Affordable Child Care: Is It In Our Future?

President Obama Aims To Help The Middle Class Families With Child Care Costs

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The cost of child care in American is rising and many families are struggling to provide for their children. Childcare can cost more than $16,000 for an infant and more than $12,000 for a 4-year-old in the United States, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). The government spends $10 billion per year subsidizing child care for low income parents so they are able to work.

 According to a report by Child Care Aware, 30 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia, average annual daycare costs exceed in-state tuition at a four-year college and many families spend twice as much on childcare as they do on food. 

In 2015, President Obama addressed the problem of child care costs in America.

“During World War II, when men like my grandfather went off to war, having women like my grandmother in the workforce was a national security priority — so this country provided universal childcare. In today’s economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, we need affordable, high-quality childcare more than ever. It’s not a nice-to-have — it’s a must-have. It’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.”

Below is a summary of the new 2015 proposals that impact families with children in America:

  • Tax credit for families with two earners. The President proposed a new $500 credit to help cover the additional costs faced by families who have two parents working. This credit would benefit 24 million couples in America.
  • Child care tax credit of $3,000 per child. The President's proposed an increased tax credit for child care. Parents with children under 5 years old would receive a $3,000 tax credit for child care expenses. This tax credit would help 5.1 million families cover child care costs for 6.7 million children. 
  • Paid sick and maternity leave. The President proposed new legislation that would allow workers to earn up to a week of paid sick time a year. The proposal would also give an additional six weeks of paid parental leave. 

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