In July 2023, Public Opinion Strategies completed a poll on behalf of the First Five Years Fund, examining Arizona voters’ attitudes toward the issue of child care and early childhood education programs. The poll also surveyed a national audience as well as voters in Alabama, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
The Bottom Line: The vast majority of Arizona voters continue to feel a sense of urgency around the need for affordable, quality child care. This concern cuts across party lines and spans state borders. It is felt strongly by parents and non-parents alike. As a result, even among concerns about the federal deficit, there continues to be persistent, substantial voter support for increased federal funding for child care and early learning programs.
Here are the First Five Things To Know about Arizona voter support for federal funding for child care in Arizona:
Fully 94% of Arizona voters believe it is important for working parents of young children to be able to find and afford quality child care programs. Not only do 94% believe this is important, but fully 59% say it is extremely important, and the overall sentiment clearly cuts across party lines, with 91% of Republicans, 91% of Independents, and 98% of Democrats saying finding quality child care programs for children or working parents is important.
Voters believe federal funding for child care and early learning programs should be increased. 69% of Arizona voters say they still believe that “increasing funding for child care and early childhood education programs is an important priority and a good use of tax dollars,” even after acknowledging concerns with the federal deficit. Again, this sentiment cuts across party lines, with 57% of Republican voters, 62% of Independent voters and 86% of Democratic voters agreeing on the issue.
Arizona voters believe that resources directed to child care and early learning programs benefit not just the family, but the overall community. A clear majority of Arizona voters (55%) say that resources directed to child care and early learning programs benefit both the individual family/children and the overall community, while 17% say the resources only benefit the community and 15% say they only benefit the individual family.
There is broad support for each of the five child care policy proposals tested, with support ranging from 75% to 84%. Arizona voters provide clear bi-partisan support to each of five child care reform policies proposed. Each proposal wins easily across gender and generational lines, as well as across both ideological and partisan lines. In fact, even ’24 Trump voters provide at least 64% support for each of the five policies tested.
- There is broad support for each of the five child care policy proposals tested, with support ranging from 75% to 84%. Arizona voters provide clear bi-partisan support to each of five child care reform policies proposed. Each proposal wins easily across gender and generational lines, as well as across both ideological and partisan lines. In fact, even ’24 Trump voters provide at least 64% support for each of the five policies tested.
- Providing tax incentives to businesses which provide or help their employees find and afford quality early childhood education programs – 84% support (including 81% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats)
- Providing greater funding to Head Start and Early Head Start to support families with the greatest needs. – 78% support (including 68% of Republicans and 92% of Democrats)
- Increasing the tax credit specifically designed to help working parents offset the cost of child care (also known as the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, or CDCTC) – 89% support (Including 72% of Republicans and 89% of Democrats)
- Increasing the federal funding to states to expand current programs that directly help low-income children (also known as the Child Care & Development Block Grant, or CCDBG) – 77% support (including 65% of Republicans and 92% of Democrats)
- Increasing the Child Tax Credit, a tax benefit for families with children which can be used on any household expense – 75% support (including 63% of Republicans and 87% of Democrats)
One reason for such strong and broad support – Arizona voters recognize the impact that child care can have on a family’s household income. Previous polling has shown that business owners and voters feel strongly that child care is important for the local and national economy. In this poll, we see it also hits even closer to home. More than one-quarter (28%) of Arizona voters polled said they or a family member had to miss work because of child care issues, while 24% of all Arizona workers say they have missed or cut back on work because of child care issues. Finally, 60% of non-full time working parents say they would go back to work full-time if their child had access to quality child care at a reasonable cost.
In Their Own Words
Nearly 80% of Arizona voters support increasing federal funding for states to expand their child care programs., (also known as the Child Care & Development Block Grant, or CCDBG), including 66% of Republicans, 73% of Independents, and 89% of Democrats.
Here’s what they had to say:
- Being a single mother, and not receiving child support, it is very difficult to afford child care on a single income. Regardless that I make decent money, it costs more than my mortgage for childcare.” – IND, Female, Phoenix
- “Families now have to have both parents working in order to pay bills to survive. When you have small children and no family to help with childcare, it is very hard and stressful.” – Strong DEM, Female, Tucson
- “Children from low income families should be able to have childcare without the family cutting back on essentials.” – Strong GOP, Male, Tucson
Putting It All In Context, From FFYF
Sarah Rittling, Executive Director, First Five Years Fund: “We’ve seen a lot of polling through the years that underscores the importance of child care. What this poll tells us is that, both nationally and in Arizona, voters expect something to be done about the very real issues that families are facing. Members of Congress are making decisions right now about funding for the coming year, and it’s clear from these results that early care and learning programs are not only popular across the entirety of the political spectrum, but that voters want them prioritized.”