Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.
Before the pandemic, America had a childcare crisis. Now, the United States has a childcare emergency. The economy cannot recover without childcare, and the disruption to the childcare infrastructure is derailing decades of gains for working women.
That's why Presidential candidate Joe Biden made a big announcement this week: His plan includes a major investment in childcare.
Childcare centers have been asking for a bailout, pointing out that other industries, like the airlines, have received more government support than the essential childcare industry has. Biden said this week he plans to bailout the childcare industry to keep day care centers open.
He is also planning a national pre-K program for all 3 and 4-year-old children, something that research has shown boosts workforce participation rates for mothers.
"We need to make high-quality child care affordable and accessible," Biden tweeted Tuesday. "As president, I'll give every 3- and 4-year-old access to free, high-quality preschool. And low- to middle-income families won't spend more than 7% of their income on quality care for children under age 5."
The proposed plan would see parents receive a tax credit to cover a portion of childcare costs.
"Families will get back as a tax credit as much as half of their spending on child care for children under age 13, up to a total of $8,000 for one child or $16,000 for two or more children," Biden's plan notes. "The full 50% reimbursement will be available to families making less than $125,000 a year. And, all families making between $125,000 and $400,000 will receive a partial credit ensuring that in no case will they get less under the Biden plan than they are eligible for today."
Biden also plans to ensure that the (largely women, and disproportionately BIPOC) childcare workers and early childhood educators in the U.S. are compensated more fairly, saying we need to "treat caregivers and early childhood educators with respect and dignity, and give them the pay and benefits they deserve, training and career ladders to higher-paying jobs, the choice to join a union and bargain collectively, and other fundamental work-related rights and protections."
As Motherly has previously reported, the people caring for America's youngest children currently make less than Amazon delivery drivers.
The plan also addressed the after-school care crisis in the United States, and aims to ensure families "with school-aged children have expanded access to after-school, weekend, and summer care."
The plan addresses some of the most pressing issues in American society today, but only time will tell if the American public will embrace Biden's vision.