Saturday, May 4, 2019

Government intervention in child care continues to hamper its affordability

Expanding access to affordable child care is of pressing concern to many Maine families. As we’ve noted in the past, Maine lost more than 600 child care providers between 2008 and 2018, most of them in family child care. This is typically the most affordable option for parents, meaning their exit from the market has hurt the affordability of this service. According to Child Care Aware of America, in 2018, the annual cost of center-based care for a four-year-old in Maine was $8,776.

Legislators are often asked to tackle this problem, but more often the not, the so-called solutions end up making matters worse. One such effort this legislative session is LD 1012, sponsored by Sen. Rebecca Millett, a bill that would tweak subsidies for families who qualify for assistance through DHHS and prioritize public funding for providers that have a higher rating on Maine’s quality rating scale.

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