The Seattle Times recently joined many progressives calling for bipartisan support for increased child care subsidies. But the proposed policy of subsidies—which would ensure that no more than 10 percent of a family’s income is spent on child care—raises questions.
First, shouldn’t any policy that provides resources be linked to and synergize with whatever is creating the demand for those resources? In this case, child care subsidies should be linked to family planning policies that ensure maximum and equitable investment in each child.
Second, while the article cites increased national GDP as the ultimate reason for child-care subsidies, isn’t every child’s right to quality care the real reason we need such a policy? The article’s authors have said that “[a]s moms, we’re not willing to leave $210 billion on the table. Our children’s futures literally depend on it.” Perhaps children’s futures won’t depend on GDP, but rather on our collective decision-making about how they enter the world and develop within it to become the people who will define our shared future.