The ABCs Of Child Care

Despite the threat of a veto, the Senate approves an ambitious plan

Even for the U.S. Congress, it is difficult to ignore the obvious: American families need help with child care, and they need it badly. Half of all women with preschool children now work outside the home, in contrast to 29% in 1971. Long waiting lists at child-care centers are routine. Many care facilities have marginal health and safety standards and are short of properly trained workers. The average cost for one year of care for a child is $3,000, which is beyond the reach of poor families and creates a financial strain for the middle class.

As a result, child care...

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