The numbers are staggering:
Child care is deemed affordable if it costs no more than 7% of a family's income, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That means, according to financial experts, only 8.7% of Arizona families can afford infant care.
The average annual cost of infant care in Arizona is $10,948, which is 3.7% more annually than in-state tuition at the University of Arizona, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
On the flip side, the EPI says families of child care workers nationwide are more than twice as likely to live in poverty compared to other families. And there's also a shortage of preschool educators in Tucson.
Thanks to a grant awarded to La Estrella by Solutions Journalism Network, we were able to write and report four stories about the status of child care in the Tucson area and how local officials and organizations are trying to be part of the solution.
Solutions Journalism Network is an organization dedicated to promoting journalism that analyzes community responses to specific problems.
You can read the four stories, which are also available to read in Spanish, linked below.
- Infant care costs more than a year of in-state tuition at the UA. Tucson officials hope to bridge the gap
- How organizers turned around a failed effort to fund quality preschool for Tucson families
- Childcare is a complex issue, but Tucson nonprofits and organizations are trying to help
- This Arizona program gives low-income parents a chance at career advancement