August 23, 2022

Rep. Levin and Supervisor Lawson-Remer Host Expert Roundtable on Childcare Crisis

Encinitas, CA – U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) and San Diego County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer hosted a roundtable discussion today focused on solutions to the childcare crisis. Local childcare providers, workforce experts, and parents gathered at Encinitas preschool Kids by the Sea to discuss policy approaches to alleviate challenges around childcare, including restoring the expanded Child Tax Credit and providing better wages and benefits for caregiving positions. Rep. Levin and Supervisor Lawson-Remer were joined by Kim McDougal, Vice President of Social Services for YMCA of San Diego County, Alethea Arguilez, Executive Director of First 5 San Diego, Kim Giardina, Director of San Diego County Child Welfare Services, and Shaina Gross, Vice President of Client Services for San Diego Workforce Partnership.

“When we invest in reliable childcare, parents can confidently return to work and we can create good-paying jobs, support small businesses, and grow our economy,” said Rep. Levin. “Unfortunately, many parents are struggling to access quality and affordable childcare, forcing them to choose between work and watching their kids. I was proud to expand the Child Tax Credit last year to help more than more than 77,0000 hardworking families in North County San Diego and South Orange County cover childcare expenses, but we must restore that expanded credit and do more to help parents find childcare. I’m committed to working with all of the local leader’s at today’s roundtable to address the childcare crisis facing parents, and I’m grateful for their partnership.”

"Early childhood education is a cornerstone of our communities. Without this strong foundation we are seeing a domino effect that reduces the wages and careers of working parents, especially single parents, weakens our local workforce, amplifies inequalities from day one, and holds children back from reaching their full potential" said County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer. "I am proud to partner with Congressmember Mike Levin to invest federal American Rescue Plan funding into San Diego County’s child care ecosystem."

The roundtable comes as local childcare providers are struggling to keep their doors open. According to a report by the San Diego Foundation, 76 percent of local parents are having difficulties finding affordable childcare in their area. San Diego families with one infant and one preschooler spend a median of 40 percent of their income on childcare – an average of $33,000 annually, according to a recent survey.

In 2021, Rep. Levin helped expand the Child Tax Credit as part of the American Rescue Plan, which delivered approximately $166.8 million in tax cuts for more than 77,000 hardworking families covering about 111,000 children in North County San Diego and South Orange County, according to estimates from the Joint Economic Committee. The American Rescue Plan expanded the amount of the Child Tax Credit and provided families with advance monthly payments totaling up to one-half of the credit, cutting child poverty by 40 percent. While the expanded Child Tax Credit expired at the end of 2021, Rep. Levin continues to advocate to reinstate that expanded credit.

Supervisor Lawson-Remer has long championed childcare as an issue that affects everyone, given that its high costs are currently keeping many parents from fully participating in the workforce and hindering economic growth. As a single parent and former economist at the United Nations and World Bank, she has championed policies that promote fair wages and benefits for caregiving positions. The County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on authorizing additional American Rescue Plan funds for childcare services later this year.