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Study: Cost of Childcare Widening Gap in Achievement

A new Economic Policy Institute study revealed how the cost of early childhood care correlates to the child’s achievement in the future. The study also recommends many ways in which a change in state policies could help narrow the achievement gap.

In Kansas, childcare can cost upwards of $19,000 per year. That can buy two years of tuition at a regional University, such as Emporia State.

“The gaps before kids enter school end up having a very big effect later on in their lives,” Emily Rauscher, assistant professor of sociology and faculty director of the Wealth Transfer Project in the School of Social Welfare’s center on Assets, Education and Inclusion, said.

Access to high quality childcare can improve both motivation and health, while decreasing the crime rates. The Economic Opportunity Institute found that children who do not participate in a form of child care program were 70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime by age 18.

Rauscher said she hopes change can come from this, while urging Kansas to help lower the cost of childcare.

“If Kansas could invest more in early childhood care and education that would be a great place to invest their money,” Rauscher said.

According to the report, if Kansas were to provide subsidized childcare, families could save nearly $13,000. The report also recommends additional resources to be provided to caregivers and teachers in order to help facilities maintain a well-trained staff.

For more on the report visit www.epi.org

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