All children, regardless of their parents’ income or employment status, need quality early education opportunities. Many middle- and low-income families, not just the poor, need help in paying for child care. Tax-based assistance can help some families, but is not the best way to help the poorest families who cannot afford to pay the up-front costs and wait for once-a-year tax benefits.
We propose that the federal and state governments guarantee child care help to families with incomes below about $40,000 a year, with expanded tax help to higher-earning families. At the same time, states should be encouraged to improve the quality of early education and broaden access for all children. Our child care expansion would raise employment among low-income parents and help nearly 3 million parents and children escape poverty.
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