What We Want for Christmas: Affordable and Accessible Childcare
For parents, childcare is one of the most important, stressful, expensive, and developmentally critical decisions they make. On top of that, the availability and affordability of childcare can be the biggest make-or-break factor that keeps parents out of the workforce and away from their own careers and ambitions.
But especially during a time of runaway inflation and a shallow workforce, the expense (and waiting lists) can make childcare all but impossible for many.
Santa isn’t solving the problem here, unless he’s going to stick around and watch the kids after he delivers their presents.
Instead, policymakers can make some real-world differences in 2023. Here’s how:
- Make staff-to-child ratio requirements more flexible while maintaining safety and making childcare more affordable.
- Eliminate or lower barriers for new childcare workers that keep talented caregivers out of an in-demand market because of their degree.
- Allow students to count toward staffing ratios to allow college students to be counted as “staff” by childcare providers.
These policy reforms are popular with voters: More than 70 percent of voters from across the political spectrum support allowing students to count as staff, and more than 50 percent support changing the number of staff members required per child.
If these reforms are implemented, prices could fall, on average, by nine to 20 percent for infants and two to five percent for four-year-olds. Families with children in full-time childcare could save more than $500 per year.
Read more about affordable childcare:
FGA Policy Solution: Affordable and accessible childcare