Recently National Public Radio (NPR) ran a report on a fateful turn in the history of this nation’s child care system dating back to the early 1970s. The story outlines how close we came to a universal child care system. Close enough for a Democratic Congress to pass in 1971 a system of care that could have assisted a generation of children and families. Instead President Richard Nixon vetoed the act basing his opposition on philosophical grounds around working mothers, families and the role of government. It set a new debate and view on child care that plays out through today.
Her it now at, How Politics Killed Universal Child Care in the 1970s
It would be almost two decades later until Congress would come together on the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) that would be a much more limited block grant passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by President George H.W. Bush. The debate continues whether child care should exist just to assist parents go to work or whether it should provide greater coverage across families and incomes and promotes early childhood development at a higher level of quality.