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Tell Congress to Let Parents Choose Their Childcare

Public Education family childcare Education

Vote NO until Build Back Better protects middle class families and small childcare facilities 

Childcare is in crisis in America. With an average annual cost of $15,900 per infant and $13,200 per toddler nationwide, we’ve reached a point where childcare is so expensive that many are faced with impossible choices between building a family and working to support themselves. In many communities, parents can only afford to pay so much, leaving smaller childcare facilities to cut costs, limiting their ability to compete with corporate chains and larger brands. Under the current system, corporate childcare facilities primarily thrive in wealthier communities, where parents are able to pay more for childcare. Instead of abandoning poorer and middle class communities, smaller childcare providers have been faithful, finding innovative ways to continue to offer care in spite of the difficulties they face. President Biden’s Build Back Better plan threatens to demolish these childcare providers by providing massive incentives for corporate chains to expand into areas where they were previously not profitable and charge higher prices for care.

Unless you shell out much more cash, even if you like your current childcare provider, you probably won’t get to keep them. Build Back Better attempts to solve the problem of rising childcare costs by offering subsidies to families and grants to childcare facilities, but the requirements for this money provide unfair advantages to large corporate childcare providers. These requirements more than double the cost of childcare across the country, and while the government is promising subsidies to help offset the increase, only certain people qualify.

You won’t qualify for the childcare subsidy in Illinois if:

  • You make more than $35K (single working parent) or $65K (two working parents)

  • A parent does not participate in one of eleven “eligible activities” or is under 65 years of age

  • Your childcare provider is:

    • Not state licensed (Not currently required in IL for religious organizations)

    • Unwilling to participate in a tiered system that evaluates centers’ quality of care

    • A religious/sectarian group or housed in a religious/sectarian building (rules of federal grants)

Childcare Facilities don’t qualify for grant money in Illinois unless:

  • State Licensed (Not currently required in IL for religious organizations, day care centers)

  • They are willing to participate in a tiered system that evaluates centers’ quality of care

  • They are not religious/sectarian groups or housed in a religious/sectarian building (rules of federal grants)

  • Employees are paid $40/hour (current average is ~$12.24/hour nationwide)

  • Facilities are improved to meet state standards

While many of the improvements required sound good at face value, the costs of reaching them are unattainably high and only larger, for-profit corporate childcare providers can feasibly reach them. Right now, it’s not profitable for corporate childcare to out compete smaller facilities in middle and lower income areas. If Build Back Better is passed, the government will be paying corporate providers exactly what they need to destroy and replace smaller providers, leaving parents with fewer options that all cost much, much more. 

Created by

Chris Butler

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Created by

Chris Butler

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