The Self-Sufficiency Standard Calculator measures how much income is needed for a family of a certain composition in a given place to adequately meet their basic needs - without public or private assistance. It makes it possible to determine if families' incomes are enough to meet basic needs.
The Standard assumes that all adults (married or single) work full-time and includes the costs associated with employment - transportation and taxes, and for families with young children, child care. It takes into account that many costs differ not only by family size and composition (as does the official poverty measure), but also by the age of children. And while food and health care costs are slightly lower for younger children, child care costs are much higher particularly for children not yet in school - and are a substantial budget item not included in the official poverty measure.