Hillary Clinton pledged Tuesday that as president she will ensure that families pay no more than 10 percent of their income on child care, a significant and rising cost for working parents.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” Clinton said of the cost of quality care for young children and the difficulties faced by working parents. “It’s the most important job that any of us can do, and we’re making it really hard and really expensive.”
Clinton was campaigning in Kentucky on Tuesday, one week ahead of the Democratic primary in that state.
The Democratic presidential front-runner’s campaign said the proposed mix of federal subsidies or tax credits to pay for the new benefit will be announced later. Clinton will also propose raising wages for child-care workers and expanding home-visit programs for new parents.
“Secretary Clinton is acutely aware that the middle class is extremely stretched when it comes to affording quality childcare,” campaign policy adviser Ann O’Leary said in a statement. “While middle class wages have stagnated in the last decade, costs of childcare have gone up by nearly 25 percent.”
Clinton wants “substantial new investments” in federal subsidies for lower-income families and tax breaks for middle-class families to meet the goal of limiting costs to 10 percent of family income, O’Leary said.
The Clinton campaign said the monthly cost of sending two children to a quality child-care center is higher than the average cost of rent in every state. In a majority of states, the cost of infant care is higher than the tuition at public universities, the campaign statement claimed.
Clinton referred to some of those statistics during a discussion with young working parents at a social services center in Lexington that offers subsidized day care. She endorsed several of the approaches and services offered in the bright, cheerful preschool classroom.
“I’m looking for good ideas” that can serve as national models, she said.
Clinton visited a healthcare center in Louisville later Tuesday, and was holding an evening rally.