Parenting in a Pandemic

Child care costs could be a major issue in the presidential campaign

Jasmine Garsd Jul 22, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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Biden pledged to provide emergency child-care funding to state, local and tribal governments to help them through the pandemic. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Parenting in a Pandemic

Child care costs could be a major issue in the presidential campaign

Jasmine Garsd Jul 22, 2020
Biden pledged to provide emergency child-care funding to state, local and tribal governments to help them through the pandemic. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
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Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, announced a plan to invest $775 billion over 10 years in child care and elder care.

In 2017, under the Trump administration, the child care tax credit was doubled to as much as $2,000 per child.

The pandemic has brought child care issues into high relief, as parents who have to work struggle to find help. 

Meghan Alexis has to make a difficult decision in the next few weeks: what to do with her 5-year-old. She’s a single mom, a school teacher in Indiana, and her district is reopening. Her daughter’s is not. And the average cost of child care in her state is over $1,000 a month.

Meghan Alexis and her daughter. (Courtesy Meghan Alexis)

“You know, it’s like $50 a day for four weeks,” she said. “This is not in my budget. This is not what I planned for.”

For many Americans, the child care system has always been a financial burden. And that was before the pandemic caused rampant unemployment, schools went remote and day care centers shut down

“Some families, especially single mothers, can spend up to 30% of their income on child care,” said C. Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute For Women’s Policy Research. 

This could be one of the major issues of the upcoming presidential race. But until then, there are no easy answers for folks like Alexis.

If you’re home with kids right now, check out our brand-new podcast “Million Bazillion.” We help dollars make more sense with lessons about money for the whole family. Listen here or subscribe wherever you get podcasts.

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