President Clinton urged Congress to consider the $21.7 billion U.S. Child Care Initiative he announced in his 1999 budget proposal yesterday. Clinton spoke to members of Congress and some of their daughters who accompanied them during the annual Take Our Daughters to Work Day. Clinton said that the majority of parents in the U.S. work outside the home and many need federal assistance to afford child care. Clinton commented that the initiative is about “taking care of our children, and not asking their parents to choose between being good parents and good workers.”
The initiative includes $7.5 billion towards subsidized child care for low-income families, $5.2 billion to increase the child and dependent-care tax credit and $3.8 billion for Head Start programs.
Members of Congress have not taken action on the proposal, but instead have proposed laws to increase child care block grants by $5 billion over five years and offering tax credits to parents that stay home with their children.
The Treasury Department released results of a survey of 1,100 companies yesterday. A majority of the companies said that the benefits of providing child care to employees would exceed the costs.