San Francisco – Supervisor Kim recently joined with Supervisor Norman Yee to launch an initiative to bring affordable childcare for all to San Francisco.
Supervisor Kim explained, “Nationwide, 60 percent of households with children do not have a stay at home parent. Center-based child care for an infant in 3/5 of the states in the U.S. costs more than tuition and fees at 4-year public universities. With these stark realities, we know that we must do better. If we truly believe that families are the backbone of our city and that we have to do all that we can to hold onto them and make this City a family-friendly city, we have to do better and we can.”
At a recent Board of Supervisors meeting, Kim instructed the Controller’s office to analyze the costs and the benefits of providing universal, affordable childcare to the residents of San Francisco. “I am planning on introducing a ballot measure that would enable us to fund and implement a system for affordable, accessible childcare here in the City and County of San Francisco,” said Supervisor Kim, “Alameda County is already working on a sales tax ballot measure to stabilize childcare workers’ pay, expand access, and standardize the quality and conditions of center and family based childcare, so we are closely examining that as one possibility among several.”
Supervisor Norman Yee explained, “Most people may not realize it but we have done this before as a country. In 1940, Congress passed the Lanham Act, which provided all families, regardless of income, with child care for up to 6 days a week, including summers and holidays, and parents paid the equivalent of $9 to $10 a day in today’s dollars. San Francisco can again showcase the leadership that is sorely lacking on a national level and make this a reality here.”
The Council of Economic Advisers’ report on early childhood investments highlights that affordable child care increases maternal employment. But the benefits do not stop there. Having high quality child care can make a significant difference in children’s educational attainment, labor force participation, and earnings as adults.
Both Supervisors Kim and Yee agreed, “We should act now to protect and advance the opportunities for attaining and remaining in the middle class – our current families and our next generation are looking to us as local policymakers to take bold steps in their best interest, which ultimately, moves us all forward.”