Providing Universal Child Care & Early Learning
“The cost of child care held me back until my Aunt Bee stepped in to help take care of Alex and Amelia. Every family should have access to high-quality, affordable child care.” – Elizabeth Warren
WHAT THIS PLAN IS ABOUT
In the wealthiest country on the planet, access to affordable, high-quality child care and early education should be a right, not a privilege reserved for the rich.
Elizabeth’s Universal Child Care and Early Learning plan will guarantee high-quality child care and early education for every child in America from birth to school age. This means that high-quality child care and early education will be free for millions of American families, and affordable for everyone.
Under this new plan:
- 12 million kids will take advantage of these new high-quality options — nearly double the number that currently receive formal child care outside the home.
- More than a million child-care workers will get higher wages and more money to spend because they are doing the educational work that teachers do and will be paid like comparable public school teachers.
- More parents can work more hours if they choose to, producing stronger economic growth.
- Quality early education will produce better health, educational, and employment outcomes well into adulthood.
This plan gives every kid a fair shot.
WHY IT’S NEEDED
Right now, families are having to choose between breaking the budget, being forced to cut back work hours, or settling for lower-quality care just to ensure that their kids have safe and accessible child care.
The lack of affordable early learning options also shortchanges our kids. Research shows that high-quality early education can improve high school graduation rates and future employment income.
We shouldn’t be denying our kids the kind of care and early learning they need to fulfill their potential.
THIS PLAN IS PERSONAL FOR ELIZABETH
Elizabeth was a working mom with two kids—Amelia and Alex. While teaching law school in Houston, her babysitter quit. Elizabeth struggled with all sorts of child care over the next few months, another babysitter, a neighbor with kids, and a couple of daycare centers.
Around this time, her 78-year-old Aunt Bee called from Oklahoma. Elizabeth broke down and said, “I can’t do this. I can’t teach and take care of Amy and Alex. I’m doing a terrible job. I’m going to have to quit.”
Aunt Bee got on the plane and arrived at the airport two days later with seven suitcases and a dog named Buddy. She stayed with Elizabeth, caring for Amelia and Alex, for 16 years.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have an Aunt Bee. But every family deserves affordable and high-quality child care. We need to level the playing field for everyone.
HOW IT WORKS
Because the federal government will pick up a huge chunk of the operating costs, any family making less than 200% of the federal poverty line (about $60,000 for a family of five) will have access to free child care. That means free coverage for millions of children.
For families above the 200% threshold, their rates will be capped at no more than 7% of that family’s income – no matter how many children they have. That’s a heck of a lot less than what most families are paying right now for high-quality child care.
Just for reference, here’s the 200% federal poverty threshold for 2019:
Nobody would be required to enroll in this new program. But right now, millions of families can’t take advantage of child care because of its cost — and millions more are draining their paychecks to cover high costs.
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN FOR ME?
Do you have children or someday plan to have children? If so, try our child care calculator to see what you’d save under Elizabeth’s plan.
HOW WOULD WE PAY FOR IT?
This plan would be paid for by Elizabeth’s Ultra-Millionaire Tax on America’s wealthiest families. Families with a net worth of over $50 million will pay a two-cent (2%) tax on every dollar of net worth over $50 million and a six-cent (6%) tax on every dollar of net worth over $1 billion.
This new wealth tax would generate over $3.75 trillion in revenue over the next ten years. This revenue could be used to fund universal pre-k, universal college, cancelling student debt, universal child care, and financing Medicare for All!