Friday, November 13, 2020

Why Biden's free childcare plan is a worthy feminist reform |

Why Biden's free childcare plan is a worthy feminist reform |
Why Biden's free childcare plan is a worthy feminist reform
Beyond the social element, there's a strong economic argument to be made for such a policy

Joe Biden wasn't the first choice for many women during the Democratic presidential primaries, yet the president-elect's social agenda has proven to be surprisingly feminist in its orientation. Nowhere is this clearer than in his proposal for subsidizing toddler-age childcare, a progressive platform that has earned plaudits from feminists and which has been a local success story in local jurisdictions in which it has been implemented. 

According to the Biden-Harris transition website, the administration plans to make it "far easier to afford child care and to ensure aging relatives and people with disabilities have better access to home and community-based care." The new administration also promises to "elevate the pay, benefits, and professional opportunities for caregivers and educators; to create millions of good-paying new jobs in these areas with a choice to join a union; and to free up millions of people to join the labor force and grow a stronger economy in return."

This refers to the $775 billion plan Biden announced while campaigning in Delaware in July, when Biden proposed a national pre-K for all children ages 3 and 4. In that proposal, families earning less than $125,000 a year would receive an $8,000 child care tax credit per child, up to $16,000. Parents earning less than 1.5 times the median income in their state could subsidize child care and would pay no more than 7 percent of their income. Those with a very low income would pay nothing.

Notably, the pandemic's economic affects are seriously setting back gender equality, as I've previously written. Large swaths of women in America left the workforce or cut down their hours to be a stay at home caregiver during the pandemic. As of May 2020, women account for 54 percent of initial coronavirus-related job losses. According to the Women in the Workplace report, Black women said they were more likely to consider stepping away from their careers due to the pandemic. One in four women are thinking of either leaving the workforce of downshifting their careers—a move that would have been dubbed CONTINUE READING: Why Biden's free childcare plan is a worthy feminist reform |