State report finds child care is unaffordable for most Va. families with young kids
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.
Infants are generally defined as children ages 0 to 15 months, with toddlers ages 16 to 23 months and preschoolers ages 2 to 4 years.
“Recent literature indicates that without child care, parents are often forced to reduce their work hours, take lower-level or lower-paying jobs or drop out of the workforce altogether,” said Stefanie Papps, a JLARC staffer who led the study, during a presentation Monday. “Although this can be a significant barrier to self-sufficiency for lower-income families, lack of affordable child care can be a significant barrier to employment for any family.”
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