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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 23, 1998
                          PRESIDENT CLINTON 

                           April 23, 1998

President Clinton called on Congress today to take action to make child care better, safer, and more affordable for America's working families. In a Rose Garden ceremony, the President released two reports highlighting private sector efforts to provide child care assistance to workers. These reports show that providing child care is good for workers, good for businesses, and good for the economy. Today more than ever, America's parents are working: three out of five mothers with children under age six work outside the home. Yet a recent study found that only one percent of revenues for child care and early education come from the private sector.

Treasury Department Working Group on Child Care Report Finds that Investments in Child Care Make Good Business Sense. At the White House Conference on Child Care (10/23/97), President Clinton asked Secretary Rubin to convene a group of business and labor leaders to look at child care problems facing working parents and to identify best practices in the private sector and in public-private partnerships. Today, the Treasury Working Group on Child Care released a new report, Investing in Child Care:

      Child care problems can reduce productivity and profits.  The 
     Working Group report finds that businesses benefit from providing 
     child care assistance -- through increased productivity, lower 
     turnover, better recruitment, reduced absenteeism, and improved 

      "The report carries an important lesson: investments in child 
     care can pay off in real dividends for employers and employees."
     --Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, Investing in Child Care.

     The Treasury Working Group is made up of business and labor 

leaders, and includes Sandy Weill, CEO, The Travelers Group; Randy Tobias, President, Eli Lilly; John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO (and Linda Chavez-Thompson, Vice President, AFL-CIO representing him); Doug Price, CEO, First Bank of Colorado; George Stinson, President and CEO, General Converters and Assemblers; and Marcy Whitebook, National Co-Director, Center for the Child Care Workforce.

New Department of Labor Report Highlights Model Business Practices and New Initiative Aims at Increasing Private Sector Involvement. Today, the Department of Labor released a new report, Meeting the Needs of Today's Workforce: Child Care Best Practices, which examines best practices initiated by businesses, government agencies, unions, not-forprofits, and business/community partnerships to meet the demands of employees who are also parents. The key finding of the report is that, in today's global economy, providing child care and other familyfriendly policies helps companies recruit and retain the best workforce for the future. The President is also announcing a new commitment by the Department of Labor to serve as a clearinghouse for businesses interested in child care, and to set up a business-to-business mentoring program on child care.

Businesses Can't Do it Alone: The President Calls for Congressional Action. Millions of Americans, struggling to be both good parents and good workers, rely on child care and after-school programs for part of each day. As part of his balanced budget request, the President called for significant new investments in 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. To encourage more private sector investment in child care, the President has proposed a new tax credit for businesses that offer child care services to their employees. Today, the President calls on Congress to put aside partisan differences and take action on child care this year.