What the Democrats' plan would do for parents

The child care program – led by Senator Patty Murray from Washington and Representative Bobby Scott from Virginia – addresses a basic mat...


The child care program – led by Senator Patty Murray from Washington and Representative Bobby Scott from Virginia – addresses a basic math problem. There are not enough places in daycares for those who need them, and the educators earn less as workers in 98 percent of occupations. Yet care is unaffordable for many families, so providers cannot increase prices significantly. As Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen said in september, “Child care is a classic example of a broken market. “

This dynamic is why most other rich countries subsidize child care, and many European countries do start public school at the age of 3.

The proposal also requires that teachers in child care classes receive a living wage, equivalent to that of elementary teachers with the same credentials. Now, the median salary for elementary school teachers is $ 34 an hour, compared to $ 15 for preschool teachers and $ 12 for educators, according to the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California at Berkeley. Also as part of the proposal, the pre-K lead teachers must have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field, although they have six years to graduate, with some exemptions based on work experience.

“You cannot maintain a workforce with wages on the poverty line,” said Lea Austin, executive director of the center. “These reforms will be the best demonstration of the value of the child care workforce to the public good.”

States would come up with a formula for determining the cost of child care services, taking into account high quality care and higher wages. Then the parents would pay their share, like a copayment in a doctor’s office, and the rest of the money would go to providers, funded mostly by the federal government and partly by the states. If parents chose to send their children to more expensive preschools, they would pay the difference.

States also have the option of opting out of programs, although local governments can join even if their state does not.

The grants could be used in all licensed daycares and preschools that also meet new federal quality requirements, including those in homes, churches and public schools. The proposal includes funds for improving the quality of care, starting new centers, expanding the offer in existing centers and improving facilities. For starters, states should devote a quarter of federal grants to increasing supply, as many parts of the country do not have enough child care spaces, and demand is expected to increase.

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Newsrust - US Top News: What the Democrats' plan would do for parents
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