Despite the fact that only 30 percent of preschool
children (under age 5) are in center-based facilities or
family day care, the President's plan is devoted almost
entirely to that population.
- Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC):
By law, not one dollar of this credit can go to
stay-at-home moms; both spouses must be in the
workforce to be eligible for the credit.
Moreover, the CDCTC is of little help for those
parents who work but choose to have relatives
care for their children.
The Census Bureau reported that in 1993 over 80
percent of parents who used relatives for child care
did not pay cash for these services. Yet, under the
CDCTC, parents wishing to claim the credit not only
would be required to pay a relative for looking after
a child, but would likely be designated an
"employer" and therefore required to
withhold and pay Social Security taxes, the Medicare
tax, and the federal unemployment tax.
- Standards Enforcement: There is no need
for further federal intrusion into a child care
system which 96 percent of parents say is
satisfactory or highly satisfactory and which the
Department of Health and Human Services reports
is already witnessing "a strong commitment
to quality" on the state level.
Imposing additional federal requirements, such as
licensing, certification, and "quality
standards," will only produce dramatically
higher child care costs and reduce the range of
choices available to families, especially low-income
families. The type of child care model the Clintons
have in mind (such the U.S. military's child care
program) would, according to a 1989 study published
in Ohio State University's journal Theory Into
Practice, increase child care costs by 80
- After-School Program: The White House
estimates that as many as 5 million school-age
children "spend time as 'latchkey kids'
without adult supervision during a typical
week." The $160 million per year the
President proposes in his plan however would
amount to just $32 per-child each year.
What working parents really need are more options
and more flexibility in their day-to-day work
schedules to meet the needs of their pre-school and
school-age children before school, during school, and
after school. If President Clinton were serious about
helping working families, he would provide the
nation's 60 million hourly employees (nearly half of
whom are working women) with the same flexible work
arrangements that government and salaried employees
enjoy. Yet, due to pressure from organized labor, the
President and Congressional Democrats are refusing to
extend hourly employees this same fair treatment in
the workplace so that they too can spend more time
with their children.
- Tax Credit for Businesses: Child care
should be about empowering parents -- all
parents, whose greatest benefit would be a
government that is committed to returning more of
their income to them.
Once again, homemakers, parents who choose to have
relatives look after their children, the
self-employed, and parents who work out of their
homes are completely left out of the Clinton plan.
Moreover, a tax credit for on-site care will do
nothing to alleviate the escalating costs of
liability insurance which is the greatest obstacle
facing employers who wish to provide child care for