In today’s world, most parents work inside and outside the home. That’s why we need child care that keeps our kids safe and happy, but doesn’t keep us from making the rent or paying our mortgage.
The average cost of child care is over $11,000 dollars per child each year! Yes, you read that right. That’s out of reach for many middle class families, even if both parents are working. And it’s impossible for low-wage workers who do not earn much more than that working full time.
Having access to affordable child care doesn’t just help parents – it makes good economic sense. It keeps talented workers in the workforce and ensures better outcomes for our kids. That’s a win/win.
We also need good options for long-term care for other loved ones, especially for our parents as they get older. It’s long past time for solutions that support hardworking families who are trying to raise kids or care for elders.
That’s why Make it Work is proposing a bold new solution that’s flexible and affordable for families, provides quality care for our loved ones, values the people who provide it, and invests in high quality jobs.
We’re calling for changes that ensure no one pays more than 10 percent of their pay on child care and would provide aid to pay for all types of care options – from child care centers to after-school care to care provided by friends and family.
Plus, it’s time America did right by our kids and set up preschool for all three and four-year olds.
It’s also time to recognize the talented people providing stellar care for our children and other loved ones. The median income for a person providing child care is under $20,000 a year. Let’s raise that to a minimum wage of at least $15/hour.
Finally, people who stay home to provide care to a loved one should receive Social Security credit for the time they take out of the paid workforce. Being there for family shouldn’t mean falling behind.
If America is all about family values, it’s time we start valuing families.