‘It’s Heartbreaking’: Noble County’s Affordable Childcare Struggles

NOBLE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — The cost of care is complicated, ranging from expensive for families to expensive for daycare to stay open. A struggle that families have been fighting for years. In Noble County, a proposed program could change how the system works.

Jenna Anderson of the Early Childhood Coalition Noble Thrive by Five explains what they do in their space.

“We’re really the connectors in the community, we give people a place to go where they have an idea,” Anderson said.

Anderson says in Allen and Noble counties, daycare typically costs between $110 and $250 a week, that’s just for one child. In Indiana, the average family spends about $12,000 a year on childcare. But to be considered affordable childcare, that figure must be 7% or less of a family’s total income. That equates to at least $171,000 per year.

Breakdown of the average daycare cost in Allen & Noble counties.

“Our average family income in Noble County is 56,” Anderson said. “No matter where you go, parents struggle to pay,” Anderson said.

Why the high cost? This results from the state-mandated ratio of child to teacher.

“The ratio for infants is one teacher to four children, and that’s why infant care is the most expensive care,” Anderson said. “So in Noble County, you can pay $225 to $250 for an infant, from there the ratios that we most need right now for infants and toddlers go up,” Anderson explained. “That’s what’s draining funds from all these child care centers,” Anderson said.

The solutions to this problem are simple, a proposed program is the way to help families.

“I proposed a TRICARE program in my county where our government in Noble County would fund one-third, employers would fund one-third of child care, and then families would find one-third,” Anderson explained.

Anderson suggests families ask several questions to find the right provider for their family.

  • Are they licensed?
  • Which qualifications do you have?
  • Do you have experience teaching toddlers aged 0-5?
  • Are they CPR certified?
  • Do they have this safe sleep practice?
  • What kind of curriculum do they use?

https://www.wane.com/top-stories/its-heartbreaking-the-struggles-of-affordable-childcare/ ‘It’s Heartbreaking’: Noble County’s Affordable Childcare Struggles

Dais Johnston

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