© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Experts say the lack of affordable and accessible child care in Ohio is hurting families and economy

childcare classroom features chairs and a desk
Vach cameraman
A new Policy Matters Ohio report found that the average annual cost for one infant's care is more than $800 a month.

The lack of affordable and accessible child care in Ohio is not only hurting families, but also our greater economy by forcing parents to leave the workforce — that's according to advocates, policy experts and business associations, like the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

A new Policy Matters Ohio report says that while child care is vital to millions of families in the state, it is simply unaffordable for most Ohioans, where the average annual cost for one infant's child care is more than $9600, or more than $800 a month. It would take two parents a combined income of almost $140,000 to be able to afford that, for just one child, or put another way -- each parent would have to make $33 per hour.

And child care centers say they are still recovering from the pandemic, with many struggling to get back to pre-COVID capacity, and having trouble finding qualified workers at the level of pay they can afford. The Policy Matters report found that 39% of Ohioans live in a child care desert, which is most prevalent in rural areas.

Different organizations are drawing attention to this crisis through the lens of what this means for our economy by having public conversations — the first happening Thursday night in Cleveland from Starting Point and Collaborate Cleveland, who will discuss the issue in a Public Officials Forum for Greater Cleveland leaders.

Then on April 16, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Childcare Summit in Columbus.

On Wednesday's "Sound of Ideas," we're going to talk about the state of child care in Ohio and how it is impacting families, the economy and the workforce.

Later in this hour, author Jennifer Sciubba discusses how population trends are shaping our world.

-Nancy Mendez, President and CEO, Starting Point
-Dave Smith, Executive Director, Horizon Education Centers
-Steve Stivers, President & CEO, Ohio Chamber of Commerce & Former Republican Congressman
-Kathryn Poe, Budget & Health Researcher, Policy Matters Ohio
-Jennifer Sciubba, Ph.D., Author, “8 Billion and Counting”

Rachel is the supervising producer for Ideastream Public Media’s morning public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas.”