This is something that is definitely in my wheelhouse.
Courtesy of Bloomberg:
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren proposed a universal child care plan that would limit American families’ expenses to 7 percent of income regardless of how many children they have in care — paid for by a tax on the ultra-wealthy.
The Massachusetts senator’s plan, unveiled Tuesday on Medium.com, would make child care free for families with incomes below 200 percent of the poverty level, or less than $51,500 for a family of four. Other families would pay up to 7 percent of income, depending on how much they earn.
The proposal marks the latest policy entry into a 2020 contest that features scores of progressive Democrats competing over how best to mitigate income inequality and expand the economic safety net for working families. Americans pay nearly as much for child care as they do for rent, with the average cost of child care in the U.S. approaching $1,400 a month, according to a 2018 HotPads analysis of a Care.com state and metro area pricing index.
Warren’s plan would cost taxpayers $70 billion per year, according to an analysis by Moody’s Analytics economists Mark Zandi and Sophia Koropeckyj. It would be paid for with some of the revenue from an annual wealth tax Warren has proposed on assets above $50 million, the person said.
The proposal would “substantially increase the number of children able to receive formal child care” from 6.8 million (or one-third of those under 5 years old) to 12 million (or 60 percent of children under 5), the economists said. It would cut formal care costs for families with young children by about 17 percent.
I spent a lot of my life working with young children, as a preschool teacher, an after-school program director, a camp counselor, and a gymnastics coach.
I also had to deal with filling out Day Care Assistance forms, which is an Alaskan program that helps working parents afford childcare.
There were a lot of people who simply could not have provided care for their children without that assistance, and I know a number of people who also worked more than one job to make ends meet.
Childcare is expensive, and good childcare is even more expensive.
But let me just say that the people running and staffing those programs are certainly not getting paid what they are worth either.
There has long been a need for a complete overhaul of our childcare system on the federal level, and I for one welcome Elizabeth Warren’s proposal.