Child Care Affordability by Occupation

In Delaware, raising a family with children is expensive. Whether or not a family can afford child care depends on income remaining after paying basic household expenses.

Despite recent state investments, there are still significant needs to help families afford child care. Dependable care means parents can work and children can get a strong start in life. However, many working families make too much to qualify for public assistance but not enough to include child care in their basic budget.

The family calculator is a policy tool that allows users to better understand the challenges of affording child care. In this calculator, users select an occupation. Based on the median income for that occupation, users can understand whether or not a family can access the licensed child care market after paying basic monthly expenses.

For families who wish to see if they qualify for child care subsidy, please visit the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Social Services web page.

To better understand the challenges of affording child care by county, please check out Rodel’s Child Care Affordability Calculator by Income.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, 2022 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates; U.S. Energy Information Administration; U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Thrifty Food Plan; Move.Org; Value Penguin, Delaware health insurance; U.S. Department of Energy; U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration; the 2021 Delaware Child Care Market Rate Survey Report, and Delaware 2023-2024 child care subsidy eligibility (Purchase of Care). For additional information related to sources (links, tables, and articles), download the Sources list.
About the Calculator by Occupation

The Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board (CED) worked in partnership with Rodel to develop a price calculator that shows child care affordability for families.

Customize Expenses

Auto-populated expenses reflect the monthly averages for all Delaware households.

Type in actual monthly expenses if higher or lower than the average. Do not use the $ sign. Just insert the number.

Health Insurance. For a family of 3, type in 1470 (no $ signs, no commas). Or, use the monthly cost of your health insurance. For example, some individuals may have employer-sponsored health care coverage, which could reduce the costs for employees.

Vehicle Expenses

In Delaware, 91.7% of households have at least one car. 37.1% of households own 2 cars and 22.1% of households own 3 or more cars.

Vehicle related expenses reflect the monthly averages for one vehicle and one driver in Delaware. Double these expenses if the family has 2 cars. If the family has 1 car, but 2 drivers, double the car insurance payment field.

Type in actual monthly expenses if higher or lower than the average. Do not use the $ sign. Just insert the number.

Child Care Prices

The price of child care varies based on the age and number of children in care as well as the type of setting and the locality.

A market rate study collects child care prices from providers statewide.

Prices vary across the counties.

The child care prices reflect prices at the 75th percentile of the 2021 Delaware Child Care Market Rate Study.  The 75th percentile means that parents have choices among 75 percent of providers, a benchmark for equal access (parent choice).

Price for All Children

In this field, your selections are added together for a total monthly price.

Child Care Subsidy

In Delaware, initial income eligibility for child care subsidy is about 46% of the state median income (SMI) for a family of 3 — a monthly income of  $3,833. For a family of 4, initial income eligibility is $4,625 monthly (about 45.1% of SMI). Federal law allows states to set initial income eligibility up to 85% of SMI (i.e., in Delaware, about 335% of the federal poverty line).

Note: Affordability is one barrier to accessing child care. Another is supply. The Center for American Progress (CAP) estimates that 25% of people in Delaware live in a child care desert (insuffient supply for families).

Find out how you can advocate to increase access to child care for working families. Visit FSPK today!