Center for American Progress

RELEASE: In New Poll, Iowa Caucusgoers Say Child Care Is Too Expensive for Working Families, Want a Commonsense Solution to Put Child Care Within Reach
Press Release

RELEASE: In New Poll, Iowa Caucusgoers Say Child Care Is Too Expensive for Working Families, Want a Commonsense Solution to Put Child Care Within Reach

A plurality of likely caucusgoers say they would be more likely to support a candidate who prioritizes policies for working families, such as child care and paid family leave.

Des Moines, IA — A new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, or PPP—commissioned by the Center for American Progress’ WithinReach campaign—shows that a majority of likely Iowa caucusgoers say that child care is too expensive for working families and that they want a commonsense solution to bring child care within reach. A plurality of likely caucusgoers also say they would be more likely to support a candidate who prioritizes policies for working families.

As the nation looks toward its next slate of leaders in 2016, the Center for American Progress launched the WithinReach campaign in November 2015 to elevate and create momentum around the need to put high-quality child care and pre-K within reach for kids, for families, and for the economy as part of the national debate.

The PPP poll found that 69 percent of likely Iowa caucusgoers support workplace policies that include provisions for child care and paid family leave, while 63 percent support direct tax credits for working families to help them afford child care.

“Millions of families—here in Iowa and across the United States—are facing a child care crisis, and it affects not only working parents, but also their children, our communities, and the entire economy,” said Neera Tanden, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress. “These new poll results lay bare what many families already know to be true: Child care is a necessity, but it is far too expensive and out of reach. Most importantly, voters want to see presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle provide substantive solutions for the issues facing working families.”

“Child care is clearly an issue that drives votes and is part of the broader conversation around family economic security, which is Americans’ top issue,” said Jim Williams, Issue Polling Specialist at PPP. “While it may not be surprising, it is an important reminder for White House hopefuls of what American families are looking for in this election.”

According to PPP, key findings from the survey include:

  • 70 percent of caucusgoers say that child care is too expensive and out of reach for working- and middle-class families, including 79 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Republicans.
  • 74 percent say that access to child care is an economic necessity for working families.
  • Three out of five caucusgoers agree that access to high-quality child care and pre-K are a necessity for families and the economy, including 88 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of Republicans. Voters of all age groups agree, including 70 percent of all 18- to 29-year-olds polled who “strongly agree.”
  • 60 percent agree that the nation needs a solution to put access to high-quality child care and pre-K within reach for working families.
  • 69 percent support workplace policies that include provisions for child care and paid family leave.
  • 63 percent support direct tax credits for working families to help them afford child care.
  • A plurality of caucusgoers—49 percent—say that they are more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who prioritizes policies for working families, such as child care and paid family leave, including 73 percent of Democrats, 50 percents of independents, 68 percent of voters ages 18 to 29, and 53 percent of women.

PPP surveyed 511 likely Republican and Democratic caucusgoers from January 21–22, 2016. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent. This poll was conducted by automated telephone interviews. Click here to see the full poll results.

In 2015, CAP released a new proposal that would provide a High-Quality Child Care Tax Credit to help low-income and middle-class families afford child care. The proposal would expand child care access to roughly 6 million children under age 5 in the United States, increasing the current service level more than fourfold while supporting financial security for working families. In 2013, CAP released a proposal to make high-quality preschool universally accessible to all 3- and 4-year-old children—legislation that has since been introduced in Congress as the Strong Start for America’s Children Act.

The WithinReach campaign’s website, WithinReachCampaign.org, features a sign-on letter to urge candidates and policymakers to prioritize early childhood; an interactive map showing how out of reach child care and pre-K are in every U.S. state; videos; an action toolkit; a guide to engage candidates; click-to-share graphics for social media; and news and updates.

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at apreiss@americanprogress.org or 202.478.6331.

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