“Child care is unaffordable for the majority of Virginia families with young children and nearly all low-income families with young children, a study by the state’s legislative watchdog found.
“According to the report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, child care is unaffordable for 85% of Virginia families with infants, 82% of families with toddlers and 74% of families with preschoolers.
“Those percentages are even higher among low-income Virginians, with child care being unaffordable for 98% of families with infants, 98% of families with toddlers and 97% of families with preschoolers.”
The Canadian government has begun implementing a program designed to limit family child care costs to $10 a day:
As the program unfolds, researchers are finding uneven impacts:
“Even after reforms from the $10-per-day policy, child care affordability is not the same across Alberta with child care being more affordable in Edmonton than Calgary.
“In addition to geography, affordability is impacted by net family income—with low-income families still paying more proportionately for the same child care. Cleveland and Krashinsky make it clear that to achieve affordable child care for all, provinces and territories need to focus on funding reforms—like sliding scale options— that ensure low-income families are not disadvantaged.”
Graph: Comparing past and current ELCC affordability in Calgary and Edmonton
Besides adjusting its early child care subsidies to account for geographic economic variation, Canada might consider targeting assistance more progressively to lower-income and middle class families. Also, as CCSE pointed out in analyzing recent US proposed legislation, providing public funds to higher-income families that can afford child care without them runs the risk of pushing up the cost of day care market-wide. See: