Who would be covered under Biden’s universal preschool and free child care proposal?

Education

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden has proposed reducing one of the costliest expenses for families with young children: child care and early childhood education.

His child care plan is estimated to cost over $200 billion and would be paid for in part by closing tax loopholes.

“The research shows that when a young child goes to school — not day care — they are far more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college,” said Biden during his address to a Joint Session of Congress.

Universal preschool

A major component of the plan would be creating universal free preschool for three- and four-year olds.

A White House estimate suggests it would benefit 5 million low-income children and save the average family $13,000.

The plan would require a national partnership with states.

The proposal also includes stipulations to ensure that education is high quality, inclusive, and has low student-to-teacher ratios.

Affordable child care

Another part of the plan would be to make child care more affordable. President Biden proposed a sliding scale system, so lower-income families are covered and those parents who earn 1.5 times their state median income will pay no more than 7% of their income for all children under age five.

“When this nation made 12 years of public education universal in the last century, it made us the best-educated and best-prepared nation in the world. But the world is catching up. They are not waiting. 12 years is no longer enough today to compete in the 21st century,” said Biden.

Child care worker incentives

All teachers and early childhood staff participating in the child care workforce, pre-K programs and Head Start would earn at least $15 an hour. Those with the qualifications of kindergarten teachers would be compensated as such, according to The White House.

The proposal also allocates funds for child care professional development paid by the federal government to help workers grow their skills during their careers.

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