Child Care Affordability
(King County, 2017)
Photo Courtesy of Best Starts For Kids
In a 2016-2017 survey, parents and guardians of children in King County answered questions about their child’s regular child care arrangements. Among children in some kind of regularly scheduled care, parents were asked to agree or disagree with 10 statements about the quality of their child care/out-of-school care arrangement. Affordability results are discussed here.
For other indicators on the quality of child care in King County, please see the BSK Child Care Dashboard.
76% of parents of children age 6 months to 5 years reported using some form of regularly scheduled child care from providers such as child care centers, nannies, babysitters, relatives, friends, neighbors, preschools, and/or Head Start/ECEAP; of these, 69% agreed with the statement that their child's primary child care arrangement was affordable.
41% of children in kindergarten to 5th grade were in regularly scheduled child care. Of these, 76% agreed with the statement that their child’s regular child care arrangement was affordable. Combining both age groups, 72% of parents or caretakers said their regular child care arrangement was affordable.
Race/ethnicity: Combining results from both pre-school- and school-aged children, 86% of parents of Latino children in regular non-parental child care agreed that their child care/out-of-school care arrangement was affordable, which is above the King County average.
Language spoken at home: Parents in households where Spanish (93%) or Vietnamese (91%) was spoken at home were more likely to report that their child care/out-of-school care arrangement was affordable than the King County combined-ages average.
Respondent’s education level: 94% of parents without a high school diploma reported that their child care arrangements were affordable, which is significantly higher than the King County combined-ages average (72%) and parents at all other levels of educational attainment. This finding could reflect greater use of unpaid care or child care assistance and subsidy programs, but data about payment for child care are not available.
These data are limited in telling the whole story of child care affordability, and only include children in regularly scheduled, non-parental care. Situations in which parents leave the workforce or reduce hours to stay home to care for children are also important to consider when looking at child care affordability.
For more data on King County families from the Best Starts for Kids Health Survey, please click on the Related Data tab above, and select an indicator from the dropdown menu.
Notes and Sources
Source: Best Starts for Kids Health Survey (BSKHS), 2017.
Numerator: Respondents who agreed with the statement that their child’s regularly scheduled child care arrangement was affordable.
Denominator: Families with children in regularly scheduled childcare.
King County data on child care are from the Best Starts for Kids Health Survey (BSKHS) 2017. BSKHS is a survey about the health and well-being of King County children 5th grade and younger. Respondents who reported that their children had some type of regularly scheduled child care or after school care were asked ten questions about the quality of that care, including affordability. Data shown here are for collected in late 2016 and early 2017.
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