Elizabeth Warren Proposes Sweeping Universal Child Care Program

Elizabeth Warren Proposes Sweeping Universal Child Care Program
The Democratic presidential hopeful proposed a plan that would make child care free or affordable for every family.

"I am introducing a major proposal that is unlike anything we've ever tried before in the United States," said Elizabeth Warren.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveiled a plan that would provide affordable access to child care for "every family in the country."

The Democratic presidential candidate says the cost of child care is "painfully high" and has forced some parents to choose between child care or their jobs.

The Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act would provide free or affordable child care for kids from birth to kindergarten. Families that earn less than 200 percent of the poverty line, a little more than $51,000 for a family of four, would get child care at no cost. Families that make more than that would be on a sliding scale and pay no more than 7 percent of their income.

In her announcement, Warren said, "access to affordable and high-quality child care and early education should be a right, not a privilege reserved for the rich."

And "the rich" is how she intends to fund the program, which if it went into effect, would cost around $700 billion over 10 years. Warren said the program would be paid for by her proposed Ultra Millionaire Tax. It would apply to households with a net worth of $50 million or more. She said the tax would raise around $2.7 trillion over 10 years.

Warren's universal child care proposal was built off the current federal Head Start program and the U.S. Department of Defense military child care program. It's also pretty similar to the Comprehensive Child Development Bill that President Richard Nixon vetoed in 1971. That bill would have created a national network of child care centers fully funded by the federal government, and with a sliding tuition scale dependent on a family's income.