Paycheck$ and Politics Newsletter: Issue 5

Included in this newsletter:

  • Access to quality child care must be part of the continuum of lifelong learning opportunities available to Arkansans of all ages.
  • The cost of child care comprises 18%-24% of the basic daily living needs facing Arkansas families. In some cases, the cost of child care equals over half of a working family’s income.
  • In the average month, an estimated 28,961 Arkansas children receive state- or federally-subsidized child care services on a full or regular part-time basis.
  • Currently, only 21% of eligible children (families with incomes below 156% of the federal poverty line) receive subsidized child care. Less than 16% of children in working poor families (185% of poverty) receive subsidized care.
  • An estimated $147 million is spent annually on subsidized care through all state and federal programs.
  • To increase the percent of eligible children receiving subsidized care from 21% to 50%, it would cost the state an additional $109 million annually.
  • To provide subsidized “quality” child care to 50% of all eligible children, it would cost the state an additional $145-$515 million annually (“quality” care is care that meets state- or nationally-accredited quality standards).