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Child Care Costs In The United States Are Too High

Today, the cost of child care is too high and still rising — a year of child care costs more than a year of in-state college tuition in many states.

Elizabeth’s plan will make guarantees high-quality child care and early education for every child in America from birth to school age. It makes that care free for millions of American families, and affordable for everyone.

When Elizabeth was a young law professor at a law school in Houston, she, like many parents, struggled to balance work with raising her two young kids. After cycling through child care arrangement after child care arrangement, she nearly gave up and quit her job. She was saved by her 78-year-old Aunt Bee, who quickly offered to fly out to Houston. She arrived from Oklahoma with seven suitcases and a Pekingese named Buddy, and stayed for 16 years.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have an Aunt Bee of their own, and finding affordable and high-quality child care is an even bigger challenge today.

In more than half of states, a year of child care costs more than a year of in-state college tuition. The average cost of child care for a single child can take up between 9% to 36% of a family’s total income. Those percentages only grow bigger for families with multiple children. And for single parents, the costs can be even more overwhelming: nationally, the cost of center-based infant care can take up between 27% to 91% of the average income of a single parent.

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.  That’s why Elizabeth’s plan would guarantee high-quality child care and early education for every child in America from birth to school age. It will be free for millions of American families, and affordable for everyone. An independent economic analysis projects that 12 million kids will take advantage of the program — nearly double the number that currently receive formal child care outside the home. And these kids will have access to high quality early education, which research shows produces better health, educational, and employment outcomes well into adulthood.

That’s the kind of big, structural change we need to produce an economy that works for everyone.

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.
Elizabeth Warren, Feb. 19, 2019

Read more about Elizabeth's Universal Child Care Plan

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