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A Helping Hand for the Holidays
Thanksgiving is coming up, and there’s a lot to love about the holiday season. It’s a time to come together with family and friends, to share memories and create more. It’s also a time to be thankful for both the people and programs that make our lives easier. Unfortunately, many parents with young kids cannot add affordable child care to this list.
Any parent can tell you how expensive it is to find high-quality, educational care. In almost all 50 states, the cost of child care exceeds the federal standard for affordable care– about 7 percent of a family’s income. And half of all Americans live in “child care deserts,” where quality care is unavailable.
The Child Care for Working Families Act, sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), would change this unworkable system. This monumental bill would provide direct financial assistance to eligible families to be used for child care expenses, ensuring that no low- or moderate-income family has to pay more than 7 percent of their income for child care -- the federally recommended maximum. In addition, the bill would improve the quality of child care by setting universal state-quality standards, offering quality improvement grants to centers, and reducing the shortage of child care workers by requiring that employees are paid a living wage.
So when you get a break from your holiday preparations, please take a minute to urge your representatives in Congress to support the Child Care for Working Families Act. This would be the perfect gift for America’s working families.