59th General Assembly
The Union of American Hebrew Congregations has repeatedly expressed its deep concern for the welfare of children and the health of the family. The lack of sufficient and affordable child care in the United States and Canada is a growing problem of enormous proportions. By the year 1995, it is projected that two-thirds of all pre-school children and three-fourths of all school-age children in the United States will have their primary care giver in the labor force.
For parents striving to work towards self-sufficiency and to remove themselves from the welfare rolls, child care is essential to permit them to participate in education and training programs and work. For working parents, child care is often unavailable, and when available, the cost of child care is often prohibitive. Parents often leave children in private houses where individuals care for small groups of children (a growing phenomenon known as family day care) and provide day care widely varying in quality and safety. Moreover, there is a need for "specialty" child care such as drop-in, on-site and sick-child care centers. Resolution of this problem will take a concerted effort on the part of both the public and private sectors.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Union of American Hebrew Congregations:
- Urges its congregations:
- As a priority concern, to establish on their own, or in conjunction with Jewish communal agencies, child care centers.
- To take affirmative steps with other religious organizations in conjunction with private industry, and federal, state or provincial and local governments to improve access to quality child care for all families regardless of economic circumstances or religion.
- Provide resource materials for the purpose of establishing such centers in our congregation.
- Recognizes that a first-rate comprehensive child care program will need to encompass, among other things:
- Financial aid to low and moderate-income parents in paying for such care.
- Parental involvement in child care.
- Improve mandatory training programs for child care personnel.
- Adequate compensation for child care personnel.
- Improved coordination among all providers of child care.
- Assurance of the quality and safety of family day care homes and child care centers.
- Creation of communal referral and evaluation networks for family day care.