“Childcare costs have risen more than twice as high as inflation”
WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill agree that child care is unaffordable and sometimes unattainable for many families. What they can not agree on is how to solve these problems.
Parents, child care attorneys and lawmakers all say the U.S. child care system is broken.
“Childcare costs for American families have risen more than double that of inflation,” said Rhian Evans Allvin of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. “And early childhood educators earn poverty wages that undermine their complex work and limit the supply of care.”
Democrats are still pushing for their Build Back Better Plan, which includes provisions for cheap child care and free preschool.
Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray said it was “a fully paid plan to reduce the cost to families, bring up wages for workers, and give parents across the country more freedom.”
North Carolina’s Republican senator Richard Burr pointed out that Democrats have not been able to get enough support – even from their own party – to pass the plan.
“Wow! How could you not have enacted this into law now? It’s all free,” Burr said. “Without any plan to pay for two new rights, the proposal hides the long-term costs.”
Burr said he proposes to improve and re-authorize a current government program.
But all 4 witnesses who testified said the program – child care and development block grants – is not doing enough.
“Because of the lack of resources and limited reach, most families in the United States are not included at all,” said Julie Kashnie of Women’s Economic Justice.
Proponents of childcare also said the investment proposed by Democrats is necessary. But Democrats have no clear path to pass them.