income can expect to fork over about 10 percent of their wages annually on full-time care for a child, according to a new national study.

The study says Hawaii parents typically pay $8,200 to $9,300 a year on average for full-time child care.

Care for four-year-olds comes with the highest price tag, at about $9,300.

Infant care in a child care setting was estimated at about $8,280.

And care for school-age children was about $8,900 on average, making Hawaii one of the least affordable states when it comes to care for that age group.

The study, from Child Care Aware of America, aims to shine a spotlight not just on the high costs of child care, but on its relative inaffordability for different populations.

Not surprisingly, single parents had the highest cost burden.

Median income for a single-parent family in Hawaii is about $27,700. That means infant care would eat up about 30 percent of a single parent's income.

A married couple living at the poverty line would have to send 63 percent of their paychecks to care, if they had two children in full-time child care settings.

Hawaii ranked 41st in the nation for the affordability of infant care. In other words, Hawaii was generally more affordable than other states when the costs of care were calculated as a percentage of median incomes.

Meanwhile, Hawaii ranked 16th in the nation for the affordability of care for four-year-olds.

Study authors note that while they did look at median income, they didn't factor in cost-of-living differences among states.

And they pointed out that child care continues to be one of biggest expenses for many American families.


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