Child Care On The National Agenda
Oct 19, 2007
Research demonstrates that child care supports benefit families: low-income parents who receive help paying for child care are more likely to be employed, to have higher incomes, and to remain off of welfare. A study of 17 states found that in 11 communities, families without any help paying for child care could only afford 10 percent or less of the center-based care in that community. Receipt of a child care subsidy made child care centers and regulated family child care homes more accessible for these low-income families. Yet child care the high costs, the lack of quality settings, the large number of children on waiting lists continues to be missing from national debates. Across the country, only one in 7 children eligible for help is supported by the child care subsidy program; and the GAO has reported that 19 states have made it more difficult for working families to get help with child care costs over the last several years.
Recently, Senator Hilary Clinton announced a new agenda for working families as part of her Presidential Campaign. One component of the proposal is expanded access to high quality child care through increased funding for subsidies to low-income working families and an expansion of the Dependent Care Tax Credit, as well as investments in licensing, training for providers and quality rating systems.
Every day, working families send their children to child care. They hope that their children will be safe, happy and healthy. These families are thinking, and worrying, about child care. Hopefully, all of our politicians on the national stage will take this opportunity to come forward with new proposals to increase and expand access to child care that will help put parents' worries to rest.