Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress and Make It Work released a new report focusing on the astronomical costs of child care, the disproportionate impact of our broken child care system on communities of color, and the policies needed to give all children the opportunity to succeed. The report also includes real-life stories and economic challenges facing working families.
The proposal for comprehensive child care reform from CAP and Make It Work includes:
- Lowering costs for low-income and middle-class families through a sliding scale where no family pays more than 7 percent of income
- Investing in more high-quality programs (only 10 percent of child care programs are considered high-quality)
- Increasing options for parents by addressing child care deserts and bolstering licensed care in underserved communities (about 50 percent of Americans live in a child care desert)
- Offering parents care of their choice (including center-based, home-based, after-school and summer care)
- Creating good jobs by guaranteeing a self-sufficiency wage for teachers and caregivers
Child care is one of the most significant expenses in a family’s budget across the nation, surpassing the costs of college tuition and rent in many states. These high costs often force working parents to compromise on quality of care, more women to opt out of the workforce, and families to sacrifice saving for other needs such as retirement or college—challenges that disproportionately harm communities of color, low-income families, and families in rural areas.
“Study after study has shown the positive and lasting impacts of quality child care, both for our future labor force and the health and well-being of our children,” said Katie Hamm, vice president of early childhood policy at CAP and co-author of the report. “It’s time to get our policy priorities in line with proven child care solutions that help working families not just stay afloat but thrive. Our blueprint does just that by laying out the progressive case for affordable child care, greater care choices, high-quality programs, and a fair wage for teachers and caregivers.”
“Every child deserves the best shot in life, and that starts with high-quality, safe child care. Parents also deserve the peace of mind of knowing that when their kids walk out that door, they are safe, well cared for, and being given every advantage for a bright future,” said Julie Kashen, policy director at Make It Work and co-author of the report. “For working families to do better, our policies must do better. That’s why we need a comprehensive, equitable solution to help working parents ensure their children have the high-quality child care options of their choice without breaking the bank.”
Click here to read “A Blueprint for Child Care Reform,” by Katie Hamm and Julie Kashen.
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