State Capitol News
11:15 am
Wed October 7, 2009

Child care costs could rise

Phoenix, AZ – Right now all child care centers pay $150 every three years for
licensing. State Health Director Will Humble said the problem
with that is it doesn't come anywhere close to covering the cost
of the inspections his staffers make of the facilities to ensure
they're safe. Until now, that difference has been made up by
general tax revenues. But with the budget crunch, lawmakers told
Humble to make the program self-sufficient. That will mean big
increases: The smallest centers, those with up to 10 kids, will
pay $581 for those three-year licenses. But the sliding scale
means those with at least 150 kids will be paying more than
$13,000. Humble said while the increase is huge, it needs to be
put in perspective.

(It's 40 cents a week per kid, basically. I mean, that's a back-
of-the envelope calculation. So the bigger facilties obviously
are going to have larger fees. They have more kids at the
facility. So 40 cents a week, if you ask a mom, hey, is it worth
40 cents a week to make sure that your kid is safe in her child
care facility or preschool. The answer is always going to be
yes.)

But Bruce Liggett of the Arizona Child Care Association said
that's no help to a daycare center whose license renewal comes up
soon and hasn't been collecting extra money from parents all
along. Public hearings on the plan are set for later this month.
For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.