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U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) pauses while speaking at an organizing event on February 18, 2019 in Glendale, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Leading the way

‘A right, not a privilege’: How would Elizabeth Warren’s universal child care plan work?

By WITW Staff on February 22, 2019

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has laid out a bold plan to create a federal child care system that would guarantee working parents affordable daycare options. While a number of proposed childcare plans — included one advocated by first daughter Ivanka Trump — have focused on providing new parents with family leave, Warren’s plan seeks to alleviate the crippling financial cost of childcare throughout the entirety of a child’s infancy. According to experts, the high cost of childcare — which in some cases is higher even than the cost of rent — effectively forces many mothers to drop out of the workforce in order to care for their young children themselves.

An assessment of Warren’s plan by Moody’s economist Mark Zandi found that her initiative would nearly double the number of American children under the age of 5 who receive formal child care. Under the Warren plan, the government’s pre-existing Head Start program for early childhood education of low-income children would be expanded to provide parents with affordable and reliable options in “child care deserts.” In families that make less than two times the poverty level childcare would be free, and no families would pay more than 7 percent of their income on childcare. The plan would effectively provide childcare coverage for about 60 percent of children under the age of 5, but at significant cost: Zandi’s analysis put the price tag at an estimated $70 billion a year.

In a Medium post explaining the initiative, Warren said that she almost quit her job due to stress caused by difficulties finding quality child care options. If it weren’t for her Aunt Bee, who offered to move in and look after the children while Warren was at work, Warren explained that she might not be here today.

“Today, in more than half the states in the country, a year of child care costs more than a year of in-state college tuition,” she wrote. “We’re placing a huge financial burden on working families looking to find a safe and nurturing place for their kids … 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.”

Read the full story at CNN.

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