For parents, the struggle to find reliable, affordable child care isn’t just a matter of convenience; it’s a need for maintaining employment and sustaining their family’s well-being. Necessary as it is, though, accessing affordable child care can be challenging, especially for lower income families. 

Child Care: A Catch-22 Situation for Many

Attracting and retaining quality child care workers requires paying them a living wage. But when child care costs run too high, parents may drop out of the workforce. This reduces the enrollment numbers in child care programs and, therefore, the amount of money available to pay for quality child care workers. The challenge, then, is to break through this cycle to create a more sustainable system within the child care industry.

Fortunately, governmental agencies and private organizations are collaborating to develop solutions to make affordable child care more accessible.


American Rescue Plan

The American Rescue Plan is federal funding provided to help stabilize child care centers in the U.S. and help to keep parents in the workforce — which will assist in maintaining enrollment numbers to effectively compensate child care workers. 

The funding facilitates wage increases for child care workers (who historically have received lower wages) to attract them to this career and retain them in their positions. This is being accomplished through a focus on slowing down increases in costs for families during a time when inflation is on the rise.

Plus, parents can check to see if they qualify for an annual tax credit on federal income taxes; here are relevant publications from the IRS. A significant portion of working families do qualify — up to $3,000 for one child or $6,000 for two or more — and, because this is a tax credit rather than a deduction, it can offset taxes paid or owed. If you qualify and your children are part of Horizon’s child care program, we can provide you with the necessary year-end expense report to help you benefit from the tax credit.


Access and Affordability to Childcare Summit

In April 2024, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce held its first child care access and affordability summit, gathering together dozens of national, state, and local key stakeholders, including Governor Mike DeWine and Horizon Education Center’s Executive Director Dave Smith. (You can see Dave and others in this reporting by Columbus NBC affiliate WCMH-TV.)

Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Rick Carfagna of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce acknowledges that there is no one size fits all solution. Carfagna offered that stakeholders will need to attack the problem of affordable child care from multiple angles to produce three-dimensional solutions. 


Horizon Supports Access to Affordable Child Care

Horizon Education Centers and its leadership are actively engaging in initiatives like the Access and Affordability to Childcare Summit. Executive Director Dave Smith has 30 years of experience in the child care industry and is fully committed to supporting parents in their search for high-quality, affordable child care.

The ways in which Horizon provides financial assistance are tuition discounts, including income-based discounts and discounts for having multiple children enrolled in the program. We also offer free out-of-school-time programming at multiple centers and scholarships. Contact us today to learn more about Horizon programs and available opportunities for assistance.

Horizon Education Centers offers childcare in Northeast Ohio. Centers are located in Cuyahoga County and Lorain County.