Study: Hawaii lacks access to quality, affordable child care

HONOLULU (AP) — Child Care Aware of America has released a resource map that shows nearly half of Hawaii’s children under the age of 6 lack access to quality, affordable child care.

The state has a shortfall of more than 30,000 licensed child care slots, the Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

Child Care Aware of America released an interactive map that offers an analysis of supply and demand, infant and toddler care, child care cost by region and policy recommendations.

Lynette Fraga, executive director of Child Care Aware of America, said 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.”

Average child care costs in Hawaii make 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 in center-based care was $8,112 for home-based care and $13,704 for center-based child care.

Married couples with an infant and 4-year-old in childcare paid $22,416 for center-based care and $16,284 for home-based care per year, the newspaper reported.