Is universal child care the next big liberal cause?
In a recent post on The Plum Line blog he writes for The Washington Post, Greg Sargent looks at how universal child care may be the next major cause taken up by the Democratic Party.
Sargent’s contacts inside the Senate are saying that Democrats are about to introduce a proposal to pay for universal pre-kindergarten by closing a corporate tax loophole. If it gets a vote, this will put Republicans and Democrats on record as to whether they support national action to expand the availability of quality child care for poor and working families.
The proposal is called the Strong Start for America’s Children Amendment. Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania is leading the charge to include this amendment as part of the upcoming debate about changes to No Child Left Behind.
Senator Casey’s proposal focuses on universal pre-K for four-year-olds. It would provide over $30 billion in federal block-grant funding, over five years, to states that provide high quality, universal preschool programs to four-year-olds from families earning less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, or $48,000 for a family of four. Any state that already has such a program can use the money to expand it to three-year-olds.
It’s encouraging to see politicians in Washington realize how important quality early education is to our families and our economy. Hillary Clinton is already making early childhood education a central issue in her presidential campaign. Click here to read the full article, including Senator Casey’s comments on why this proposal is so vital for American families.