ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Approximately 90 percent of New York residents cannot afford quality child care, according to a report released by the Empire Justice Center.
With an average cost of $15,394 a year per child, it’s impossible for minimum wage workers to pay for child care without financial support in the state, which has the 6th highest child care costs in the U.S., the report said.
Families who are eligible to receive a child care subsidy would still find it too expensive.
Depending on the county, subsidies are available only to families living a certain percentage below the poverty level. In some counties there are restrictions to which families can receive a subsidy and in other counties there are no subsidies available at all.
For minimum wage earning families, the subsidy does little to alleviate the financial burden attached to child care.
An employee earning a minimum wage salary of $23,088 would have to spend 67 percent of their earnings to provide quality care for their child, leaving a dismal $7,694 remaining to pay for other living expenses, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
Even with subsidies provided by the county, a minimum wage earning family of 3 would still be spending 18.5 percent of their annual wages on child care.
To put that into perspective, an Albany County family of 3 earning a minimum wage salary and receiving a child care subsidy, would have to pay $4266 annually for child care according to the Empire Justice Center’s report. The annual average rent is $14,677 in N.Y., according to the EPI. It’s a combined cost of $18,943 and would provide families with a meager $4,145 for the rest of the year. It’s a weekly income of $79.71- not enough to provide food, clothing, transportation, insurance or utilities.
The entire report can be found on the Empire Justice Center’s website.