their new book "The Natural Family: A Manifesto,” Allan C. Carlson and Paul T. Mero recommend that "state subsidies and credits for day care should also be available to parents who care for their preschoolers full time, at home. A tax credit for this purpose should be refundable to those parents without the income to claim the full credit, allowing for a reduction in means-tested government daycare subsidies.”
There couldn't be a better time for such a policy, given our state's well-publicized day care woes. Many Oklahomans, no longer limited to worrying about the run-of-the-mill problems of day care kids (Logan has another ear infection, Dylan has new bite marks, Hailey's teacher is a felon), are now having to worry about simply keeping the little buggers alive.
A large, refundable tax credit would solve a lot of these problems. And it would be popular: Cole Hardgrave Snodgrass & Associates found in 2004 that when Oklahoma mothers were asked which they thought was more important for public policy to encourage, only 26 percent chose "making quality childcare more affordable for working families,” while 70 percent chose "making it easier for one parent to stay at home.”
So let's help our most important early childhood educators, and further solidify our status as a national leader.
Dutcher is vice president for policy at Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a conservative think tank.