President Obama on Thursday detailed a new $80 billion proposal intended to help more families afford child care as part of a post-State of the Union policy push the White House hopes can win over Republicans and independents.
The president called for the federal government to dramatically expand the Child Care and Development Fund, a federal program that provides states grants for childcare assistance programs to help low- and middle-income families.
“In today’s economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, affordable, high-quality child care and early childhood education — these aren’t just nice to have, this is a must-have,” Obama said in remarks at the University of Kansas.
The White House says more money is necessary because budgetary restraints mean only a fraction of children who qualify for assistance receive it. Subsidies provided to those who qualify often don’t do enough to cover child care costs.
The proposal to expand the development fund comes on top of the president’s proposal to triple the maximum child care tax credit available to middle-class families. Under Obama’s plan, parents could receive up to a $3,000 credit.