National Women's Political Caucus day care alert, July 30,1971, page 3

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707 Warner Building
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 628-4765

The Honorable Carl D. Perkins
Chairman, House Education and Labor Committee
Suite 2181, Rayburn Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Perkins: 

As members of the Policy Council of the National Women's
Political Caucus which represents all members of the Caucus, we have
a vital interest in the development of a comprehensive, community-
controlled and universally available system of child care services
in this country. It is our understanding that H.R. 6748 will be
marked up by the full House Education and Labor Committee next week
and that amendments will be offered which will (a) provide that any
locality regardless of population would be eligible for prime
sponsorship; (b) protect current Head Start programs so they may not
be eliminated by administrative fiat; (c) insure that only non-profit
organizations will be eligible for federal day care monies; (d) provide
that the Bureau of Labor Statistics Lower Living Standard Budget shall
be the standard of eligibility throughout the bill; (e) guarantee a
minimum wage to persons employed in federally sponsored day care
programs; (f) strengthen the role of parents in day care programs; and,
(g) fix a childcare appropriation at $5 billion for FY '73, $8 billion
for FY '74, and $10 billion for FY '75.

We urge your support of the above listed amendments for the
following reasons: (a) To limit prime sponsorship to localities of a
prescribed population size would unfairly discriminate against sparsely
populated states and would exclude the many growing population centers
which surround metropolitan areas -- such limitation would amount to a
direct bias against the populations of suburban, rural and small urban
areas and thus deny growing numbers of people the opportunity to be
direct sponsors of child development programs. Prime sponsorship
should be determined by capability and need -- not by an artificial
population count. (b) Local people are best able to determine whether
or not existing Head Start programs meet local needs and these people
should be vested with responsibility for determining that a program is
ineffective and should be eliminated. (c) We are opposed to any bill
which provides public day care at private gain. When there is such
competition for funds, an amendment reserving funding eligibility to
non-profit groups will insure that the money appropriated is used to
the maximum effect. (d) While we advocate a national  care system
available to all families we view the adoption of the Bureau of Labor
Statistics‘ 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 on to the welfare roles. At a time when we are
making every effort to encourage integration at higher levels of edu-
cation, we cannot afford to reinforce [an] already segregated system of
educational programs for young children. We also feel that having day
care services available to a broader crossection of people will help to
[ensure] that adequate appropriations are available for day care in the
future. (e) Child care should not become a dead end institution that
provides dead end, badly paid Jobs. Our current welfare (and child care)
crisis has stemmed, in part, from wage and employment policies which, in
this country, have discriminated against women by reserving higher
paying jobs to men and by consistently offering subsistence wages for
those tasks which have been considered ‘women's work.‘ Quality child
care should be neither a profession for ‘women only‘ nor one which
deserves menial salaries. (f) As mothers we favor programs which give
us the responsibility for decisions involving the education and welfare