Make child care affordable
Right now, more than half of all Americans live in child care deserts and, for those who can access care, the cost exceeds that of most major household expenses including housing. Child care workers (many of whom are mothers themselves) are among the lowest-paid workers in our nation.
For every $1 invested in early learning and child care, taxpayers get back $13 later due to fewer later grade repetitions, fewer later interactions with the criminal justice system and more.
The average cost of center-based child care exceeds the average cost of rent in every state.
I found out recently that the Child Care Services/Families First helps some families afford child care and that Congress increased funding for the program. It’s great to hear that many Texas families are gaining access to affordable, high-quality child care, but the reality is there are still too many families struggling to make it work by scraping together care and working odd jobs.
It’s time for our elected leaders to act with the Child Care for Working Families Act. We need more than incremental steps, and this bill is what Texas needs to make sure all families can afford high-quality child care.
I urge all members of both parties to support this act so our future citizens get the best education possible by making child care more affordable, and giving those who work with the children a living wage.
— Mary Whitehead, Tyler