(WASHINGTON POST) Danielle Paquette — This election cycle, Democratic contenders are spotlighting the need for affordable child care in the United States, an issue they warn is increasingly urgent as families grapple with burdensome costs.
The average annual price of daycare for infants, which varies dramatically across the country, is now higher than that of a year of public college in two-thirds of states. Parents can expect to pay $16,500 in Massachusetts, $11,628 in California and $12,500 in Illinois, according toChild Care Aware of America. The necessity to keep working, a reality for most parents of young kids, often makes the quality of the child care center a secondary concern, advocates say.
On Wednesday, the Center for American Progress, a popular source of policy ideas for Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, is releasing a new a policy proposal to help ease this common strain: A new “high-quality” child care tax credit, worth up to $14,000 per child.
The proposal would target low- and moderate-income families. Under the plan, the tax credit would be advanced to families on a monthly basis and paid directly to child care providers. The centers, selected by parents, would qualify for the federal money only if they met the state’s minimum quality standards.