This brief examines child care costs and affordability for low-income Hispanic households with at least one child ages 0 to 5, the period in which families' care needs tend to be most acute. Given that care is often needed for older children as well, to cover gaps between school and parents' work schedules, our household-level analysis of child care spending includes all arrangements for children younger than age 13 who live in the home. Using nationally representative data from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE), we report on Hispanic households' weekly out-of-pocket child care costs, and the percentage of household income this represents. We examine costs separately for immigrant and nonimmigrant Hispanic households given evidence that some aspects of care access and utilization (including receipt of subsidies) vary by parents' nativity status. For comparison purposes, we also report cost data for low-income non-Hispanic, nonimmigrant, and white and black households. Finally, to better understand associations between costs and utilization for Latinos, we examine the amounts and types of care being used by Hispanic households with three different levels of child care spending: those with no out-of-pocket costs, those paying affordable costs ([less than or equal to] 7% of income), and those with high costs ([greater than] 7% of income). (author abstract)
Child care affordability is out of reach for many low-income Hispanic households
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