February 23, 2000

Sanders Unveils Child Care Initiative
"First Things First" Proposal Focuses on Early Child Care as an Investment in our Future

YORK, PA - Today Jeff Sanders (D-York County) unveiled a legislative initiative designed to address one of the most pressing issues facing York County - the availability of quality, affordable child care for the area's working families. Sanders' "First Things First" agenda builds on his three decades of experience in education and focuses on enhancing the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program, increasing the child care tax credit, and creating new incentives for businesses to give child care options to their employees. During a visit to the York Day Nursery, Sanders discussed the issue with teachers and other child care providers the importance of early child care in making sure children start school prepared to learn.

"More than 62 percent of York's families rely on some form of child care that, on average, consumes a quarter of a family's earnings," Sanders said. "Government at all levels must find a way to lift this burden from parents who are under enough pressure already to make ends meet. To really help families in South Central Pennsylvania, we must focus on first things first - making sure that children get the right start on life and learning."

Sanders sees spending on child care as the kind of investment in America's future that Congress should number among its top priorities.

"Studies show that every dollar invested in child care saves seven dollars later in costs associated with juvenile delinquency, crime, and unemployment. Not only does spending to improve quality child care give our children the tools they need to succeed, but it makes good economic sense," Sanders said.

Read Jeff Sanders' "First Things First" Initiative