Elizabeth Warren's universal child care plan: What to know

This week, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveiled a plan to provide universal child care that would guarantee affordable child care and early education access to every family in the U.S.

The Democrat and 2020 hopeful said in an online blog post the federal government would pay for the majority of the operating costs, allowing any family living under the 200 percent poverty threshold to get free access, while families over would pay no more than 7 percent of their income.

“That’s a heck of a lot less than what most families are paying for high-quality child care now,” Warren said.

Under the Universal Child Care and Early Learning plan, the federal government would partner with local providers to create a “network of child care options” -- including locally-licensed child care centers, preschools and in-home child care options -- that would be available to every single family.

Although the local communities would be in charge, providers would be required to adhere to national standards. The child care workers tasked with the job would be paid comparable to public school teachers.

The plan would be opt-in, but Warren estimated that 12 million kids would take advantage of the opportunity.

In order to fund it, Warren proposed using money from the ultra-millionaire tax that she announced at the end of January. Under the tax, anyone with more than $50 million in assets would pay a 2 percent tax. For those who have assets valued at $1 billion or higher, it would be a 3 percent tax. It’s projected to generate about $2.75 billion in revenue over the next decade, four times the estimated cost of the child care plan, according to Warren.


According to the Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit think tank, the cost of infant care annually can range from $4,822 (Mississippi, where the median family income is $44,717) to $22,631 (Washington, D.C., where the median family income is $63,587).