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Cost of Care Project

About the Child Care Cost Project

In 2013 The Women’s Foundation of Colorado produced a comprehensive research report entitled The Status of Women & Girls in Colorado. Throughout the research phase for that report, many questions and concerns about child care access and affordability were raised. In particular, single mothers were found to be struggling with the price of child care. As a direct result, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado provided a grant to Qualistar Colorado to investigate and address the barriers to affordable child care. Qualistar Colorado, the Colorado Children's Campaign and The Women’s Foundation of Colorado have produced this series of papers to address the issue. 

About the Final Report

Child Care Affordability in Colorado: An investigation into child care costs and recommended strategies for improving affordability

Full Report         Executive Summary

After a year of investigation into the high price of child care in Colorado, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Qualistar Colorado and the Colorado Children’s Campaign in a new report outline six strategies to ensure more Colorado families can access the quality care they need to work and ensure kids have the stimulating experiences they need to learn and grow.

  1. Expand access to the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP). This includes recommendations to lawmakers to fully fund recent reforms in the areas of eligibility levels, parent co-payments and provider reimbursement rates.
  2. Invest in and expand other statewide and local initiatives that support families’ child care needs. Proven programs including the Colorado Preschool Program, Denver Preschool Program and local efforts to improve access in Boulder County, Summit County and the City of Aspen should be replicated in communities throughout Colorado.
  3. Expand federal investments in child care affordability. Despite the increasing costs of child care, total federal funding for child care assistance has declined during the past decade. Congress should increase its investment in the Child Care and Development Block Grant.
  4. Provide incentives for businesses to adopt family-friendly practices that help employees address child care needs. There is a variety of ways businesses can use family-friendly policies to allow workers to maintain job stability while addressing their families’ needs.
  5. Explore innovative practices to improve efficiency and help families afford child care costs. Helping providers “blend and braid” the many streams of support offered to families is just one example of relieving administrative burdens and lowering costs.
  6. Provide families with accessible information on child care options and sources of assistance by increasing outreach and consumer education efforts.

Materials for the First Cost of Care Brief (click to download):

FINAL REPORT: Child Care Affordability in Colorado: An investigation into child care costs and recommended strategies for improving affordability

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Reporter Webinar Recording

Figure 1: Number of Licensed Child Care Facilities by Type in Colorado

Figure 2: Licensed Capacity of Child Care Facilities by Type in Colorado

Figure 3: Licensed Child Care Capacity Compared to Under 2 Population by County

Table 1: Average Monthly Price for Full-time Child Care in Colorado 2013

THE COST OF QUALITY

Figure 4: Percent of Households in Poverty in Colorado

Figure 5: Child Care is a Key Driver in What it Takes to Meet Basic Needs, Adams County 14

Figure 6: Basic Needs Expenses Including Child Care Vary By County for an Adult, Infant, and Preschooler

Figure 7: Median Earnings of Most Groups not Enough to Meet Self-Sufficiency

Table 3: Affordability of Center-Based Prechool-age Care for Married Couples with Children

Table 4: Affordability of Center-Based Preschool-age Care for Single-Mother Families

Table 5: Affordability of Center-Based Infant Care for Married Couples with Children

Table 6: Affordability of Center-Based Infant Care for Single-Mother Families

About the Second Cost of Care Brief

Qualistar Colorado has produced this brief through a grant from The Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Additional support for this effort has come from the Colorado Children’s Campaign. This ongoing investigation into child care affordability issues was prompted by The Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s The Status of Women & Girls in Colorado report and Child Care Aware® of America’s Parents and the High Cost of Child Care report, both of which identified child care affordability as a challenge for Colorado families, particularly single mothers. This second brief in a three-part series provides an analysis of child care affordability and operating costs in Colorado in the context of costs in other states. A culminating report in late 2014 will summarize the findings from this work and will include recommendations for improving child care affordability in Colorado.

Materials for the Second Cost of Care Brief (click to download):

About the First Cost of Care Brief

Working parents in Colorado pay widely different shares of their income on child care depending on their location according to a new analysis supported by The Women’s Foundation of Colorado. A family headed by a single mother in Park County may dedicate up to half of household income to child care costs, but the same family living in Ouray may spend only 12 percent of household income on child care costs.

The first brief in a three-part series reports from The Women’s Foundation, Qualistar Colorado and the Colorado Children’s Campaign explores the affordability of care statewide to better understand what is driving prices and what can be done to ensure more Colorado families can access the quality care they need to work and ensure kids have the stimulating experiences they need to learn and grow.

Materials for the First Cost of Care Brief (click to download):

Project Partners

The Women’s Foundation of Colorado

The Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s mission is to build resources and lead change so that every woman and girl in Colorado achieves her full potential. The Women’s Foundation of Colorado is a leader in conducting research, bringing together resources, impacting policy and investing in community partners who share their goals and impact their ability to dramatically change lives of women and girls in our state. Extensive, strategic research guides their work and is combined with their dedication to education, advocacy and collaboration as they set the agenda and lead systemic change in Colorado.

Qualistar Colorado and the Colorado Children’s Campaign

Qualistar Colorado is a statewide non-profit dedicated to advancing quality early childhood education across Colorado. We believe that all children deserve a high-quality early childhood education experience. Qualistar works to improve early childhood education by helping families find child care through a free referral service, rating the quality of child care programs, providing college scholarships for child care teachers, managing grants to improve child care facilities and strengthening federal, state and local policy through the use of data and information.

The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization that works to create hope and opportunity in Colorado, more than one million kids at a time. The Campaign uses accurate, compelling data and research on child well-being to champion policies and programs that improve children’s lives.