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Government Day Care

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Penna Dexternever miss viewpoints

Conservative heads are spinning with successive announcements of presidential candidacies, complete with promises to enact expensive government programs. Let’s pick one: government day care. It’s really preschool because the proposal references “curriculum standards.”

Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren proposes federal subsidies for universal early education and child care.  “In the wealthiest country on the planet,” she argues, “access to affordable and high-quality child care and early education should be a right, not a privilege reserved for the rich.”

The plan, which will cost $700 billion over 10 years, will fund a network of locally-run child care facilities. The program will be free for poor and middle-class families. Others will pay fees on a sliding scale based on income with no family paying over 7 percent of its income for child care. (The current average is 9 to 36 percent.) This will be funded via a “tax on wealth” the senator has proposed previously.

Day care is a parents’ least favorite child care option. A 2012 Pew Research study found that two thirds of mothers prefer not to work full time, but to work part time or stay at home with their children. If they need day care, they’d like it to be family or church-based.

Even Senator Warren didn’t put her own kids in day care. She flew in a relative.

The Warren plan states that child care providers receiving federal funds must “meet standards that now apply to Head Start.” The Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke points out that “Head Start is far from a success story when it comes to participant outcomes.”

Lindsey Burke says Head Start needs reforming to offer more choice to low-income parents. Of the Warren plan, she writes: “Creating another benefit for universal child care merely establishes a new federal subsidy for middle-class and upper-income families.”

One more point: We should not be creating new ways to place little children in the government indoctrination pipeline.

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