New report says parents pay more for child care in these eastern Washington counties

New report says parents pay more for child care in these eastern Washington counties

It’s no secret that many Washington parents struggle to afford childcare, but some families are digging deeper into their wallets than others.

Of Washington’s 39 counties, Whitman, Okanogan and Whatcom counties have the most expensive child care for an infant and a preschooler in a child care center, relative to median household incomes, according to Child Care Aware. That report detailed parents are paying 39.5 percent to 51.9 percent of their median incomes in those counties. That’s far beyond what federal guidelines recommend.

Child Care Aware said that the most affordable counties for child care for an infant and a preschooler are Kitsap, Mason and Island counties. The nonprofit estimated that costs there consume between 30 percent and 30.7 percent of median incomes.

Overall, Washington ranks on the top 10 list of states with least affordable child care for almost all types of child care for children up to five years old and for the cost of caring for a school-aged child during summer, according to data shared by Child Care Aware.

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