Child Care Is Hot; Candor Is Not

By Passell, Peter | THE JOURNAL RECORD, September 9, 1988 | Go to article overview

Child Care Is Hot; Candor Is Not


Passell, Peter, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Does Uncle Sam belong in the day care business? How far in?

Eager to harness the newly discovered political clout of working mothers, both presidential candidates have endorsed proposals for subsidized day care.

But in an apparent desire to present the smallest possible profile to critics, neither is offering a coherent rationale for federal intervention in the private market for child care services or a clear position on the wisdom of sharing the costs borne by middle-income families.

Sen. Christopher Dodd's Act for Better Child Care Services, endorsed ``in concept'' by Michael Dukakis, would create cash incentives for states to get interested in day care for children under age 15.

To receive a chunk of the first $2.5 billion allocation, states need only create systems to license and regulate day care centers and match every four dollars they receive with one of their own. At least 75 percent of the money must actually be spent on services. And 10 percent of the 75 percent must go to pre-school programs, Headstart-style.

The bill, like the candidate who endorsed it, offers no easy targets for liberal-baiters. The federal funds allocated are small, and the states' discretion in their use is large.

Federal standards for health and safety would be binding only for day care programs actually accepting money from Washington.

But the price of ideological blandness is a confusion of purpose.

Proponents of the bill talk about creating a day care ``infrastructure,'' implying that day care is a public good, like street lights or national defense, that would not be provided in adequate quantity or quality without governmental help.

But the analysis is weak. There are no obvious economic barriers to entry: a day care center requires no massive initial investment, and the skills needed to keep one running are not arcane. Nor is it impractical to charge the full cost of the service to the individuals who actually use it.

Another plausible rationale for subsidizing day care is that the families who need it most can least afford it.

Early intervention may well offer the only hope of salvaging children born to young, poor, uneducated mothers.

Maybe so, but the child care bill casts a far wider net.

Some 18 million children are below kindergarten age, and the bill merely limits eligibility for subsidies to those from families with incomes below the median - now about $32,000 for a family of four.

Yet, with $2.5 billion to spend, fewer than 900,000 children could be served at an estimated average cost of $3,000 annually. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Child Care Is Hot; Candor Is Not
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.