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Congresswoman Sara Jacobs Asks California Parents to Share Child Care Stories as Congress Writes Build Back Better Act

Jacobs has called for big investment in child care to be part of reconciliation bill

San Diego, CA - Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53) is inviting parents and caregivers to share their child care stories with Congress as House and Senate committees draft legislative text for the Build Back Better Act. Congresswoman Jacobs has called for a transformative investment in child care, early learning and pre-k, and the care economy to be included in the legislation this fall. Last week, Congresswoman Jacobs stressed the need for a broad and inclusive child care program, including removing work requirements for subsidies, supporting a wider range of programs, and building supply to address national shortages. 

Parents can submit their stories by emailing or online here

Later this month, Congresswoman Jacobs will share stories with congressional leadership. All personal information will be anonymized and kept confidential. 

Congresswoman Jacobs is a House co-lead of the Universal Child Care & Early Learning Act, legislation which ensures that every family has access to high-quality, affordable child care, with costs capped at 7% of a family’s income, with no costs for low and middle income families. The legislation would also boost pay and support for care workers. (summary here) According to survey data by YouGov, the average cost of child care in 2021 is $8,355 per child per year.

Pre-pandemic, just over half of all US families lived in a child care desert, an area with insufficient child care availability to meet the local need. In San Diego County, according to a local pre-pandemic study, 66% of kids live in a child care desert and there were no available child care sports for nearly 190,000 kids under 12 without a stay-at-home parent. This problem has likely worsened in 2021, given that one-in-seven child care jobs (over 150,000) had been lost as of April of this year. In San Diego County, over 500 child care providers closed during the pandemic.  

According to survey data by YouGov, the average cost of child care in 2021 is $8,355 per child per year. The average cost for one year of child care for one preschooler in center-based care in San Diego County is $11,400 and $17,604 for infants.  Data from the Department of Health and Human Services shows that families spend roughly 10% of their income on child care on average. More than half of all families spend more than $10,000 per year on child care.