CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. — Rep. Mike Levin, who serves North County’s 49th district, met with other local leaders, administrators and parents Tuesday for a roundtable discussion about what he says is a crisis in childcare.  

“It’s about $17,000 in California for good childcare,” Levin told FOX 5. “That causes a lot of people that we would otherwise have in the workforce to stay home.”

Levin, along with San Diego County Board of Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, hosted the event at Kids By The Sea, a preschool in Cardiff. As a single working mom with kids under 5 years old, she knows the struggle firsthand.    

“So many families are struggling just to get the childcare they need to be able to go to work and put food on the table, but then you add onto that the imperative of ensuring that it’s good childcare, that it’s quality childcare, and the kids are getting up to thrive and grow,” Lawson-Remer said.

According to a report by San Diego Foundation, 76% of parents say they are having a hard time finding affordable childcare in their area. It also found that San Diego families with one infant and one preschooler spend roughly 40% of their income on childcare — on average $33,000 a year — forcing many to leave the workforce altogether.  

Levin hopes to champion legislation that will change that.

“I have been fighting for specific provisions that would really help directly address childcare costs for families that need the help. We had a bill saying that childcare costs couldn’t exceed 7% of income for people that were making 250% or below the median salary.”