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Child Care: It’s Time to Move it Up on Our Country’s Priority List

Crushed by the Cost of Child Care,” an article in Sunday’s New York Times, highlights a dilemma faced by millions of families. It is not a new or a surprising story. Ask any parent in any community across this country what one of your biggest challenges is and they will say finding affordable and high-quality child care.

While we have made some progress over the years, putting in place programs to help low-income families with the cost of child care, federal and state funding is actually on a downward slide. It is hard to explain why we do not provide more help to families in affording child care given that the case for investing in young children is so strong. Child care plays two critical roles that support our economy. It helps children access the high-quality early learning environments that they need to succeed and it helps parents work and support their families. Yet we have not found the will to ensure that all our children and their families, especially the most vulnerable, have the early childhood opportunities they need.

For the sake of nation’s children, families, and economy, we need to do better. This will require policymakers to step up their commitment to child care. Unlike K-12 education, early care and education does not have an extensive public financing stream undergirding it. The bulk of support for early care and education comes from parents. As the New York Times article points out, we cannot build a high-quality system that ensures that children are in safe and supportive environments and that early childhood educators are well compensated if parents are picking up the majority of the costs because they are already stretching themselves as far as they can.

There is a way that the country can take a step forward in helping families and supporting increased access to higher-quality early learning opportunities for young children. Under the President’s Preschool for All Plan, all four-year-olds under 200 percent of poverty would have a chance to participate in a high-quality, full-school-day preschool program. States would also over time be able to help higher-income families with preschool costs. Parents, teachers, and others across the country should make clear to their Congress members how supporting this plan will benefit children, families, and our nation’s economy.

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Child Care Scholarships

As a child care provider I see the benefit in quality child care. However, as a tax payer I have no clue how we are going to fund scholarships for all of these families. These are scholarships without parent needing to be working or in school, unlike the Child care subsidy program. These are scholarships because the govt thinks they can do a better job educating children Young children need quality love. They need stable families. Increase jobs, family stability, education for parents in all areas and incrase the subsidy program which requires that parents be working and/or in school. Betterment of family will get them out of poverty and a good start to education, not handing them over to providers.

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Helping low-income families while looking after children has become on of the most pressing issues for most governments in the world today. Well the weak economy has a lot to answer for because most of the woes stem from it. I wrote a research paper on cost of raising child and got some flak too.

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Day Care

My son and his wife are young parents. Yes, they made mistakes and had a child at a young age. The wife is working a minimum wage job, while her husband is going to school. They need affordable Day Care or when he starts working, she will have to quit her job. They feel it is important for her to be in a Day Care setting to help her with socialization skills, a diversity of races to instill the beliefs that they have against discrimination and equality, and a structured day to help her be ready for school. But, with the price of decent day care, it makes it nearly impossible to afford. They want their child exposed to all the opportunities that the world has to offer but even at the age of 3 they are coming up against walls/barriers that are not allowing them to do so. We all want the best for children, since they need this education/guidance at an early age to get them on the path of succeeding in life being the best person possible. Why are the programs only for people under the poverty level? What about the families that are just above that level? The level that they can not afford decent housing, reliable vehicles, healthy foods etc. This is one example of a young family trying to do better for themselves and their child, but, are up against walls on a daily basis. They are encouraged to work and get more education, but at the same time are told that because they work(even though it is a minimum wage job) they do not qualify for the help they need to get on the right path to raise their child the best way they can and become financially independent. Basically, they are told that if they work, they will not get the benefits that would help them out, but, if they weren't working they would qualify for all programs. What kind of message is this sending to the ones that want to better themselves and become independent? I thought that affordable day care and other programs were supposed to be there for these types of families, but, instead it seems the ones receiving all the benefits are the one's who just sit at home, getting high and drunk, and keep popping out children to get more money from the government. If President Obama wants this generation to become financially independent then why is the government denying help to the ones who want to do better but continues to give all the help and then some to the ones who are not willing to better themselves. He needs to answer this question and make Day Care etc affordable to those who are trying not the ones just sitting back and living off the government.

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