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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 23, 1998
                     PRESIDENT CLINTON'S PROPOSAL:

"Not a single American family should ever have to choose between the job they need and the child they love."

                                         President Bill Clinton
                                         State of the Union Address, 
                                         January 27, 1998

President Clinton announced an historic initiative to improve child care for America's working families. The initiative proposes over $20 billion over five years for child care -- to help working families pay for child care, build a good supply of after-school programs, improve the safety and quality of care, and promote early learning.

Ensuring affordable, accessible, safe child care. The President's childcare initiative responds to the struggles our nation's working parents face in finding child care they can afford, trust and rely on. The new initiative:

      Makes child care more affordable for working families.  To help
     working families struggling to meet the costs of child care, the
     initiative invests $7.5 billion over five years to double the 
     number of children receiving child care subsidies to more than two 
     million by the year 2003.  The initiative also invests $5.1 
     billion over five years to increase tax credits for child care for 
     three million families and provides a new tax credit for 
     businesses that offer child care services to their employees at a 
     cost of $500 million over five years.

      Increases access to and promotes early learning and healthy child
     development.  To improve early learning, the initiative includes 
     $3 billion over five years to establish an Early Learning Fund 
     that helps local communities improve the quality and safety of 
     child care for children ages zero to five.  The initiative also 
     increases investment in Head Start and doubles the number of 
     children served by Early Head Start to 80,000.

      Improves the safety and quality of child care. To help ensure 
     safe, quality child care, the initiative: steps up enforcement of 
     state health and safety standards in child care settings, 
     facilitates background checks on child care providers, increases 
     scholarships and training for child care providers, and invests in 
     child care research and evaluation.

      Expands access to safe after-school care.  To help create safe,
     positive learning environments for American school-age children 
     who lack adult supervision during a typical week, the initiative 
     increases the 21st Century Learning Center Program by $800 million 
     over five years to provide after-school care for up to half a 
     million children a year.