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Rep.Lopez, Ray

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Representative Lopez Champions a Study Dissecting the Relationship Between the Rising Cost of Childcare and Wages  print page

by: Rep. Lopez, Ray
04/29/2019

Austin, TX - Representative Ray Lopez laid out House Bill 4753 this morning in the committee on International Affairs & Economic Development. This bill calls for a study to analyze the trends between the growing cost of childcare and family income in the State of Texas. Rep. Lopez is calling for this study to generate substantial, revealing data on how income and the growing cost of childcare are affecting working families and parents throughout our state.

As he moved to close his remarks, Representative Lopez thanked the committee members for being understanding and open-minded about this subject. "I believe that HB 4753 will act as a blueprint for future legislatures to help correct the growing disparity between childcare, affordability, and family income in Texas," said Representative Lopez. "It is obvious that a problem exists regarding affordable childcare. Although the State does offer subsidies for childcare, currently 94% of Texas children in need of those subsidies do not have access to those programs. This lack of access creates what is known as "childcare deserts," where families in need cannot access state subsidized programs or facilities. What I want is a better understanding of how to properly and efficiently address this issue."

This study would provide much needed data regarding how the rising cost of childcare effects working families and their access to affordable childcare. As a result of rising costs, many parents have been forced to remove themselves from the workforce to afford childcare or rely on unlicensed, dangerous childcare alternatives to treat their children.

It is recommended by early child development experts that parents not exceed 7% of their annual income on childcare. However, according to the non-profit organization Children at Risk, Texas families are currently spending up to 30% of their income on childcare. Their research suggests that this disproportionately affects single parent households who are hindered by limited income.

House Bill 4759 would provide fruitful insight that can bring about positive change. The outcome of this study will not only benefit the parents who are paying the cost of childcare but also the children who suffer from a lack of accessibility to proper childcare resources.

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