About the Problem

America needs more people in the workforce.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that in order for child care to be affordable, it should account for no more than 10% of a family’s budget. But in many states, costs are often 30% or more, which has the effect of keeping many women out of the workforce.

Workforce

About the Policy

Make child care more affordable for families by enhancing funding for early education programs such as Early Head Start and increasing funding to states to improve childcare quality.

Public Support

79% of All Polled
89% of Democrats
71% of Republicans
76% of Independents

Polling data derived from three national surveys conducted by Cohen Research Group in February and March 2016. Each survey had a sample size of at least 1,000 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%

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Despite recent declines in the unemployment rate, our labor force participation rate is still too low. Moreover, many of the most vulnerable Americans continue to face a difficult path to climb out of poverty.

Tied into both of these problems is the high cost of child care. If child care is expensive, it can limit parent’s ability to enter and stay in the workforce, and hinder economic advancement.  

This is especially burdensome on women.

The Pew Research Center found that, after decades of decline in the number of stay-at-home mothers, there has been an uptick in recent years. In 1999 the number of women who did not work at home was 23%. By 2012, that figure rose to 29%. While there are many factors driving this trend, the high cost of child care is an important component.
 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that in order for child care to be affordable, it should account for no more than 10% of a family’s budget. But in many states, costs are often 30% or more.

When child care costs more than rent, it disincentives otherwise capable people from seeking a job.

To address this problem, we should work to make child care more affordable for families by enhancing funding for early education programs such as Early Head Start and increasing funding to states to improve child care quality.
This will not only alleviate problems associated with workforce development, it will help provide more children with a stable educational foundation to build upon.