The decision about who will care for your child is deeply personal. Every working parent should be able to choose care that works for their family and helps their child thrive. For too many parents, high quality care is hard to find and hard to afford.
Families across Washington struggle to afford the high cost of child care
. For some low- and moderate-income working families, Working Connections Child Care
helps. It's a state program (with federal funds) that pays a portion of child care costs, but it doesn't cover the cost of care. As a result, few providers serve families that use Working Connections. Many of those who do limit the number of spots. That means fewer options for families and babies.
Increasing reimbursement rates will help families, support healthy kids, and support gender and racial equity.
Lack of investment in high quality care contributes to the low wages paid to those who do this important work. Over 90% of early child educators (which includes child care providers) are women. Many are parents struggling to get by as well.
Racial inequity in the U.S. reduces the income and the wealth of families of color, especially African-American, Latino and American Indian families. Those inequities are caused both by historical racist policies that denied opportunities for income and wealth, and by current racist policies and practices in education, employment, home ownership, health care and more. Those inequities mean the burden of the high cost of child care sits heavily on working families of color.
We can do better.
Every member of our youngest generation deserves high quality, culturally and linguistically responsive early learning opportunities that help them have a great childhood and grow up strong.