Providence, RI - Rep. Robert Nardolillo III (R-Dist. 28 Coventry) is concerned about the rising cost of childcare in Rhode Island and supports measures to make programs more affordable for all families
A recent issue brief released by Rhode Island Kids Count revealed that the average cost of full-time care for an infant is more than the average cost of tuition and fees at a public college. The average annual cost for licensed childcare in Rhode Island is over $12,000 for each infant, which is out of reach for many low-income families. This only decreases slightly as a child grows with the lowest average costs totaling $7,775 a year for school age children between the ages of six and twelve.
These costs can make it impossible for working class families to send their children to a high-quality child care program which is why the state offers subsides for families living at or below 180% of the federal poverty level. This means that a family of three would need to earn less than $38,000 a year to qualify for any subsides and does not guarantee that they will be able to find a quality care provider.
Rhode Island Kids Count has offered a number of recommendations to make child care more affordable in Rhode Island while also expanding access for all families. These including making subsidies available to more families and creating a tiered quality system, which pays higher rates for childcare that meets higher quality standards. They also recommend expanding the Temporary Caregivers Insurance Program, which allows workers to take paid time off to care for a new child.
Rep. Nardolillo supports the Kids Count recommendations stating, “As a father I know how the high cost of childcare can affect a family budget. Studies have shown that children with access to a high quality early education prior to entering school have more positive learning outcomes than those who do not but the cost of these programs often restricts access to low income families. I believe that investing in every child will help us build a better Rhode Island and that starts with making childcare affordable for all.”