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It is important to assess the value of caregivers because they are what truly make society function,[43] and often their work is under-appreciated. They prepare the next generation for school, work, and decision-making. The way in which a child is nurtured at a young age and through adolescence has both psychological and developmental effects that effect their future. Not only does the child depend on caregiving, but schools and employers depend on the childcare. The government also benefits because these children turn into productive members of society. Eventually, they will be the ones running the country.
More contemporary proposals for government advancement of day care in the United States have experienced a checkered path, for example, in 1971, the Comprehensive Child Development Act was passed by Congress, but was vetoed by Richard Nixon. It "would have created nationally funded child care centers providing early childhood services and after-school care, as well as nutrition, counseling, and even medical and dental care. The centers would charge parents on a sliding scale."[63] Various proposals have been considered, but to date, none leading to legislation that would establish a national policy supporting day care in the United States.
Spain provides paid maternity leave of 16 weeks with 30-50% of mothers returning to work (most full-time) after this[citation needed], thus babies 4 months of age tend to be placed in daycare centers. Adult-infant ratios are about 1:7-8 first year and 1:16-18 second year.[citation needed] Public preschool education is provided for most children aged 3–5 years in "Infantil" schools which also provide primary school education.[citation needed]

Childcare is primarily funded by parents, however the Single Funding Formula (pre-school funding) can be used at some day nurseries, playgroups and schools for a maximum of 5 sessions per week, after a child reaches 3 years. The government introduced a childcare allowance (vouchers) by which employers could make payments for childcare, prior to tax, on employees' wages.
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We shouldn’t forget that affordable high-quality child care is also essential to parents’ abilities to balance work success with family responsibilities—a goal that every parent deserves to easily achieve. President Obama’s preschool and child care plan will strengthen families and make them more economically secure while also reducing inequality and improving educational achievement in this country.
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Access to child care is essential to a woman’s ability to participate in the workforce, and a lack of access to child care affects the work-family balance of both women and men. Women need to have the ability to make the choices that are best for them and their families in both the short and long term, and greater national investments in child care and preschool programs could help remove some of the constraints that may push mothers toward decisions that have negative economic consequences for them and their families down the road. It would make quality care more affordable for American families and support mothers’ employment.

Given that the cost of child care may be nearly as large as one parent’s entire salary, a worker’s choice to leave the workforce or work part time so that his or her family doesn’t need to cover those costs may appear to be an economically rational decision. And while there are mothers who choose to stay home for other reasons, short-term economic pressures are often part of the equation. But this choice is not without consequences.


Using part of a family’s total income is a second but equally problematic option for securing child care. In recent years the costs of care have skyrocketed, placing a disproportionate burden on families’ budgets. The fact is, for millions of families across the United States, paying for high-quality private child care is an economic impossibility.
The costs of child care are even more extreme for younger mothers. The average age when mother’s first give birth in the United States is 25.7 years, meaning that half of new mothers are under the age of 26 when they have their first child. Not surprisingly, younger mothers tend to have lower incomes: By virtue of their age, they have less job tenure and are more likely than older mothers to still be completing their education. But this means that mothers under age 25 with a young child who are paying for child care end up spending a staggering one-third—33 percent—of their income on care because they typically earn less. (see Table 1) It is critical that these women have the opportunity to finish their education and gain job experience, but child care expenses can make that a daunting prospect.
We believe that all children are highly intelligent and capable of learning. All children are unique individuals and deserve respect as a child and as a person. Our goals and objectives as child development providers are to contribute to the child’s total development. We are sensitive to the fact that developmental ability and personalities can vary widely at any age, and help children to build self-control by learning to follow rules, sharing, taking turns, and working in a group.
In addition to the positive long-term impacts that high-quality preschool and child care have on children and the economy, these programs provide important benefits to working parents, especially working mothers. The prohibitively high costs of private child care and the dearth of quality, accessible public providers means that parents are often left to choose between the lesser of two evils: low-quality care or forgoing needed pay to stay at home and care for a child themselves.
The costs of child care are even more extreme for younger mothers. The average age when mother’s first give birth in the United States is 25.7 years, meaning that half of new mothers are under the age of 26 when they have their first child. Not surprisingly, younger mothers tend to have lower incomes: By virtue of their age, they have less job tenure and are more likely than older mothers to still be completing their education. But this means that mothers under age 25 with a young child who are paying for child care end up spending a staggering one-third—33 percent—of their income on care because they typically earn less. (see Table 1) It is critical that these women have the opportunity to finish their education and gain job experience, but child care expenses can make that a daunting prospect.
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