On Monday, May 9, presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat down for coffee with parents at the Mug and Muffin in Northern Virginia to discuss issues that impact working families.
The Secretary also visited the Lee Highway KinderCare in Fairfax, attended by the Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA), Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. KinderCare partners with CCAoA and the Department of Defense in providing high-quality community-based child care for America’s military families. Nearly one-third of KinderCare’s children are from low-income, working families who receive child care assistance.
One of the issues raised at the coffee chat with the Secretary was from a young mom about the high cost of child care. She and her husband pay almost $16,000 per year for full day preschool for their two and a half-year-old son. CCAoA’s Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2015 Report shows that many parents are paying more for child care than their mortgage payment or even in-state college tuition.
"Right now, in many states, child care is more expensive than college tuition. Think about that for a minute. We know that college is too expensive—but for many families, child care costs even more. That puts parents in an impossible position: Either they put their kids in a not-so-great place and spend the whole day worried and distracted, or they do whatever it takes to pay for child care, even if that means taking on debt.”
The Secretary said, if elected, her Administration would look to strengthen and expand universal Pre-K, and provide subsidies and tax benefits to working families.
In the days following the discussion the Secretary Clinton outlined a child care plan that would:
- Ensure no family ever pays more than 10 percent of its household income on child care expenses through the use of a combination of subsidized child care and tax credits.
- Increase funding toward a home-visiting program that will be designed to help low-income children. The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting initiative would reach twice as many families as it does today.
- Increase pay for child care providers and early childhood educators through the RAISE initiative (“Respect and Increased Salaries for Early Childhood Educators") and base it on successful pilot programs now operating in several states.
Child Care Aware® of America has extended an invite to all presidential candidates to meet with families about child care issues and tour a child care center.