True or False: Generally, full-time childcare costs more per month than a mortgage payment
Late last month the Child Care for Working Families Act of 2019 (S. 568) was reintroduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA). Originally introduced in September 2017, the Act did not have the needed support. Today, however, there are multiple bills and actions at all levels of government related to childcare.
If the S. 568 were to become law, it would cap childcare at seven percent for families living under the 150 percent of state median income level. If a family does not fall under this threshold, the Act provides some significant tax and education incentives that could dramatically reduce overall costs for all families. What does this mean for Oregon families?
True or False: The cost of childcare has increased approximately 24 percent in the past decade
To illustrate, let’s look at the median family 2017 income for Oregon of $64,610, which was slightly higher than US average of $61,372 family income. Oregon is positioned about in the middle of the national income list, ranking at #27.1/ Based on the seven percent cap, the cost of childcare for a median family could be around $4,522.7 per year. Average costs for full-time care in Oregon (2017) varies depending on the child’s age and needs, but the averages costs speak volumes: approximately $9,822 for a four-year-old, $12,442 for a toddler, and $13,292 for an infant. 2/
True or False: The cost of enrolling an infant full-time in a care center may exceed the average cost of in-state college tuition at public four-year institutions
The bill goes well beyond this cost reduction cap, touching access, training and compensation for child care workers, and improving care. There are for seven additional bullet points:3/
1. Providing cost-sharing between the Federal government and States to provide high-quality, affordable child care from birth through age 13 (see also “Baby Promise” which is a similar Oregon State grant that is being piloted in three regions in Oregon, including Coos County).
True or False: The average bill for a full-time 4-year-old in a care center is over $9,500 per year or $791 per month
2. Double the number of children eligible for child care assistance and ensure all those who are eligible have the ability to enroll their child in a quality program.
3. Provide incentives and funding for states to create high-quality preschool programs for 3- and 4-year olds from low and moderate-income families during the school day, while providing higher matching rate for infant and toddler programs (who are typically more expensive to care for and are harder to place).
4. Increase workforce training and compensation, including ensuring that all child care workers are paid at least a living wage, at parity with elementary school teachers if they have similar credentials and experience.
True or False: This Act could increase the need for skilled childcare workers nationally by more than 700,000 jobs and allow 1.6 million parents to return to work
5. Improve care in a variety of settings, including addressing the needs of family, friend, and neighbor care and care during non-traditional hours to help meet the needs of working families.
6. Build more inclusive, high-quality child care for children including infants and toddlers with increased funding for individuals under the Disabilities Education Act.
7. Help all Head Start programs meet the new expanded duration requirements to provide full day, full -year programming.
True or False: The funding sources for this bill have not been identified
Should this Act be approved the benefits could potentially begin in 2020 as detailed in the Act which outlines state payments, sliding scales, quality improvement grants, and more. There’s just one little ‘fly in the ointment’... where will the $8 billion come from every year?4/
Oh yeah, the answers? They are all true, and worthy of further discussions.
1/ A Closer Look at Oregon’s Median Household Income (https://www.qualityinfo.org/-/a-closer-look-at-oregon-s-median-household-income) by Nick Beleiciks, March 1, 2019
2 / The US and the High Cost of Child Care, 2018 Report (https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2014/09/24/96903/the-middle-class-squeeze/) and Appendix (https://info.childcareaware.org/hubfs/appendices%2010.19.18.pdf)
3/ Child Care for Working Families Act of 2019 Summary (https://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/CCFWFA%20Fact%20Sheet%20116th%20Congress%20FINAL.pdf
4/ Senate Bill S. 568 (https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/568/text)
For More Information see: http://usa.childcareaware.org/2019/02/child-care-advocates-applaud-reintroduction-of-child-care-for-working-families-act/
Quality childcare is critical to business retention and expansion (BRE). What do you do when you can't find it and lose scarce talent when it is not readily available to your employees? Maybe there is a different way to think about the problem and help on the way.