Bill Walker and Heidi Drygas support access to
High Quality and Affordable Childare
There is nothing more important to parents than to have access to high quality and affordable childcare, and it’s a critical piece of a healthy economy. We will propose financial incentives to employers to assist in ensuring their hard-working employees have access to affordable childcare, and we will work with knowledgeable experts to find policy solutions that meet the needs of Alaska’s families.
Young families struggle to afford child care, many do not have access to kindergarten or pre-k education in their communities, others choose to stay out of the labor market to take care of their children, and yet more may choose not to move here, not to stay here, and even not to have another child.
The average cost of child care in Alaska is higher than a four year college degree, at approximately $11,832/yr for infant care, $9,847 for pre-school aged care. Testifiers in a recent Labor & Commerce Committee described leaving State of Alaska DNR jobs because quitting to take care of 1 infant and 1 pre-school aged child was more cost-effective than a dual income home. An average child care worker, in turn, earns on average $13.68 an hour with likely no benefits and may rely on food stamps and Medicaid.