PolitiFact: Abrams’ cost claim isn’t true for all child care


While announcing her child-care plan, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams claimed that the average cost of child care in Georgia is more than the average in-state tuition.

The claim first appeared Nov.15 in a tweet promoting “The Bold Action for a Bright Future Plan.”

Abrams’ campaign pulled this information from the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank that researches economic trends. The EPI’s data says that in Georgia, infant care costs an average of $7,644 a year, 15.6 percent more than the state’s annual average in-state tuition.

The EPI’s estimated infant costs come from Child Care Aware of America’s 2015 “Parents and the High Cost of Child Care” report. The report calculates the averages of care offered at a facility and care offered at someone’s home. The $7,644 the EPI cites is the more expensive type, care offered at a facility. According to the report, the average cost of child care in a caregiver’s home in Georgia is $5,980 a year.

According to EPI, Georgia’s average in-state tuition estimate was taken from a 2014 survey conducted by the National Center of Education Statistics, a division of the U.S. Education Department. The total cost of tuition and required fees in a public university in Georgia averages out to $6,614 a year.

So Abrams’ number is accurate if the comparison is between child care at a facility and in-state college tuition. But it’s not correct if the comparison is with child care provided in a home.

Abrams is not the first, and possibly not the last politician to make this type of comparison. Back in 2014, PolitiFact checked President Barack Obama’s claim that in 31 states “decent” child care cost more than college tuition. Back then, Obama also used Child Care Aware of America as a source. We rated his claim as Mostly True.

Our ruling

Abrams is correct if the comparison is between child care at a facility and college tuition, $7,644 vs. $6,614. But child care offered in someone’s home — at $5,980 — is less that in-state college tuition.

The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important facts. We rate this statement Half True.


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