National Women's Political Caucus day care alert, July 30,1971, page 5

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          Dear Senator Mondale:

As you know, women and women's groups representing a broad crossection
of political, economic, geographic, religious, and philosophical persuasions,
recently joined to form the National Women's Political Caucus. One of the chief
legislative goals of the Caucus is the establishment of a national day care system
available to all families.

It is our understanding that the Day Care and Child Development bill S. 2007
will be presented on the Senate floor next week as part or the poverty package and
that some member of the Senate may resurrect versions of amendments (which were
defeated in committee) on the Senate floor. Those amendments are: (a) a proposal
which would limit prime sponsorship to localities with a population of 100,000 or
more (b) a proposal to change the allocation formula of the current bill in such
a way that only poverty families would be eligible for day care services.

The National Women's Political Caucus is completely opposed to amendments
of this kind. We believe that the imposition of any population figure is unwar-
ranted and discriminatory. There are only 156 cities in the U.S. with populations
over 100,000. Only 27% of the population lives in those cities. Any such restric-
tion will make suburban, rural, and smaller urban areas ineligible for prime
sponsorship.

Under the current Senate Bill S. 2007, 65% of the funds allocated for day
care are to be reserved for those families earning under the Bureau of Labor
Statistic's Lower Living standard Budget. ($6900 for an urban family of four).
While we advocate a national day care system available to all women, we view the
adoption of the BLS standard as an important improvement over past legislation
which restricted eligibility to those on welfare or at the poverty level. The
vast majority of women work not by choice but because they must. Day care is
not a luxury; it is a necessity. In fact, the lack of day care facilities and the
high cost of day care services has forced many women onto the welfare rolls. It
seems incongruous with Administration policy to provide services for welfare women,
but not for poor working women.

The NWPC is also concerned about the inadequacy of the proposed appropria—
tions for the day care legislation. S.2007 now provides $100,000 million for
technical assistance in 1972 and $2 billion for Fiscal Year 1973. Two billion
will not even provide for the 1,262,400 children who will need care under the
family assistance plan, to say nothing of the 5 million children under five whose
mothers are already in the labor force. Even if one uses the Adminstration's con—
servative estimate of $1600 per child per year it would cost over 8 billion just
to provide day care services for this latter group. Clearly 2 billion is a very
conservative appropriation. We would hope that you and your colleagues would offer
amendments to increase the appropriations to a more realistic level such as $5
billion for Fiscal Year 1973.

Another disturbing element is the introduction of language into the bill
designed to limit and dilute the involvement of parents in day care programs. As
mothers we are inalterably opposed to attempts to separate us from decisions in-
volving the education and welfare of our children.

Finally, the NWPC hope that the Senate bill can be amended to prohibit
[profiteering] in the day care field. When there is such competition for funds, we
ought to insure that the money appropriated is used to maximum effect. We there-
fore urge that only non-profit groups be eligible for funding.

Sincerely,

NATIONAL POLICY COUNCIL 
NATIONAL WOMEN'S POLITICAL CAUCUS

The Honorable Bella S. Abzug
Shana Alexander 
Virginia Allan 
Nikki Beare
Joan Cashin 
The Honorable Shirley Chisholm 
Mary Clarke
Myrlie Evers 
Betty Friedan 
JoAnne Evans Gardner