While most other industrialized countries provide some level of childcare support on the logical assumption that care and early education of children is a social good and a human right; quality, affordable and accessible child care continues to be elusive for the children in the United States and specifically the State of California. Our children are our greatest national resource and their daily well being from their earliest developmental stages until they reach school age must be among the highest priorities facing government and policy makers.
In the current climate of welfare-to-work social reform/legislation and the need for most families to have dual incomes, providing child care must be a part of the equation, along with job skills training and adequate transportation. And, since the responsibility for childcare falls disproportionately on the shoulders of working women, it is a matter of basic equality that affordable and quality childcare be readily available.
To this end, the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee strongly favors the adoption of a national child care policy.
- Legislation that increases funding of existing programs and the expansion or development of additional child care resources, including day care facilities, family day care homes, in-home care, drop-in centers, and available 24/7;
- Public and private funding of affordable, high-quality child care programs for the care of infants, pre-school and school-aged children as well as public and private funding for the expansion and development of child care services for children with special needs, including developmentally and physically challenged, care for mildly ill children, children at risk of abuse and neglect, foster youth and homeless children;
- Employer-sponsored child care, including employer-tax incentives, employee child care benefits, on-site facilities, paid Family Medical Leave, alternative flexible work schedules, resource and referral, and supplementary child care services;
- Policies that create standards for training and certification which ensure quality care and provide sufficient financial incentives to attract the most qualified and well-trained child care professionals possible.