View Header


                     Office of the Press Secretary
                          (New York, New York)

For Immediate Release September 11, 2000


Today, the Urban Institute released a report highlighting the struggle working parents face in trying to provide supervised care for their children before and after school. The report found that over 4 million children of working mothers ages six to twelve were regularly without any adult supervision when they were not in school. While the report highlights that child care patterns for school children differ greatly from community to community, one thing is clear: far too many children have no care when they are not in school. Millions of children without care in the hours after school are in harm's way - we know that crime and victimization rates among school-age children are highest in the after-school hours. The report also highlights research showing that high-quality after-school programs can give school-age children access to academic and enrichment activities that lead to improved student achievement and better behavior.

It is clear from this report that we need to do a much better job of providing working parents with access to affordable quality child care or after-school opportunities for their school children. That is why I call on Congress to respond to the needs of working parents for more help. I ask Congress to accept my budget proposal to invest $1 billion in the 21st Century Community Learning Center program to provide over 2 million children with after-school opportunities. I also ask that Congress invest in child care options that can be used to provide child care for children up to age 13, expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to help over 8 million families pay for child care, and boost the Child Care and Development Block Grant by an additional $817 million.