Does Public Funds Help Pay For Child Care?



Unlike free public education for PreK-4 through 12th grade, child care in the United States is primarily considered to be a workforce support for families rather than education for young children.  Paying for child care is seen as solely the responsibility of parents.

*About 90% of funding for child care in the United States comes directly from parents.

*Very little federal or state aid goes directly to child care programs.

*Most public money available for child care is given to parents through state child care subsidies.

*Programs can benefits from indirect public funding through tax relief.

*Parents can benefit from federal and state tax programs including the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, and Dependent Care Assistance Programs.

*Some parents receive help with child care costs from their employers.

Why Does Child Care Costs So Much?

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  1. Arizona also has three different tax credit programs. Parents apply through the state after their child is already admitted and enrolled in a private school. One, called Lexie’s Law, provides tax-credits to special education and foster care students that allow them to attend a private or public school of their choice. Furthermore, both individuals and corporations can receive tax credits if they contribute to private school scholarship funds.

  2. As someone with two little ones in child care I truly wish that there was assistance out there for us working parents because child care…good child care is EXPENSIVE!!

    • Thank you Lauren. Quality Childcare can be costly. There are many family child care homes that have lower rates than larger centers. Most corporate or franchised centers will be very high on the income scale. Family Childcare homes have obtained accreditation status, which will mean that must adhere to higher standards than those who have not made that business investment for the families they service.

  3. Good information, these are some of the things we can discuss with our local government reps to start the conversation for change.

  4. I never really relied on child care because it didn’t makes sense for our family financially. I was very expensive for three kids. We had to decide to keep giving a big portion of my income to childcare or have me at home full-time. We decided for me to be at home.

    • Saidah, there are many parents that are faced with that choice. Childcare is heavy monthly expense to bear and many parents make too much money to qualify for the subsidize assistance. I will be sharing more information on how to get our public official and state representatives to raise the income threshold.

  5. I have several friends with children, and I honestly don’t know how they can even afford it. I’m not sure what programs are available in my state, but it would definitely be worth looking into.

    • Thanks, Ola Please share this post as I have included a link that will take you to the subsidized programs for each state. You can share this link and post to your friend. Many moms and single dads don’t realize that such programs are available

  6. Yep! Child care is ridiculously expensive and it kind of doesn’t stop. Child care turns into after school care, then summer camps, and so forth! I only have one child and couldn’t imagine paying double.

    • LC, yes, unfortunately, some parents do have to make that choice. However, parents who can handle children may consider opening their on family child care business in their home.

  7. So many of my coworkers just stay at home with their kids because it’s so expensive. I think I would do the same if I had a baby, especially at this age.

  8. I used to be a childcare social worker at the Department of Family and Childrens services in Georgia. So many families would be in trouble without subsidized childcare. It is indeed very expensive.

  9. Child care is so expensive it makes no sense! Fortunately I get government assistance for child care but I’m in the process of looking for a new much better paying job since I have my degree now and I am beyond scared straight of having to pay for child care! Fortunately my oldest will be in kindergarten next year but I have an 8 month old which means I won’t be getting a break from daycare bills anytime soon

  10. Child care is sooooo expensive. No wonder moms or dads just stay home instead of working the same shifts. That’s what my parents did. When they were at 4 kids the amount of childcare was as much as their rent.

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