High-quality child care is too expensive. Government subsidies are too low to help.
By Lillian Mongeau
“If you look at where we are and where we need to go in terms of the families who need help, we are not talking about small, incremental increases,” said Hannah Matthews, the deputy executive director for policy at the Center for Law and Social Policy, a nonpartisan organization focused on policies that help low-income people. “This is a major investment that the country should make in terms of supporting early childhood and access to child care.”
All told, 1.3 million children, about two-thirds of whom are 6 or younger, enrolled in child care with the help of federal subsidies in fiscal year 2018. About 11 million more were eligible to receive the money, but didn’t, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Many states do not even keep track of who is eligible and can’t be served, Matthews said.
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