Financial Child Care Through Local Taxes: One City's Bold Attempt

By Myra H. StroberKenneth E. Yeager
Journal of Family Issues
September1992 Vol. 13 Issue 3 Pages 279-296.

The Fremont, California, City Council placed a measure on the June 1989 ballot asking residents whether a tax should be levied to pay for child-care services. It was the nation’s first city election ever held on the issue, and it brought the policy debate on child care into the political arena. Reporting on interviews with local policymakers and the results of an exit poll conducted on election day, this article concludes that the reasons the measure lost by a 3.5 to 1 margin were that the city overestimated the shortage of child-care slots, that supporters of the measure underestimated the opposition, and that the city council and public opinion polls overestimated the willingness of the voting population to pay for public support of child care.