All Families Should Be Able to Afford Child Care, and Here’s How

By Greg Kaufman


Only about one in six children who are eligible for childcare assistance in America actually receive it. In most states, childcare costs more than tuition at a four-year public university. And more than 50 percent of neighborhoods in America have a demand for childcare that exceeds supply.

But the Child Care for Working Families Act, reintroduced last month by Senator Patty Murray and Representative Bobby Scott and largely overlooked by the media, aims to change that. The legislation, which has been endorsed by all of the Democratic presidential candidates who are in Congress, would reach three in four children under age 13 by making quality childcare affordable for every low- and middle-income family who needs it. It would also provide a living wage to teachers, the majority of whom are low-income women of color. Childcare workers earn an average of $22,310 annually, and over 75 percent of them earn less than a living wage.

“This legislation not only provides an economic support for families so they can go to work; it’s also an antipoverty tool, and should be part of any economic justice agenda,” said Hannah Matthews, deputy executive director for policy at the Center for Law and Social Policy.


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