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Report: NY Families Struggling, Cost of Child Care a Major Cause

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 By Michael Clifford/Eric Mack, Contact
December 5, 2006

New York, NY - Young couples in New York are struggling to get started and raise families, and a new report cites the increased cost of childcare as one reason having children has become the Number One predictor of bankruptcy. Tamara Draut, with the policy research organization Demos, sees it as proof that lawmakers have failed to look after middle-class families.

"The idea of having children now increases your financial vulnerability to the point that it has become a great risk factor for going into bankruptcy. It's left up to parents to sort of piece together a patchwork system that costs a lot of money and does not mean they are getting high quality (child)care."

Katie Roche, executive director of the early education center "Rainbow Chimes," agrees. She says state subsidies are often made available to low-income parents, but middle-class parents are on their own.

"That's the irony. Low-income families are better able to access quality early education and care than middle-income families."

Average New York childcare costs are now $250 a week, or 11 percent of an $80,000 pre-tax income. The Demos report is available online, at www.demos.org.

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