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Is child care a public responsibility?

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Democrats believe the system is broken -- and they have a proposal for fixing it
Barbaro, Michael & Deparle, Jason
Publication Date: 
12 Oct 2021


Many Americans pay more for child care than they do for their mortgages, even though the wages for those who provide the care are among the lowest in the United States.

Democrats see the issue as a fundamental market failure and are pushing a plan to bridge the gap with federal subsidies.

We went to Greensboro, N.C., to try to understand how big the problem is and to ask whether it is the job of the federal government to solve.

Background reading

  • Democrats are moving to bring in the most significant expansion of the U.S. social safety net since the war on poverty in the 1960s, introducing legislation that would touch virtually every American’s life, from cradle to grave.
  • Some fear the plan would raise taxes and create additional red tape on private services. Here’s more information about what the bill proposes.