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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Harris, Yellen push Congress to approve childcare spending reforms

Harris, Yellen push Congress to approve childcare spending reforms

15 September (WNN) — Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called on Congress on Wednesday to pass childcare provisions included in the administration’s $3.5 trillion spending plan.

Speaking at the Treasury Department, Harris cited a report from the Office of Economic Policy, saying that the current US childcare system burdens families and struggles with inadequate supplies that cause shortages across the country.

“Childcare is what makes it possible to work for millions of Americans,” Harris said in the comments. “And yet, this report confirms what millions of American families know and experience every day: Childcare is too expensive and out of reach for many working families in our country.”

The Treasury Department report states that the average family with at least one child under the age of 5 will spend 13% of their income on childcare.

In addition, childcare providers struggle with high turnover, as their workers, including many women of color, earn low wages and are forced to rely on public services themselves.

As a result, more than half of Americans – especially low-income and rural households – live in so-called childcare deserts without nearby childcare providers.

“The free market works well in many different areas, but childcare isn’t one of them. It doesn’t work for caregivers. It doesn’t work for parents. It doesn’t work for kids. And because it doesn’t work for them, it doesn’t work for the country,” Yellen said.

The Biden administration’s plan seeks to include universal preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds, expand tax credits for childcare, and provide access to high-quality childcare for low- and middle-income children.

“By expanding childcare options and reducing childcare costs, we will give working people everywhere the support they need to dream, do, and determine their future,” Harris said.

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