New Study Reveals 75% of Americans Believe the Economy Has Made it Harder to Find Quality Child Care

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A new study commissioned by Wakefield on behalf of 2-1-1 Child Care reveals finding quality child care in a difficult economy is an uphill battle.

A new study commissioned by Wakefield on behalf of 2-1-1 Child Care reveals finding quality child care in a difficult economy is an uphill battle.

The independent poll of 1,000 Americans revealed gender, income level and ethnicity have little influence on the perceived difficulties of finding child care in the current recession:

  • 79% of female respondents and 70% of male respondents reported finding quality child care was much harder
  • 76% of respondents in the Northeast reported it has become harder to find quality child care; while 74% of respondents in the West said it had become harder.
  • Respondents with a household income under $25k reported the most difficulty finding quality child care, with 81% of such respondents saying it had become harder; however, those with a household income in excess of $75k still reported difficulty with 73% saying finding quality child care had become harder.

Additional research reveals that child care is no small investment. A 2008 report by The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies reveals the average annual in-center cost of day care in Connecticut is $12,180 for one infant; $9,832 for one four-year-old; and, $5,080 for before- and after-school care for a school aged child.

“Regardless of their income level or special circumstances, all parents should have access to quality child care programs that will meet their children’s needs,” said Sherri Sutera, senior vice president of child care services for 2-1-1. “With many care programs facing closure and staff cutbacks, it is more important than ever for parents to do their homework before enrolling their child in a program.”

By dialing 2-1-1 or visiting http://211childcare.org, parents can reach a team of child care referral specialists who will work with them to find a child care provider, preschool, camp program or nanny agency that will meet their specific needs. Provider referrals are provided at no charge and specialists are trained to match children and parents to quality programs, regardless of any special circumstances.

About 2-1-1 Child Care:
Funded by the Department of Social Services, 2-1-1 Child Care is a free, multilingual resource that helps families across Connecticut find child care arrangements to best meet their needs. 2-1-1 Child Care offers access to Child Care Referral Specialists who educate parents about quality child care, technical assistance and resources for early care professionals, and data and statistical information on Connecticut’s early care system for early care stakeholders. 2-1-1 Child Care maintains current listings of licensed and licensed-exempt child care options throughout Connecticut. In 2008, 2-1-1 Child Care received almost 30,000 calls and over 70,000 web visits. To reach a Child Care Referral Specialist, call 2-1-1, or to learn more, visit http://211childcare.org.

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Danielle Cyr

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