top of page

The Difficulties Low-Income Families Face Around:

Child Care

In a perfect world, no one would need to worry about who would take care of their children while they work.  We still hold hope that one day this will be the case in the United States.  Until then, we do what we can to help struggling families, living in the greater DC area, thrive.  


Cost is one of the biggest barriers

According to The 2023 Kids Count Data Book, published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, child care, for a toddler, at a District of Columbia center, averages $24,396 per year.

Our data supports this.  In 2023, the average annual child care tuition charged for one child (varying ages) in our program was $22,794.  Our figure includes tuition costs for 3 and 4 year-olds, which are slightly lower.

Families in our program earned an average of $46,393 in 2023, meaning child care took up roughly half of their gross pay.

I have no doubt that Cadence would not have been able to stay employed if not for this wonderful nonprofit organization.
- from a Lead Coach at Career Catchers
Child Care Counts has been instrumental in allowing several of our clients to accept employment when offered.
-from a Career Coach at Career Catchers

State vouchers help but are not enough for many parents

There is always a "gap" between what a voucher covers and the full tuition.  Parents are responsible for paying that difference.  For single parents, especially, the gap is often more than they can afford, after rent, utilities, car expenses, food, insurance, clothing, and other necessities. 

Child Care Counts has helped my daughter receive high quality childcare, as well as allowed me to graduate with my Bachelors in Social Work. 
- recent Child Care Counts alum

The application process for a state voucher can be extremely confusing and frustrating

State child care voucher agencies are constantly trying to improve their processes but the parents we work with still experience confusing communication, lack of timely follow-up and an inability to get answers about their applications.

Child Care Counts helps these parents by paying tuition during their application processing period.  Without our assistance, parents risk losing their job, due to delays in obtaining their state voucher, and their inability to afford child care without it.  

Without [Child Care Counts,] I would not have been able to get child care for my son, meaning I would not be able to begin working again...I am now working at a great job, and we just moved into our own place. Everything is finally looking up.  With Child Care Counts, all this was possible. 
- recent Child Care Counts alum

Difficulty in finding a provider

Many providers haven't returned to pre-covid levels of operation.  They may have fewer spaces due to the post-covid difficulties of hiring and retaining teachers.  Some have reduced hours because, with increased options to telework, many families have less need for very early or late hours of child care.


Fewer available spots affects all families using outside child care but being low-income adds additional layers of complexity to the search process.  Low-income families:

  • are more likely to have less flexible hours of employment, limiting which providers they can use

  • are more likely to rely on public transportation to get to and from work, limiting them to a provider in a specific geographic range

  • are less likely to be able to afford deposits charged by some providers

We take all of these factors, including any special needs the child might have, into consideration when working with a family so each scholarship is tailored specifically to each family.

special needs child.jpg
bottom of page