RhodyCare: Charting the Course for Care
Everyone deserves the freedom to live full and healthy lives and sustain their families. Taking care of a child, a loved one with a disability, or an aging parent should be a source of joy. Yet, high costs of living and stagnating wages challenge Rhode Islanders’ ability to make ends meet. And the skyrocketing price tags of childcare and eldercare, which can easily exceed rents, further exacerbate this problem.
As Ocean state families shoulder the responsibilities of care, the crippling financial and emotional burden of caregiving mounts. Approximately 134,000 family caregivers in Rhode Island provide an average of 142 million hours of uncompensated care for an aging parent or loved one, with an estimated economic value of $1.78 billion per year. Women across the state make up the majority of unpaid family and underpaid professional caregivers, and bear the brunt of this financial crisis. With the oldest per-capita population in the country, Rhode Islanders need elder care more than ever before. And as baby boomers reach retirement age and childcare costs rise, more people will struggle to provide care for their families.
RhodyCare is a simple solution to this complicated problem. All Rhode Islanders would pay into a trust fund through a combined income tax and paycheck deduction. And later when the time comes to pay for childcare or eldercare you can access this pooled contribution by filling out a simple questionnaire regarding individual family needs and a voucher will be given to the care provider of your choice whether they be family or professional. Together we aim to build stronger family and community bonds and in order to do so we must support our family caregivers, our professional care providers and all of our at home care workers. RhodyCare seeks to strengthen each and every one of these care providers along with providing the ability to ensure quality professional childcare and eldercare facilities for our families at both ends of their lifetimes.
No one should have to choose between paying for basic necessities or the care they need for their families. Conditions in Rhode Island are ripe for an ambitious policy that addresses the family care challenge: long-term care, childcare, and paid family leave. RhodyCare can ensure that families don’t have to make tough decisions without a safety net to support them.
By the Numbers: The Cost and Impact of Child Care and Elder Care for Rhode Island Families
- Rhode Island Demographics
- Total Population: 1.056 million
- Persons under 5 years: 54,912 (5.2%)
- Persons 55 years and older: 318,200 (31%)
- Persons 65 years and older: 174,240 (16.5%)
- Cost of Care
- Average annual cost of child daycare: $11,106
- Average annual cost of preschool: $13,805
- Average annual cost of home health aide: $57,772
- Average annual cost of adult daycare: $19,500
- Income and Cost of Living
- Pre-tax median income: $56,852
- Post-tax median income: $39,756
- Cost of living: 13% higher than the national average
- Average annual housing rental cost: $14,856
- Care Demographics
- 35% of adult daycare recipients live with an adult child
- 66% of all adult daycare recipients are women
- 93.7% of childcare providers are women
- 75.2% of personal care providers are women