Child Care Assistance: A Program That Works
Jan 23, 2009
As the economic recovery package moves through Congress, it is critical that it include a $3 billion increase in the federal child care assistance program, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG).
Child care is a program that works. Research shows that child care assistance makes a significant difference in the economic health and security of families. It helps families sustain their participation in the workforce, reduce instability in care arrangements that can impact work, and move out of poverty.
- In recent years, the number of children receiving help from the subsidy program has fallen while the number of children living in low income families potentially eligible for assistance has grown. The result is likely a larger share of unserved children today, as compared to 2000.
- A $3 billion investment in CCDBG would help states provide child care for approximately 483,000 children in 281,000 families. Based on the share of poor families served in CCDBG, this increase in funding could provide an income support to more than 137,000 poor families moving them on a path from poverty towards prosperity.
- An increase of $3 billion in CCDBG funding would create paid work for an estimated 189,600 caregivers. This initial job creation will have an even larger effect on the economy when considering the multiplier effect of this investment.
A substantial investment in child care assistance is needed now. Recent news reports indicate that parents are pulling children out of care because they cannot afford the high costs or because they have lost jobs. Child care providers are having difficulty making ends meet with fewer children in care. It is clear that helping families afford child care and ensuring that providers can keep their doors open is a critical and sound investment, one that works, and one that can help shore up the economy, and move the country, including our most vulnerable families, forward toward recovery.