Ongoing challenges remain for families to find affordable childcare in their own neighborhoods or near their employment or that meet their work schedule. The Children’s Cabinet reported the average costs for licensed childcare November 2015 from a low of $148.31/week for a first grader or older in a family home, to a high of $196.64/week for an infant under 6 months in a center.
Washoe County’s Social Services provides childcare licensing services. Few new centers and homes are licensed each year, a trend that is seen both statewide and nationally. Historically, this slow increase can be attributed, in part, to rising employment rates and the disparate wage and benefit rates for child caregivers as a profession. Per NRS4321, Social Services is authorized to monitor the childcare centers and homes that provide care to more than one child for compensation, and to enact and enforce regulations with regard to programs and services of childcare facilities.
Social Services sponsors and partners with a number of community agencies to improve caregiver awareness and education in the areas of quality programming, child abuse and neglect prevention, reporting requirements, and caregiver support initiatives. The Children’s Cabinet reported in their 2009 Child Care in Nevada report that licensed care in Washoe County only met 53.03% of the demand for children ages 0-5 years, decreasing to 27.26% for children ages 0-9. Parents reported that their main problem finding care is no available openings (or not open for requested schedule); 1,363 children were reported in self care ages 6-9 years, and 2,930 children ages 10-12.
The Children’s Cabinet also assists parents with affordable, accessible childcare to eligible parents who are working, going to school, in job training or seeking employment. According to The Children’s Cabinet most recent childcare outcomes report, 92% of parents receiving a subsidy found employment in fiscal year 2011-12.
Supporting childcare is a smart business decision. Past studies estimated that for every $1 spent on childcare, there’s at least a $2-$9 economic benefit through increased tax revenues and decreased social, education, and healthcare costs.
*Licensed centers include tribal land, Head Start & PreK; licensed homes include family and group child care