The Imprint: High Cost of Child Care Compounds New York City’s Affordability Crisis


December 17, 2020

For New York City parents of infants and toddlers, the annual cost of center-based child care is nearly one-third of the median household income — more than four times the level considered “affordable” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The cost is even further out of reach for single parents, amounting to 54% of median income, according to a new analysis by the nonprofit advocacy group Citizens’ Committee for Children.

Coupled with pandemic-related job losses, the high cost of child care threatens to spur a vicious cycle at the expense of both families and the economy: Parents are unable to go back to work without child care, but can’t afford the care they need. Across the city, about 1 in 8 families said they are not working during the pandemic because they are caring for children, according to a Census Bureau survey, and the figure jumped to 1 in 4 for women ages 25 to 44.”

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