S.1878: Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act
The Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act would dramatically increase the federal government’s investment in childcare and early childhood education by establishing a network of public childcare centers and family child care homes. This bill would provide free childcare for families that earn 200% below the federal poverty line. For all other families, the cost of childcare would be limited to a percentage of their income on a sliding scale, with families that earn 201% above the poverty line paying no more than 1% of their earnings and families earning 500% above the poverty line paying no more than 7% of their earnings. This program would be distributed and administered similarly to Head Start. Under this bill, the federal government would contribute 80% of the cost of providing childcare to low-income children and 50% of the cost of subsidizing childcare for middle and high-income children.
The bill would also increase compensation for childcare workers. Currently, a childcare worker earns on average $10.82 per hour, a third of what an elementary school teacher makes. S.1878 would mandate that childcare workers earn and receive benefits comparable to that of similarly credentialed local public school teachers.
A Moody’s economic analysis projected the budgetary cost of this bill to be $700 billion over the next ten years. The sponsors of this legislation propose to pay for this legislation with a 2% wealth tax on households with net worths over $50 million dollars.
H.R. 3315 is the House companion bill.View Full Overview