Should Maryland Loan Working Moms Money For Childcare?

By Erin Cox
The Baltimore Sun

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur and author Alec Ross who is running for governor has proposed a $55-million-a-year plan doesn’t just subsidize pre-school. The plan would also provide a stream of money for middle-class families to defray the expense of childcare starting at birth, and parents would pay back a small percentage of their income until the child graduates high school, regardless of how much they earn.

The Baltimore Sun

A Democratic candidate for governor has proposed a novel way to help mothers of young children stay in the workforce: Loan them the cash to pay for quality childcare.

Entrepreneur and author Alec Ross has made the plan a platform of his candidacy, and he said the state should consider paying for child care an economic investment in working families — both to help parents boost their future earning power and, for children, to limit the economic inequality that starts at birth.

“We have a moral obligation as a society to do all we can to ensure that every child gets the same quality of care at a young age, regardless of the family income,” Ross said. “That investment pays dividends for the whole economy.”

Early childhood education is a staple campaign platform of Democratic candidates. Democrat Anthony G. Brown, for instance, promised in 2014 in his failed bid for governor to deliver universal pre-kindergarten if elected.

Several studies have shown most students who are behind when they reach elementary school never close the gap, and that for every $1 invested in early childhood education, there’s as much as $7 in economic activity generated in return.

But Ross’ $55-million-a-year plan doesn’t just subsidize pre-school, though it would do that for poorer families.

It would also provide a stream of money for middle-class families to defray the expense of childcare starting at birth, and parents would pay back a small percentage of their income until the child graduates high school, regardless of how much they earn.

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