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What you should know about Hillary Clinton’s european-style child-care plan


July 29, 2016
Economics and FinanceGovernance and AccountabilityState & Local
Mark Gimein
Time

Just how popular is federal money for child care? Let’s put it this way: Ivanka Trump, daughter of the GOP candidate, made it a centerpiece of her introduction at the Republican National Convention, to plenty of applause. Even though her father hasn’t actually proposed anything of the sort.

A concrete child-care proposal comes from Hillary Clinton. It arrived late in the election cycle, and never quite drew the attention of college costs, maybe the Democratic primary’s flagship issue. Ironically, child care now costs more than college in more than half the states in the U.S.

The Clinton proposal is in three parts: free public pre-kindergarten for all kids, higher pay for child-care workers, and a promise that families will not have to pay more than 10% of their income for child care. That last part is really transformative. The cost of having one infant in a child-care center ranges from $4,822 in Mississippi to $17,062 in Massachusetts, according to Child Care Aware, a research organization. For a single mother in many states, it’s more than 40% of income. Remember: That’s for just one child.