Childcare an ‘economic problem’, advocates say

Childcare is increasingly mentioned with the pandemic causing service shortages and job losses preventing families from affording them.

Child care and early childhood education in the state and country are increasingly vital, according to a new study from Groundwork Ohio.

The public policy research group commissioned the study to survey 800 registered voters and 400 parents of children under the age of five between October 23 and November 8 of this year.

In terms of demographics, 84% of those surveyed were Caucasian, 10% were African Americans, 15% were people of color, and 5% were Hispanics. Democrats made up 36% of those polled, 33% were identified as Republicans and 31% as independents. The majority (55%) of parents and voters were women.

Individuals from the suburbs made up 53% of the study subjects, with 29% living in cities and the remaining 18% in small towns or rural areas.

The study found that more than four in ten working parents had to reduce their hours to care for children, and a majority of parents without full-time work could return to work if they had child care. affordable children.

“Parents make a direct link between child care and the ability to work / earn money,” Groundwork noted in its findings.

The study comes as child care advocates demand that monthly payments through the child tax credit be extended, instead of expiring as scheduled on December 31.

“With the costs of everything from food to gasoline to child care rising, families are in a hurry,” said Will Petrik of Policy Matters Ohio think tank. “Monthly child tax credit payments give parents more flexibility and help families pay for the things they need.

According to research from Policy Matters, before child tax credit payments began in mid-July, more than one million adults with children in Ohio reported difficulty paying “basic expenses.” Household “. After the start of the tax credit payments, the number fell 26% to about 850,000.

As of November, Ohio had paid more than $ 2.7 billion to families in the state, with an average monthly payment of $ 440.

Petrick says to keep payments in January, Congress would have to pass Democrat-backed federal government Rebuild a better expense bill.

In the Groundwork study, Ohio voters polled said they believed the pandemic had “strained the mental health of children and the mental health of their parents,” and voters from both major political parties think the state should spend more on early childhood education.

“Perhaps most importantly, even ‘strong’ Republicans believe Ohio should spend more on early childhood education,” the study said.

One thing voters and parents alike agreed in the Groundwork study was that child care in Ohio is expensive.

Early childhood education as an electoral issue was raised, with overwhelming support for candidates focusing on the topic. Among Ohio voters, 79% agreed that would be a “primary factor” in a vote for a state elected official. For parents, the matter was even more resolved: 89% of parents said it would be a big factor in their vote.

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