Clinton Lays Out Agenda For Making Child Care Better -- And More Affordable | The Huffington Post

Clinton Lays Out Agenda For Making Child Care Better -- And More Affordable | The Huffington Post EDITION US عربي (Arabi) Australia Brasil Canada Deutschland España France Ελλάδα (Greece) India Italia 日本 (Japan) 한국 (Korea) Maghreb México Québec (En Francais) United Kingdom United States INFORM • INSPIRE • ENTERTAIN • EMPOWER NEWS WorldPost Highline Science Education Weird News Business TestKitchen Tech College Media POLITICS Pollster Election Results Eat the Press HuffPost Hill Candidate Confessional So That Happened ENTERTAINMENT Sports Comedy Celebrity Books Entertainment TV Arts + Culture WELLNESS Healthy Living Travel Style Taste Home Weddings Divorce Sleep GPS for the Soul WHAT'S WORKING Impact Green Good News Global Health VOICES Black Voices Latino Voices Women Fifty Religion Queer Voices Parents Teen College VIDEO ALL SECTIONS Arts + Culture Black Voices Books Business Candidate Confessional Celebrity College Comedy Crime Divorce Dolce Vita Eat the Press Education Election Results Entertainment Fifty Good News Green Healthy Living Highline Home Horoscopes HuffPost Data HuffPost Hill Impact Latino Voices Media Outspeak Parents Politics Pollster Queer Voices Religion Science Small Business So That Happened Sports Style Taste Tech Teen TestKitchen Travel TV Weddings Weird News Women WorldPost FEATURED GPS for the Soul Hawaii OWN Dr. Phil Quiet Revolution Talk to Me Don't Stress the Mess Endeavor Fearless Dreamers Generation Now Inspiration Generation Paving the Way The Power Of Humanity Sleep + Wellness What's Working: Purpose + Profit What's Working: Small Businesses POLITICS Clinton Lays Out Agenda For Making Child Care Better -- And More Affordable Her proposals could set up a stark contrast with Donald Trump's. 05/10/2016 06:00 am ET | Updated May 10, 2016 19k Jonathan Cohn Senior National Correspondent, The Huffington Post Hillary Clinton on Tuesday sketched out an agenda for helping families with young children, including an ambitious promise to put high-quality child care within financial reach of all working parents. Clinton described her vision during an appearance at a social services center in Lexington, Kentucky, that provides subsidized child care to low-income families. It was the  second consecutive day in which Clinton, front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, focused on work-family issues. And she said the need for government action was clear. "It's time to face up to the reality of what family life is like today and to support families," Clinton said. The most concrete part of the agenda, first reported by The Huffington Post, is a pair of narrow but potentially important proposals. One would bolster a highly regarded “home visiting” program designed to help low-income children at risk of emotional, intellectual, and physical harm. If Clinton has her way, the program, known as the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Initiative , would reach twice as many children as it does today. The other initiative would seek to boost pay for child-care workers, as a way to improve retention and attract educators with stronger qualifications. Clinton will call this the RAISE initiative, for “Respect And Increased Salaries for Early Childhood Educators,” and it will be based on successful pilot programs now operating in several states. But the most intriguing part of Tuesday’s proposal was Clinton's call to make sure that no family ever pays more than 10 percent of its income on child-care expenses. To accomplish this, campaign aides said, Clinton would use a combination of subsidized child care and tax credits. The campaign did not provide more information on how these subsidies and credits would work, or how big they would be, saying only that such details would come later this year. Clinton's goal is audacious, given that many families now spend far more than 10 percent of income on child care. One big challenge is that efforts to improve the quality of child care, like hiring teachers with better credentials, inevitably make it more expensive. A serious effort to make child care better and more affordable simultaneously, as Clinton apparently has in mind, would cost a great deal of money -- money that would have to come from either new taxes or cuts to other programs, given Clinton’s vow to find offsets for any new government spending. But  research has suggested that investments in well-designed early childhood plans can pay off later, by producing adults who are more economically productive and less likely to have trouble in school or with the law. And in the short term, subsidizing high-quality programs for young children can alleviate a major source of financial stress, not just for the poor, but also the middle class. In fact, Clinton aides stressed that Clinton’s guarantee of support would apply to all working families, no matter what their income levels. Clinton’s announcement is one more signal that early childhood and work-family issues have become high pr