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The New Child C.A.R.E. Act in Congress Tackles Quality, Affordability
What costs more than a year of college but is needed a lot sooner? You guessed it: child care. According to the Economic Policy Institute, child care for infants costs more than in-state, four-year public college tuition in 33 states, putting critical care that parents need for the health and education of their children, and for their own ability to earn a living or go to school, out of reach.
Common Sense Kids Action supports a new child care bill in Congress that addresses two key problems: affordability and quality for low-income families.
The Child C.A.R.E. Act would make child care more affordable by increasing the existing federal subsidy for families earning up to 200 percent of the federal poverty limit. And it has several provisions to boost quality, including requiring better training, higher standards, and higher pay for child care workers -- among the lowest-paid workers in America despite their responsibility.
That provision resonated with Dawn O'Neal, a child care worker for the past 15 years in Atlanta, who joined lawmakers on Capitol Hill this month to unveil the bill.
"I love the paint, getting messy, and watching the children grow," she said. "I wash their faces, dry their tears, and I help them learn how to use the potty. I love my job. And it pays $8.50 an hour! I can't afford to take care of my own family on that."
Sponsored by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), the bill would increase federal support for child care by $25 billion over five years. Kids Action needs your help. Take action today and deliver a message to Congress that parents and teachers across the country support quality, affordable child care for all families.