FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 30, 2009 | Download PDF
Economic Recovery Package Provides Needed Child Care Assistance
CLASP Analysis Breaks Down Impacts State-by-State
(Washington, D.C.) The economic recovery proposal includes a much-needed boost to child care assistance that will help more low-income working parents stay employed and access quality child care for their children, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) said today.
The House and Senate versions of the bill include $2 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). The House passed the bill Wednesday and the Senate is expected to vote next week. A CLASP state-by-state analysis of the proposal reveals that 300,000 more children will be able to access quality child care as a result of the new investments. The measure also would stimulate the economy by helping more families find and keep the jobs they need to provide for their families.
"Helping families afford child care and ensuring that providers can keep their doors open is a sound investment," said Danielle Ewen, CLASP's director of child care and early education. "Even before the economic downturn, low-income working families were struggling to afford quality care for their children. Now, as more families see their incomes drop and face tough economic choices, it's all the more critical to invest in programs that help families stay out of poverty."
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 by reducing instability in care arrangements that can affect work. In recent years, however, 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. Only about one in seven eligible children currently gets help paying for child care.
"The economic recovery proposal to invest in child care assistance will help more low-income families weather these tough economic times," Ewen said.
CLASP develops and advocates for policies at the federal, state and local levels that improve the lives of low income people. We focus on policies that strengthen families and create pathways to education and work. Through careful research and analysis and effective advocacy, we develop and promote new ideas, mobilize others, and directly assist governments and advocates to put in place successful strategies that deliver results that matter to people across America.