Quality, Affordable Childcare
Access to affordable, high-quality childcare is critical for the well-being of our kids, the financial stability of families, and our strength as a state. Investment in quality, affordable care is especially important in the first years of a child’s life – ages birth to 5 – a critical time for kids’ brain development. However, the staggering cost of childcare is severely burdening too many families. Washington state is one of the 10 least affordable states for childcare in the country – and families in our district are feeling the pinch. It is time that our state got serious about making the investments to make universally affordable childcare a reality for our families. I will champion:
Greatly expanding access to financial support: Access to our state’s valuable Working Connections Childcare needs to be significantly expanded. I propose using Area Median Income (AMI) standards to determine eligibility so that all families in our region can benefit. Our state can also cap childcare expenses so that no family has to pay more than 10 percent of their income on childcare.
Invest in the professionals who care for our children: Care work – which has mostly been done by women and women of color – has been undervalued for too long. Making our childcare system work means investing in the professionals who provide this critical care and education.