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Access to High-Quality, Affordable Child Care: Strategies to Improve Health Across Boston and the Commonwealth

Access to High-Quality, Affordable Child Care: Strategies to Improve Health Across Boston and the Commonwealth

Summary of Findings

Cost, location, hours, and/or availability of high-quality child care may restrict parent’s ability to work and/or further their education, a condition referred to as “child care constraints”. Children’s HealthWatch research found that parents and children in families with child care constraints were at greater risk of poor health outcomes and material hardship compared to those without child care constraints.

Recommended State Policy Solutions

  1. Increase public investment in Head Start and Early Head Start programs through the State Supplemental Grant
  2. Eliminate the child care subsidy waitlist and raise income eligibility for child care assistance
  3. Limit co-payment fees for child care subsidies
  4. Allocate necessary funding to expand hours of child care centers to better reflect nontraditional work hours and meet the needs of more families
  5. Simplify the child care subsidy application and recertification process
  6. Prioritize use of federal funds to improve quality of care, adequately cover provider costs and workforce pay, and increase the supply of subsidies to meet eligibility demand
  7. Ensure availability of targeted comprehensive services and resources for families that utilize informal care