BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Unaffordable childcare plagues Utah families

Apr 17, 2024, 9:02 AM | Updated: 2:02 pm

Childcare unaffordable...

Brittney Villegas,3, gets silly with a piece of cantaloupe with caregiver Cecilia Osemwegie during lunch at the Neighborhood House Day Care Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. (Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY–  Unaffordable childcare is plaguing many Utah families as costs rise faster than inflation. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the state’s year-over-year daycare cost is up 4.4%, with the nation’s inflation rate sitting at 3.48%.

 

“All across the country, families are facing burdensome childcare expenses. The last few years have highlighted the tension parents experience when they need to go to work to provide for their families, but have difficulty doing so if they can’t access affordable child care,” said Wendy Chun-Hoon, the Women’s Bureau director for the United States Department of Labor

Childcare providers are struggling, too

“Unfortunately, where some people call daycare centers gloried babysitters, but they actually have knowledge around child development,” said Childcare Director, Sara Rowbotham. 

The reality is that childcare providers face the same problems many educators do. Their lower wages are slowly trying to catch up. According to new data, childcare workers’ average salary comes to $33,000 yearly. 

Like most in her profession, Rowbotham holds a degree in early childhood development. But like many educators, she says the passion for the kids outweighs the industry’s challenges when it comes to compensation.

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Unaffordable childcare plagues Utah families