Campaign Funds for Childcare
CFCC usage increased 662% for federal candidates and 2,156% for state and local candidates from 2018-2022.
The increase is particularly salient among those who have historically been underrepresented and who face additional barriers when running for and serving in office. A majority of the funds spent by women candidates at both the federal and state levels on caregiving services were spent by women of color.
Running for office should not be a privilege solely awarded to those who are independently wealthy and well-connected. Campaign finance reform can break down financial and structural barriers that prevent candidates from running, and presents an exciting avenue for continued research on how to increase representation among marginalized groups.
Vote Mama Foundation will continue our work to authorize Campaign Funds for Childcare in each state, track its usage, and analyze its impact on accessibility and diversity at all levels of government.
FEDERAL USAGE FROM 2018-2022
$717,706 total spent
45.8% spent by candidates of color
51% spent by women
68 candidates in 90 federal races
STATE & LOCAL USAGE FROM 2018-2022
70% spent by candidates of color
38% spent by women
The research presented here is long overdue, but it is just the beginning of our collective understanding of the experience of being both a legislator and a caretaker. While Vote Mama Foundation’s analysis focuses on the intersection of motherhood and political participation, it is our intention for this data to benefit all those working toward an equitable and accountable political system.
Our aim is to provide nuanced and accessible data suited for both research and public communication. Demographic data was collected from candidate websites, Ballotpedia, official state biographies, social media and data provided by partner organizations. Campaign finance data was collected at both the state and federal levels.
State campaign finance data includes: Data was retrieved from individual state reporting agencies responsible for monitoring and regulating campaign finance. The accessibility of this data varies widely, and we were unable to access data for some states. Where possible, campaign expenditures were retrieved from each state’s reporting agency.
Federal campaign finance data includes: campaign finance records from January 2018 to December 2022. For federal elections, we used the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) campaign disbursement database. We searched campaign spending disbursements using the following keywords: “childcare,” “child care,” “daycare,” “day care,” “nursery school,” “babysit,” “baby sit,” “babysitting,” “baby sitting,” “babysitter,” “baby sitter.”
The dataset encompasses candidates at the federal, state, and local levels from 2018-2022 that included campaign spending disbursements matching our keywords in their expenditure reports.
State level data collection depended on the availability of campaign finance data and so we were unable to search all 50 states. Refer to our methodology section in the report for more information.
We do not claim this report to be an exhaustive record of the use of CFCC at the state and local levels, and we suspect that usage is higher than reported.