RhodyCare is Rhode Island Jobs with Justice’s vision for expanding access to care for ALL Rhode Island families. Caring for both our youngest Rhode Islanders (ages 0-4) as well as our our oldest Rhode Islanders, has become a very expensive task for families living in Rhode Island. RI currently weighs in with the oldest per capita population in the country. Our small ocean state is made up of 1.056 million people, with persons 55 years and older making up 31% of that population. However, with the baby boomer generation reaching retirement within the next five years, that number is continuing its rise. Along with this increase in our elder population, the cost of care they need is also tipping the scales. The average annual cost of adult daycare is $19,500 and the average annual cost of an at home health aid is $57,772. In terms of our youngest Rhode Islanders, persons under 5 years old make up 5.2% of our population, weighing in at about 54,912 persons in total. On the childcare side, the average annual cost of child daycare is $11,106 with an average annual cost of preschool reaching $13,805.
These care costs are weighting RI families down significantly, with the the cost of child daycare ($11,106) tipping over one-fifth of the the average RI annual income and with the cost of hiring a home health aide ($57,772) amounting to a cost larger than the average RI annual income. Here at RI Jobs with Justice, we believe that giving our families the care they need should be a source of joy and not a burden, and that is where RhodyCare comes in.
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 also recognize the 134,000 family caregivers in Rhode Island who provide an annual average of 142 million hours of uncompensated care. RhodyCare seeks to strengthen these care providers along with quality professional childcare and eldercare facilities.