Child Care State Reports . II. Affordability [6]

12/01/1999

  • Prices for child care vary considerably, by such factors as geographic area, type of provider and age of child.  Figure 3 shows the average monthly prices for child care in Florida.  Given that these are average prices, it is clear that many families pay more or less than this amount.
  • Centers in Florida charge an average of $325 per month for preschool care and $416 per month for infant care, as shown in Figure 3.  This means that a family with $15,000 in income and one preschool child in an average-priced center would spend about one-fourth (26 percent) of its total monthly income on child care expenses.  Average-priced infant care would represent an even higher share (33 percent) of monthly income for a family earning $15,000.
Figure 3. Child Care Prices and Co-Payments for a Hypothetical Florida Family of Three Earning $15,000 with One Child in Care
  WITHOUT SUBSIDY WITH SUBSIDY
Average Monthly Prices
(Full Time Care)
% of Income
( Family Income of $15,000 Annually)
Monthly Co-Payments*
(If receive subsidy)
% of Income*
(Family Income of $15,000 Annually)
INFANT (1 year)
Center-based $416 33.3% $70 5.6%
Family child care home        
Licensed $386 30.9% $70 5.6%
Registered $329 26.3% $70 5.6%
PRESCHOOLER (4 years)
Center-based $325 26.0% $70 5.6%
Family child care home        
Licensed $355 28.4% $70 5.6%
Registered $303 24.3% $70 5.6%

* State policy does not prevent providers from charging parents additional amounts, above the co-payment, if the providers’ rates exceed the state reimbursement level.  Figures in this table represent the minimum co-payment.

Source:  Price data collected by the Urban Institute from the Florida Children’s Forum, a statewide child care resource and referral agency, summer 1999.  Co-payment data collected by the Urban Institute from the Florida Department of Children and Families, the state child care agency, summer 1999.

  • Licensed family child care homes in Florida charge an average of $355 per month for preschool children and $386 per month for infants.  This means that a family with $15,000 in income and one child in an average-priced family child care home would spend 28 percent of its monthly income on care for a preschool child or 31 percent for an infant.  Family child care homes that are registered with the county, but not licensed, generally charge lower rates, as shown in Figure 3.
  • Families who receive child care subsidies usually pay much smaller monthly co-payments rather than the full market rate.  Such co-payments are established under a sliding fee schedule, and are based on family size, income and the number of children in care.  For example, a family with $15,000 in income and one preschooler in an average-priced center in Florida would be charged a monthly co-payment of $70, or 5.6 percent of monthly income, as shown in Figure 3.