It’s no secret the cost of childcare is expensive and still rising. The average annual cost of childcare in America ranges from $4,000 to $22,600 depending on location and age according to the Economic Policy Institute. This makes the cost too expensive for many families to afford. Relief for those families comes in the form of The Child Care and Development Block Grant which helps subsidize the cost of childcare for low-income families.
The program is critical to many low-income families but is underfunded and currently not sufficient given the nationwide need. The program served 1.3 million children monthly on average in 2018 but only one out of every six children eligible for the program actually received assistance. However, families who are currently in need of childcare assistance received good news on the budget front today.
The latest $1.7 trillion spending bill allotted an additional half-billion for the childcare program. This brings the total to $5.8 billion which was double the total in 2018.
There has been bi-partisan support for childcare assistance with many echoing the research that lays out the benefits of childcare. There are obvious benefits to the child such as an academic head start and socialization. But there are huge benefits for the family, too, like giving women the ability to return the work, which increases a family’s ability to spend on other needs.
This is only the latest in a series of plans and proposals designed to help families by taking care of kids. Recently Kamala Harris proposed extending afterschool activities to align with the work schedule.
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