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Hawaii has shortfall of 30,000 licensed child care slots, study finds

  • STAR-ADVERTISER FILE

    Lead teacher Chanel Venzon read to her class of 3- to 4-year-olds at the Early Education Center of Seagull Schools. Nearly half of Hawaii’s children under the age of six lack access to quality, affordable child care, according to a detailed story map released today by Child Care Aware of America of Arlington, Va.

Nearly half of Hawaii’s children under the age of six lack access to quality, affordable child care, according to a detailed story map released today by Child Care Aware of America of Arlington, Va.

The state has a shortfall of more than 30,000 licensed child care slots, leaving half of children of working parents under 6 years old without access to quality child care, according to Child Care Aware’s interactive map, which offers an analysis of supply and demand, infant and toddler care, child care cost by region and policy recommendations.

“The deficits in quality child care slots should serve as a wake-up call to Hawaii’s policymakers and as a call to action for Hawaiian families,” said Lynette Fraga, executive director of Child Care Aware of America in a news release. “To build more high-quality child care capacity, the state should increase its investment in training the child care workforce and building its Child Care Resource and Referral network. When child care providers have the support they need to be successful, they are able to ensure our children are successful as well.”

In addition, average child care costs in Hawaii makes up greater than 12 percent of the household median income, with single parents paying 45 percent of their income for infant care, and married parents with two kids living at the poverty line paying 79 percent of their income on center-based care.

In 2016 the average annual cost for an infant was $8,112 for home-based care and $13,704 for center-based child care. Married couples with an infant and a 4-year-old in child care paid $16,284 for home-based care and $22,416 for center- based care per year.

A map of child care cost by region in Hawaii is also available.

Other findings by Child Care Aware include the following:

>> Of the 35,662 slots available in licensed child care programs, only 11 percent are available to infants and toddlers.

>> Lanai in Maui County has no licensed child care available for 127 infants in the area who need it.

>> Leeward Oahu has a shortfall of 2,045 slots for children under the age of six.

More detailed information on the cost of child care in each state is available in the non-profit organization’s Cost of Care report.

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