A biennial study finds the cost of child care in Oregon has shot up thirteen percent, during a period when family income was falling.
Oregon State University researcher Bobbie Weber says it’s not clear what is driving the rising cost of child care. She’s pretty sure it’s not wages. Caregivers’ salaries are still averaging less than $30,000 per year.
Weber said, “The median lowest is slightly under twenty. The median highest is around twenty nine. Many of these people have degrees for this kind of work. it’s not going into salaries.”
Weber says the data also showed more than 55 percent of Oregon children are not spending time in professional child care centers. They’re either at home with a parent or in an informal setting, staying with a relative or family friend.
Weber says day care seems to be more expensive in states like Oregon, where housing prices are also high. She does not believe that’s a causal relationship. The most expensive county in Oregon for child care was Washington County, with Multnomah, Benton and Clackamas counties close behind.