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PRIORITIZING OUR FAMILIES

Vince believes that addressing childhood poverty with innovative and creative solutions is crucial for raising the standards of living for the poorest residents in the city and the state for generations to come. We must also the inequities presented by our childcare system as our new normal emerges on the horizon.

Vince's plan to establish a universal childhood benefit program has the potential to reduce childhood poverty in Maryland by 20% - lifting 30,000 children out of poverty. While many families have been fortunate to telework and juggle their kids’ needs from the safety of their homes, we all understand the incredible challenges faced by parents when their kids remain home. We have to make more childcare options available, which means we must train and pay  competitive wages to quality, early childhood educators in order to staff these programs.

CURRENT FACTS

Child Poverty

  • Across the state of Maryland more than 1 in 10 children live in poverty, and in District 46, more than 1 in 3 children do.

  • Research has shown that lifting children out of poverty boosts educational outcomes, reduces crime, improves public health, and grows the economy. 
     

  • Because most government benefits are provided through the tax code via complex trapezoids, the poorest families often do not receive any help. As a result, 50% of Black and Hispanic children do not receive the full federal child tax credit. 
     

  • 45% of children living in poverty nationally and in Maryland live in households that do not file taxes and thus, are less likely to receive any child subsidies

Child Care

  • If the last year has taught us anything, it is that access to quality, affordable childcare is indispensable to our economy and to the continued fight for gender equality. 

  • Recent reports by the Center for American Progress and the  Brooking Institute suggest that the impacts of the pandemic on our economy will have lasting effects on the upward mobility of women in the workforce. One in four women who reported experiencing unemployment in the last year indicated that it was caused by a lack of childcare. (Link again to CAP article.)

  • The challenge of rising childcare costs and lack of availability are not new, but have been exacerbated by the recent pandemic. 

  • According to the Maryland Family Network’s Child Care 2020 Maryland Report the number one household cost for families in Baltimore City is childcare, accounting for over $19,000 annually, or 33% of median income. 

  • Availability and quality of childcare fluctuates by neighborhood. While many families have been fortunate to telework and juggle their kids’ needs from the safety of their homes. Many of our neighbors’ jobs require their physical presence in the workplace and necessitate help from a childcare program. In either case and regardless of the location, the costs of childcare were and remain staggering. 

  • It shouldn’t cost a quarter (or even half) of your paycheck to put your child(ren) in daycare. Moreover, no parent should have to choose between whether to work or stay at home in order to best care for their family.

POLICY POSITION

Reducing Child Poverty

 

  • Establish a universal child benefit to ensure public assistance reaches all children while recognizing parenting as unpaid labor.

  • A $100 monthly child benefit would reduce child poverty by more than 20%, lifting nearly 30,000 children out of poverty across the state, and providing an increased standard of living to a million more. A universal child allowance would dramatically cut poverty in Maryland. 

  • Because most current government benefits are provided through the tax code via complex trapezoids, the poorest families often do not receive any help. As a result, 50% of Black and Hispanic children do not receive the full federal child tax credit. 

  • Generational poverty is the root cause of many of our communities challenges and believes that legislators must address it directly.

  • Parenting is work and that a universal childhood benefit provides parents a modest compensation for their labor.

  • A universal childhood benefit is needed because as a Baltimore City Schools teacher, Vince saw first hand the unnecessary harm and trauma that poverty imposes on children.

  • Massachusetts has instituted the first universal child benefit with families receiving $360 total for one child and $720 for two or more children.

Access to Child Care

  • Establish universal access to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten for all residents to provide our youngest residents with a strong start on their educational journey.

  • Vince will fight to ensure that every family has access to affordable, high-quality childcare, regardless of income. He will work to subsidize both providers and families to ensure the cost of care is not a barrier.