This story was originally reported by NBC 7’s sister station, Telemundo 20. To read the article in Spanish, click here.
The price of goods and services has increased recently, putting a strain on families. Among those stressors are rent, food, electricity and a service that impacts many California families the most, the cost of child care.
According to research from the California Policy Institute, only 7% of the state’s families can afford the average cost of child care, which amounts to $16,945 a year, or $1,412 a month. For comparison, tuition to go to UC San Diego is $17,487.
That’s too much for more than 90% of California families. Many parents find it difficult to sometimes give half of their checks to pay for their children’s daycare.
A minimum-wage earner in California would have to work for 33 weeks to pay for child care.
Telemundo 20 spoke with Carolina Valencia, director of Kinderland Montessori School of Chula Vista.
According to Valencia “from Monday to Friday, the average price per month is $795, and if they have siblings, they add 10%.”
Kinderland Montessori’s hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. They take of children ages 4 months to 5 years.
“Right now, because of COVID, we have a company that comes to disinfect once a month,” Valencia said. "Obviously, all operating expenses have increased.”
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Expenses have increased for her day care during the pandemic, according to Valencia.
“Teachers who have years of experience here in Chula Vista don’t want to make $15 an hour,” Valencia added.
Pres. Joe Biden has proposed the American Families Plan, which would guarantee universal preschool care and subsidized child care to low-income and middle-class families. Parents earning up to 250% of the state’s median income will pay no more than 7% of their income on child care, but only for six years, and parents must be working, seeking a job, in school or dealing with a health issue to use this program.
“We’re not going to be able to pay the salaries they ask for,” Valencia said. “We’re going to have to hire teachers who are graduating.”
The Build Back Better Plan passed the House and is currently awaiting a vote in the Senate.