A cross-party majority of American voters are concerned about rising child care costs and support a substantial expansion of child care access, and new polls show that there is no way to address the growing child care crisis across the country. Parliamentarians are required to do so.
A poll released Thursday by Data for Progress found that 83% of voters are “very much,” “somewhat” or “somewhat” concerned about child care costs, including 87% of Democrats, 84% of Republicans and 84% are Republicans. 90% of the circle is covered. parents who responded to the survey.
An overwhelming majority of 1,247 survey respondents supported legislation introduced earlier this year by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) to expand access to childcare. The legislation creates a nationwide network of childcare and early education centers to limit childcare costs to $10 a day for half the country and capping it at 7% of income for high-income families.
The proposal given to respondents was supported by 79% according to the survey, with 42% saying they “strongly” supported the bill. This includes approximately 90% Democrats, 77% independents, and 70% Republicans. 87% of parents also said they supported the proposal.
Child care costs in the United States have skyrocketed for several years. During the pandemic, the average cost of child care has gone up even more. Last year, a LendingTree report found that child care costs at child care centers rose an average of 41% during the pandemic, from about $10,000 a year before COVID-19 to about $14,000 a year.
For households with children under the age of five, it was between 17 and 20 percent of the average annual wage. This is significantly higher than the US Department of Health and Human Services’ definition of child support, which is 7% of family income.
For many years, childcare costs have risen faster than inflation, while workers’ wages have stagnated for decades or cut in real dollars in recent years. These costs hit low-income families hardest. Although some low-income families are eligible for aid, families must meet strict criteria to qualify, and the aid that did exist was not enough to help families and children. Millions of children live in poverty in the United States.
Experts say the crisis will get worse because the childcare industry is broken and Congress has little energy to fix it.
The high costs are due to nationwide childcare shortages, with thousands of providers closing during the pandemic, less public funding for childcare and an increasingly underpaid and overworked workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for child care workers is $13.71 an hour, or approximately $28,500. That’s less than the national living wage for individuals without children and less than half the living wage for single parents, according to data from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.