Child care costs can be a major financial burden for many American families, but the Child Care for Working Families Act could take some of the strain off your wallet when it comes to balancing work and family life.

According to a recent survey by Care.com, one out of three U.S. families pays 20 percent or more of their household income on child care. The Child Care for Working Families bill—recently reintroduced into Congress—would put a 7 percent cap on how much working families in the United States spend on childcare.

photo: Seila800 via Pixabay

“[The Child Care for Working Families Act] will ensure that no parent has to pay more than they can afford on child care, at most middle class parents would pay 7 percent of their income on childcare, but parents who make less, pay less. In fact, some parents will pay nothing at all,” Senator Patty Murray, one of the bill’s authors, explained at a press conference. “Our bill helps expand options for childcare in the summer and during nontraditional hours when quality care is even harder to find.”

The bill also calls for universal preschool for three- and four-year-olds across the country, as well as pay increases for childcare workers. The new act still has to be passed into law, but it opens an important conversation about American families and one of the possible reasons why so many Millennials are putting off having kids.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

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