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Can you afford to take care of your children and parents? Biden revives effort to lower costs

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President Joe Biden is pushing proposals to help families pay for child care, preschool and elder care while he's running for reelection this year
Megerian, Chris & Balingit, Moriah
Publication Date: 
8 May 2024


WASHINGTON -- As President Joe Biden runs for reelection, he’s resurrecting proposals to reshape American life from the cradle to the grave by lowering the cost of child care, expanding preschool opportunities and making home aides more available to the elderly.


Although the White House has tried to advance these ideas in a piecemeal fashion through regulations and executive orders, Biden hopes to have another opportunity to push more ambitious legislation through Congress in a second term.


Biden wants to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into nationwide paid family leave, federal subsidies for child care, universal preschool access and home care for the elderly and disabled.

The challenge is convincing Americans — and their representatives on Capitol Hill — that caregiving is not a private issue but an economic one that could be foundational to higher employment and better opportunities. In 2022, more than 11% of parents had to turn down a job, leave a job or change their job because of child care issues.


The president's latest budget request would provide generous child care subsidies for households that make less than $200,000 a year so that they would pay around $10 or less a day, with the poorest families paying nothing. It would also dedicate funding to creating more preschools. Biden has asked for nearly $15 billion for the programs, but it's unlikely to even be considered by Congress, where Republicans control the House.