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Explore the Care Index

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The Care Index, a data and methodology collaboration between New America, Care.com and others, examines cost, quality, and availability data in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It shows that no single state does well in all three categories.

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Explore the Care Index

How the Care Index is Calculated

Field Overview
Cost in Home Average cost of in-home child care, or nanny care, in a state.
Cost in Center Average cost of child care - in a child care center or family child care home - in a state.
Average Cost Average cost of in-home and in-center care in a state, based on proportion of in-home and in-center users.
Cost as % of Household Income Expected cost of child care as a percentage of median household income for each state.
Cost as % of Minimum Wage Expected cost of child care as a percentage of minimum wage for each state.
Quality Standardized quality score based on the proportion of accredited family child care homes and centers and ratings for in-home providers on Care.com, where 100 is the national mean, and each 15 points represents one standard deviation from the mean.
Availability Standardized availability score based on the ratio of child care employees to the number of children under 5 in a state, where 100 is the national average, and each 15 points represents one standard deviation from the mean.
Care Index Score Overall Care Index assessment of each state based on standardized cost, quality, and availability scores.