Elections are coming and they will have consequences that affect family child care providers and families.
Where do the national candidates stand on issues such as child care subsidies, raising provider income, child care tax credits, universal preschool, and improving the quality of child care for all?
Her website calls for universal preschool for 4 year olds and twelve weeks of paid parental leave. Recently, she issued a proposal calling for a raise for child care workers, doubling of the investment in Early Head Start, and an increase in child care investments so that no family pays more than ten percent of their income on child care.
His website says only, “Sen. Sanders is working on a plan to make high-quality childcare and Pre-K available to every American, regardless of income. It is unacceptable that the cost of a quality childcare program is out of reach for millions of Americans.”
His website has nothing to say about child care.
A candidate’s position on child care is only one issue upon which family child care providers base their vote. That’s how is should be.
But, I also think that what a president does can have an effect on the daily lives of providers and families. And I hope child care issues receive more attention in the coming campaign.
Not all providers are in agreement about what should be done to improve the child care field and help make child care more affordable. The rise of universal preschool may take away children from family child care homes. Some providers don’t want any expanded role of the federal government in child care.
In my opinion, the only way we will see more affordable child care for parents, higher earnings for providers, and higher quality child care is a more active government role at both the federal and state level. That doesn’t mean I support every action the government might take.
But, we are in a system where quality child care is out of reach of many parents, too many providers deliver low quality care, and providers find it hard to make a reasonable living for all the hours they work. I think more government resources are needed. What kind of resources and what the exact policies should be are open to debate.
Whatever your position, I urge every one to vote on the federal, state and local level. Congress and your state legislature will also has a lot to say about what will happen to child care in the coming years.
What would you like to hear from the candidates about child care issues?
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.co
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/propagandatimes/