PAWTUCKET – As the cost of
child care continues to skyrocket for middle class families in Rhode Island,
U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) hosted a roundtable at the
Children’s Workshop in Lincoln with non-profit leaders, childcare providers,
parents and stakeholders to discuss A Better Deal on Child Care – the
Democratic proposal to make high-quality child care affordable for middle class
families. Two images from the Roundtable are attached to this email.
“Across Rhode Island, too many families are
struggling to afford high-quality child care,” said Cicilline. “The cost of
child care has increased by 25 percent in the past decade, forcing parents to
choose between going to work and paying for child care. Democrats have an
exciting solution to this problem that will make high-quality child care
affordable for all middle class Rhode Island families.”
As a co-chair of the Democratic Policy &
Communications Committee (DPCC), Cicilline helped write the Democratic economic
agenda: “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future.” As part of
this agenda, Democrats are promising to make high-quality child care affordable
for all middle class families by passing the Child Care for Working Families
Act, and Cicilline has led this effort.
The Child Care for Working Families Act would
address the current early learning and care crisis by ensuring that no family
under 150 percent of state median income pays more than seven percent of their
income on child care. Additionally, the bill would:
· Create a new federal-state partnership to provide universal
access to pre-K for low and moderate income 3-and-4 year olds
· More than double the number of children eligible for child care
assistance in America
· Increase pay for child care professionals who care for our
· Create 2.3 million jobs by making it easier for parents to enter
the workforce and by growing the child care and early childhood education
· Build more inclusive, high-quality child care providers for
children, infants and toddlers with disabilities, including by increasing
funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
· Help all Head Start programs meet the new expanded duration
requirements and provide full-day, full-year programming.
Democrats are also fighting to make sure that
the federal government is expanding resources to help states address this
crisis. The recent Omnibus government spending bill, which Cicilline supported,
included major increases to federal investments in high-quality affordable
A $2.3 billion boost for
the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) for a total of $5.2 billion
A $600 million increase
for Head Start to bring total support to $9.6 billion. Of the total amount, $640
million is to support the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership program.
A $20 million increase
for a total $1.2 billion for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC)
program, which supports afterschool programming.
Despite the consequences of inaction, the GOP
leadership in the House, Senate and White House have not made making
high-quality child care affordable a priority. Their major legislative
accomplishment – a $1.5 trillion tax break for billionaires and corporate
special interests – left middle class families with higher health care costs
and almost no tax relief.
The high cost of child care harms the growth
of Rhode Island’s economy and the success of our children. Parents forced to
shoulder the high cost of paying for child care are less likely to enter the
workforce, and children who do not have access to high-quality programs are
less likely to perform well in school.
The average cost for full-time care at a Child
Care Center in Rhode Island is $12,091 for an infant and $10,172 for a
preschool age child, according to the RI Kids Count Facebook of 2016. In
comparison, the average cost of in-state tuition at the University of Rhode
Island for the 2016/2017 school year was $11,128 for a full-time student.