The Need for Quality Childcare by Susan Tokayer

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The need for quality childcare is currently in high demand, given the vast number of moms that are currently in the workforce.  The good news is that there are many experienced childcare providers working in childcare centers, nursery schools and as nannies.  The problem most families face, is not finding quality childcare, but being able to afford high quality childcare.  For many families their first choice, and most expensive choice, is employing a nanny.

In many European countries, childcare is subsidized, relieving some of the financial pressure for families.  However, in this country the tax credit that is currently allowed to each family is minimal and barely makes a dent in the cost of childcare.  Flexible spending programs that many employers offer their employees, to help cover the cost of childcare & medical expenses, have a ceiling of $5,000.  This program allows employees to take up to $5,000 in pre tax dollars to use towards these expenses.

One solution to this problem would be to increase the tax credit families are able to take.  Given that the federal deficit is so large, it is unlikely that increasing the tax credit to families using childcare, will be considered for some time.    

It is a shame that even in a time of fiscal conservation our government isn’t able to make our most precious resource, our children, a priority.

Study after study shows that the care & education children receive in their first years of life has a major impact on the rest of their lives.  If, as a country, it is our goal to produce happy, healthy and productive individuals, we need to provide the help families need to secure the best care for their children.

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