Day-care costs are an especially hot topic for the presidential campaign because they have risen 70% since the 1980s. In 31 states and Washington D.C., day care is more expensive than public college tuition.
The presidential candidates are taking different approaches to tackle the problem of high child-care costs. Clinton plans to cap child-care expenses at 10% of family income. She wants to accomplish this “by significantly increasing the federal government’s investment in child-care subsidies and providing tax relief for the cost of child care to working families.”
Trump proposes allowing parents to deduct the average cost of child care in their state from their taxable income.
Why does child care cost so much in the first place? A Mercatus Center study by Diana Thomas and Devon Gorry last year found that regulations such as caps on care-worker-to-child ratios and staff-certification requirements are major factors in increasing the cost of child care.
Schachter provides shocking examples of these regulations. Arizona has 114 pages of regulations, and Michigan has 329 pages. Those range from the required spacing between the coat hooks and mattresses to the type of food that can be served.
On the one hand, school systems weigh children and send home letters if they think they are overweight. Yet on the other hand, they limit recess and activities such as dodgeball and tag because those games might cause accidents. Reasonable people might think that the school systems might see a link between banning physical activity and the increase in obesity.