Maryland Families Spending Upwards of 32% of Income on Child Care

Breaking News

Maryland Family Network Releases annual report citing the cost, supply, and demand of care in Maryland.

For many families in Maryland, quality child care is too expensive. That cost can keep adults out of the workforce and cause children to fall behind their wealthier peers. Maryland Family Network’s annual publication, Child Care Demographics, shows policy makers and others, just how expensive child care is in the Old Line State. The 2024 edition of Demographics was released today and breaks down statewide information including county by county data about demand, supply, and cost of child care. 

Child care ranks between the second, third and fourth most expensive costs for Maryland households with young children. It competes only with housing, taxes, and food. On average, Maryland families who have an infant and a preschooler in care, are spending upwards of a quarter of their income on child care. In some Maryland jurisdictions, that percentage is even greater. Baltimore City families spend 31.5% of their income on care. Calvert County has the state’s lowest percentage with 16.3% being spent on care. This all despite the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommendation that parents should not spend more than 7% of their income on child care. 

Decades of research proves that when children have access to affordable child care in the first five years, they do better in school and throughout life including being healthier, better educated, and earn more money over their lifetimes. When adults don’t have access to reliable affordable child care for their children, they are less likely to enter or re-enter the workforce, accept promotions, or pursue educational opportunities. 

MFN’s 2024 Demographics Report is the only one of its kind in Maryland and is a resource for everyone concerned about the well-being of our State’s children. Data for the report comes from LOCATE Child Care, a service of Maryland Family Network.