That’s one of the biggest costs that comes with starting a family — childcare.
So how do Democrats and Republicans differ when it comes to politics in this election?
UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM
Meet Ronal and Marisela Portillo, parents of two-year-old Arlette Portillo.
The Portillos live in Las Vegas and count their blessings for an aunt who can take care of Arlette every day while the Portillos work.
Childcare is not a realistic, affordable option.
“It’s too much to pay for daycare,” Portillo told our Joe St. recently. To George.
Portillo is not alone.
Affordability and access to childcare are top issues on the minds of many voters this election.
Parents now spend, on average, $10,600 per year per child.
Costs outstripped inflation last year.
They are 90,000 fewer child care workers today than before the pandemic.
Many rural areas lack options at all.
Meet Casandra Hall.
She is in the process of opening a child care center in Las Vegas.
“I have a passion for children,” Hall said.
We met to better understand why there is such a shortage. She says parents shouldn’t think providers are getting too much money.
The costs of running the centers have also increased.
“How much would an instructor be paid?” St. George asked Hall — who currently works at another kindergarten.
“You’d be making less than $30,000 a year,” Hall said.
“What is currently the biggest challenge for opening a kindergarten?” – Saint George asked.
“Paperology,” Hall said.
For example, at the time of our visit, Hall was getting ready for a state inspection, which she has to pay for out of pocket—an expense she ultimately has to pass on to her parents.
Hall hopes to get her center — the Children of the Road Learning Center — up and running soon, but says it’s hard to do it alone.
$45 a day is the cheapest option she is likely to offer.
“I don’t do it for the money,” Hall said.
A grant from Wonderschool, an organization that increases access to early education, helped with startup costs.
In the current Congress, Democrats and Republicans have surprisingly agreed on some ways to solve the child care conundrum of the future.
However, no compromise was ever reached, nor was a vote taken.
For a while, there was a bipartisan agreement to expand the Child Care and Development Block Grant to cover more families.
There have even been some moves to cap out-of-pocket costs at 7% for many families.
There were even efforts to fund more childcare centers and improve wages.
But disagreements ultimately prevented any vote.
Republicans and Democrats have generally disagreed on income qualifications to receive benefits.
They disagreed over wages for childcare workers and guaranteed funding from the federal government.
Democrats generally wanted more funding to cover more families and released their proposals in the stalled Build Back Better Act in 2021.
Republican Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) tried to bridge the gap for Republicans by introducing legislation related to the Child Care and Development block grant.
However, disagreements have largely prevented any serious discussion.
According to The New York TimesScott’s program would help families making less than $142,000 a year.
The Democratic proposal would help families making less than $237,000 a year.
As for the Portillos, they just hope that voters will look at each party’s platform in this election.
They are members of the influential Culinary Workers Union in the state of Nevada, and they tell us that this issue is swaying voters.
“A friend of mine was telling me, ‘Hey, I have to pay $15 an hour and my paycheck is $20. How can I afford it? Like, all my paycheck goes to that,'” Portillo said.
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