The League has long recognized that child-care programs are a key supportive service for poor families.
The 1988 LWVUS Convention adopted child care as a priority and separated the child-care position within the Social Policy position. The League supported a compromise child-care bill, signed by the President in 1990. The legislation included three basic provisions endorsed by the League. It provided financial assistance to low-income families for child care; increased the availability of child care through resource and referral programs and training for child-care workers; and required states to establish health and safety standards for day care. Following passage of the bill, Leagues across the country monitored and commented on the regulatory process as the Department of Health and Human Services wrote regulations to implement the legislation.
LWVEF activities included a1990-91 School-Age Child Care Project. The goal was to help local Leagues serve as catalysts in targeted communities to increase the availability of affordable, quality school-age child care for low- and moderate-income families. In 1992, the LWVEF published a community action guide using the model League projects, to help other communities implement similar programs.
In summer 1998, the LWVUS and other groups urged congressional action on child care and the passage of a substantial increase in guaranteed funds for the Child Care Development Block Grant.
In early 2002, the League joined other groups in support of legislation to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF) and provide for comprehensive reforms to help those on welfare become self-sufficient. It was not adopted.
Statement of Position on Child Care, as Adopted by the 1988 Convention, based on positions reached from 1969 through 1988:
Support programs, services and policies at all levels of government to expand the supply of affordable, quality child care for all who need it, in order to increase access to employment and to prevent and reduce poverty.