Advertisement

Harris, Yellen push for Congress to approve childcare spending reforms

Harris, Yellen push for Congress to approve childcare spending reforms
Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged Congress to pass childcare funding after a report Wednesday showed the U.S. system overburdens families. Photo by Pete Marovich/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday called for Congress to pass childcare provisions included in the administration's $3.5 trillion spending plan.

Speaking at the Treasury Department, Harris cited a report by the Office of Economic Policy stating that the current U.S. childcare system overburdens families and struggles with insufficient supply that causes shortages throughout the country.

Advertisement

"Childcare is what makes it possible for millions of Americans to work," Harris said in remarks. "And yet, this report confirms what millions of American families know and experience every day: Childcare remains too expensive and out of reach for far too many working families in our country."

The Treasury Department report states that the average family with at least one child younger than 5 would need to spend 13% of its income on childcare.

RELATED Democratic trio blocks plan to negotiate lower drug prices

Further, childcare providers struggle with high turnover, as their workers, including many women of color, earn low wages and are forced to rely on public services themselves.

As a result, more than half of Americans -- especially low-income and rural families -- live in so-called childcare deserts without childcare providers nearby.

Advertisement

"The free market works well in many different sectors, but childcare is not one of them. It does not work for the caregivers. It does not work for the parents. It does not work for the kids. And because it does not work for them, it does not work for the country," Yellen said.

RELATED Dems propose tax hikes for the rich, corporations to pay for $3.5T spending plan

The Biden administration's plan seeks to include universal preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds, expanding tax credits for childcare and providing access to high-quality childcare for low- and middle-income children.

"By expanding childcare options and lowering childcare costs, we will give working people everywhere the support they need to dream, to do, and to determine their own future," Harris said.

RELATED Senate Democrats unveil revision of voting act

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement