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Office of Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 5, 1998


I want to commend the Annie E. Casey Foundation for its KIDS COUNT Data Book, which highlights the need for safe and affordable child care for millions of America's working families. The report, released today, provides important evidence of the child care challenges facing families, businesses, and the economy.

KIDS COUNT reports that every day, parents of 29 million children struggle to find safe and affordable child care so that they can go to work. The challenge is especially great for the working parents of 10 million children in low-income families. The report tells us that this need continues to grow; that child care is unaffordable for many families, consuming 25 percent of income for many low-income families; that quality is uneven and often poor; and that inadequate care can have a dramatic impact on children's development.

This report provides further evidence of the urgency for Congress to act on child care legislation. Too many American families are struggling to find and afford child care to meet their obligations as workers and their more important responsibility as parents. My child care initiative will 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. Today, I again call on Congress to act, and I look forward to working with Members in both parties to enact comprehensive bipartisan child care legislation that meets the needs of children and families.