If you’ve talked to any parents lately, you know that things are rough. This week former vice president and 2020 Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden acknowledged the sturm und drang pounding caretakers this summer with a $775 billion proposal aimed at families, caregivers, and childcare providers, most of whom have seen their lives upended by the pandemic. He proposes:
- Universal pre-K for 3 and 4 year olds
- An $8,000 tax credit for one child, or $16,000 for two or more, to help pay for childcare (families earning $125,000-$400,000 would get a partial credit)
- Subsidized childcare so that lower-income families pay no more than 7% of their income to childcare (for families earning less than 1.5 times the state median income)
- Subsidies for after-school, weekend, and summer care programs to improve access
- More childcare options for parents attending community colleges
The plan is both a huge expansion of current available childcare options, and notably more conservative than plans from senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, which both included universal childcare as a right.
The package would also bail out childcare centers, fund more care centers in childcare deserts, and boost benefits, income, and training for childcare workers. Altogether, the plan would spike job opportunities in early childhood care by 1.5 million.
For caregivers to older or disabled people, the proposal would eliminate the 800,000-person waiting list for medicaid community care, provide funding to states and groups for noninstitutional care, and create 150,000 more community health workers.
In a unique kick to the Trump family, the entire proposal would be funded by limiting tax breaks for real-estate investors who earn more than $400,000 per year, along with increased tax enforcement on the wealthy. (One example is that 1031 exchanges—which allow real estate owners to sell a property and then quickly reinvest in a new property to dodge capital gains taxes—would no longer be allowed for that group.