The Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
The County Board this week agreed to move forward with their Child Care Initiative action plan.
Of course, it did not take an action plan to tell any of us with kids that it is expensive to take care of them in Arlington. Whether it’s full-time child care, part-time, pre-school or even babysitting the costs add up on top of already expensive mortgages or rent payments. And anecdotally, you probably know parents who have still been scrambling to find care for an infant just days before going back to work.
But what does that mean the county government should do about it?
First, there is the question of accessibility. According to the county’s action plan, more than 13,000 kids are under the age of 5 in Arlington while just less than 7,000 slots are available in child care facilities. However, the county document did not answer all of the relevant statistical questions about these children.
How many families have a stay-at-home parent or a grandparent living with them? How many families use a nanny or au pair? How many families prefer to make use of a child care facility closer to their place of employment, like in D.C. or Fairfax County? In other words, are we really talking about 6,000 plus children who need a child care option, or 3,000 or 1,000 or 100?
Regardless of the number, the county is right to look at whether they can modify zoning and fees to make it easier for more facilities to open. For example, do we really need parking for all of the people who work there, or could the facility instead offer a Metro or rideshare benefit? Can we lower certain application fees? Lowering governmentally imposed barriers to entry, those that do not directly impact the well-being of the child, is a good thing. And the Board is considering making changes like these by the end of the year.
Another big question raised in the plan is whether or not county taxpayers should directly subsidize care to supplement any state programs and federal tax credits.
Before moving forward with a subsidy program, the Board must first provide in great detail: the income levels they propose to subsidize, a well-documented projection of the number of families who would take advantage of such a program, the total cost to fund the subsidies and administer the program and how they would propose paying for it.
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Join MoCA Arlington Summer Camps at Marymount University and learn the fundamentals of handbuilding, throwing on a wheel, glazing, and much more. In this two-week course, students will explore hand building techniques, wheel throwing, and strengthen ideas that exemplify individual artist expression guided by professional working artists. Students of all skill levels are welcome!
Visit MoCA Arlington’s Website here and the registration page to secure your space today!
Please join us on Saturday, June 3, from 2 to 4 pm for the Glencarlyn Home Tour in Arlington’s historic Glencarlyn neighborhood. Among the featured homes will be a sparkling new home by A&N Builders at 5604-4th St. South. The inviting front porch opens to a light-filled space featuring high ceiling, wood floors, gas fireplace, Pella windows, Shrock cabinets, Quartz countertop, and JennAir appliances. Doors from the family room open to a large covered porch with a few steps to the level, landscaped rear yard. Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, three bathrooms, laundry room, and linen storage. The big lower level has a rec room, gym space, and a fifth bedroom and bathroom plus even more storage. After leaving the home, stroll to the Ball-Sellers home, the oldest residence in Arlington, the community gardens at the library, Carlin Hall, and the 94 acre Glencarlyn Park. A lovely way to while away a late spring afternoon.
Homebuying 101: Steps to Getting Pre-Approved
Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved.
Join ACFCU’s mortgage loan officers
4th of July Celebration & Fireworks
Treat yourself this Independence Day with a world-class, private 4th of July extravaganza at the Military Women’s Memorial – a premier National Capital Region site.
Great food, fun, and the best views of Washington DC’s spectacular fireworks display. Relax, enjoy,