Bernie Sanders Launches ‘Free’ Child Care for All Plan

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
February 25, 2020Politics
Bernie Sanders Launches ‘Free’ Child Care for All Plan
Candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and his wife Jane Sanders wave after winning the Nevada caucuses in San Antonio, Texas, on Feb. 22, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders launched his Free Child Care plan, stressing the importance of education from an early age, but did not go into details about how to finance it.

“Child care must be guaranteed for every child regardless of their parents’ income, just like K-12 education,” Sanders said a statement. “We know that the first four years of a child’s life are the most important years of human development, so it is unconscionable that in the wealthiest country in the world, we do not properly invest in early childhood education.”

Sanders argues that low-income families find themselves in a catch-22 situation. The costs of child care are more than they can afford, so they need to work more to pay for it, which in turn leads to higher child care expenses.

Sander’s plan would provide child care at regular hours but also at non-traditional hours for at least 10 hours a day to accommodate parents with all kinds of jobs.

Bernie wants to make use of the existing federal child care programs and infrastructure. The federal government will fund all costs of child care services including the workers, as well as capital expenses while the administration is done by state agencies and governments. Public school districts and other relevant agencies and organizations will also partake in the implementation.

Quality standards for the program, set by the federal government, in collaboration with Secretaries of Education and Health and Human Services, will conditional for funding.

Every child should have access to a full-day, full-week pre-kindergarten education, regardless of the parents’ income, starting at age 3.

Sanders also promised to double the number of early childhood caretakers to 2.6 million, with a guarantee that everyone working in the field would earn a fair living wage, similar to qualified kindergarten teachers.

NTD Photo
Children play in the playground of a kindergarten in a file photo. (Omer Messinger/Getty Images)

With an estimated cost of $1.5 trillion, questions remain over how it will be funded.

“By taxing the extreme wealth of the top 0.1 percent, we can invest $1.5 trillion over the next decade on guaranteeing free, universal, quality child care and early education for all,” Sanders wrote in his plan.

Appearing on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Sanders said: “I get a little bit tired of hearing my opponents saying: ‘Gee, how you going to pay for a program that impacts and helps children or working-class families or middle-class families? How you going to pay for that?'” adding, “I can’t rattle off to you every nickel and every dime. But we have accounted for …We have options out there that will pay for it.”

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