Elizabeth Warren unveiled her presidential plan for universal child care, and it would be a game changer
Campaigning for the 2020 presidential election is already underway, with several Democrats vying for the party’s official nomination. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was one of the first politicians to declare her intent to run, and now that she has made it official, she’s starting to announce her platform. Yesterday, February 19th, Warren released a child care plan that would be revolutionary if it comes to pass.
The senator detailed her ideas in a Medium post, noting that under her proposed plan, the federal government would help fund local child care providers, including preschools and in-home options. She wrote that her proposed child care plan would be free for families making less than twice the national poverty level, which would be about $51,500 for a family of four. Parents making more than this would pay, at most, 7% of their income for child care. The Massachusetts Democrat plans to fund this new program through a wealth tax, which according to CNN, would impose a 2% tax on Americans with a net worth greater than $50 million and a 3% tax on wealth above $1 billion.
Warren, like most working moms, once struggled to find child care. In her post, she recalled that she was almost driven to leave her job teaching at a law school in Houston when the babysitter for her two young children quit. She was ultimately able to keep working—with help from an aunt—but she noted that not all parents are so lucky.
"We must do better for our kids — and our parents," she wrote. "In the wealthiest country on the planet, access to affordable and high-quality child care and early education should be a right, not a privilege reserved for the rich."
The New York Times notes that Warren and her team drafted the policy with help from the Center for American Progress, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Center for Law and Social Policy. A report from two economists at Moody’s Analytics, Mark Zandi and Sophia Koropeckyj estimates that the cost of the child care program could be paid for by Warren’s proposed tax increases. In other words, if Warren is elected and her policy passes, it could be a viable solution to the problem of affordable child care.
As of now, Warren’s child care plan could make a huge difference in leveling the playing field for working parents—especially working mothers. We’re eager to see how other candidates will address this issue.