Senator Warren Calls for Universal Child Care

Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) continued her history of supporting child care as an economic linchpin and a critical support for children and families by proposing a bold step toward expanding access to affordable, high-quality child care for America’s families. Senator Warren announced she will introduce legislation that would make child care available to all families at no-cost or an affordable cost; establish quality standards that support child development; provide comprehensive child development services for children who need support; and strengthen pay and benefits for the child care and early education workforce.

Without access to high-quality affordable child care, working families struggle to gain economic stability and their children may have inequitable access to supports needed for their healthiest development. Families with high-quality child care realize such benefits as more sustained parental employment and better child outcomes. Yet across the board, families with low incomes have limited access to affordable child care. This is particularly true for children of color—especially Latinx and Asian children—whose families are more likely to be juggling the challenges of low-wage jobs, which include unpredictable schedules, limited or no benefits, and insufficient work hours. According to a 2018 report from Child Care Aware, a family of three living at 200 percent of the federal poverty level can pay on average as much as 57 percent of their household income on child care. Senator Warren’s proposal highlights the importance of making high-quality child care affordable for working families and acknowledges the lifelong impact of that care on children and their parents.

CLASP is pleased to see greater public attention given to the real need for increased access to high-quality child care for all families. Senator Warren is among a number of Congressional leaders, including Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), who recognize the importance and urgency of the issue and are responding to the need by reintroducing the Child Care for Working Families Act. CLASP will work with members of Congress to continue to elevate this important public conversation and take bold steps toward meeting the child care needs of all children and families—particularly those who have low incomes.