Affordable child care remains out of reach for many NYC families: report

Toddlers playing with toys.
Toddlers playing with toys.
Child care is unaffordable and inaccessible for many New Yorkers, according to a new report.

Affordable child care remains out of reach for many NYC families: report

Access to licensed child care providers is also limited across the five boroughs.
August 2, 2021

Child care is unaffordable for half of New York City families – and difficult to find across the five boroughs – according to a new report from Robin Hood and Columbia University. 

Researchers found that 52% of families spent more than 7% of their income on child care, which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines as unaffordable. 

Government assistance programs provide some relief for low-income families trying to access child care, but the report found that many families eligible for such aid may not be accessing them. Only one in three families below the poverty line has received any government assistance for child care. Among the reasons that eligible families may not be getting support: limited eligibility requirements for certain programs, underfunded programs, lack of awareness, and administrative burdens that keep aid out of reach.

The prevalence of child care deserts remains a persistent problem, according to the report, with 70% of New York City children under the age of 4 living in an area with an insufficient number of child care providers. In Queens, about three-fourths of youth live in a child desert – the worst of the five boroughs. The study found that families in such deserts were less likely to use licensed child care.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.