How the candidates could affect the costs of child care

Whitney Phinney lives with her husband and her two children, ages four and two, in Centennial, Colorado.  She and her husband have consistently struggled with managing their careers while providing childcare for their children.  They’ve often crunched the numbers and found that because childcare is so expensive, if they both work, one of their paychecks goes almost entirely to daycare.

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Whitney Phinney lives with her husband and her two children, ages four and two, in Centennial, Colorado.  She and her husband have consistently struggled with managing their careers while providing childcare for their children.  They’ve often crunched the numbers and found that because childcare is so expensive, if they both work, one of their paychecks goes almost entirely to daycare.

There are many costs to consider when starting a family, and the price for child care may be chief among them.

Families often spend as much as 25% of their income on childcare, according to Simon Workman, director of early childhood policy at the Center for American Progress. Such a large cost can have a rippling effect, from a parent needing to drop out of the workforce to couples putting off having more children.

“Child care and paying child care tuition is a family’s second-biggest expense … after rent and the mortgage, sometimes even exceeding” those costs, Workman says. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, each propose that no family spend more than 7% of its earnings on learning costs for their young children. 

“This means an average savings of over $10,000 per child per year for those families making below median income, and significantly reduced costs for all families.” according to Buttigieg’s campaign site.

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