“Childcare must be guaranteed for every child regardless of their parents’ income, just like K-12 education,” Sanders said in a statement. “We know that the first four years of a child’s life are the most important years of human development, so it is unconscionable that in the wealthiest country in the world, we do not properly invest in early childhood education.”
The democratic socialist is trying to solve a costly dilemma faced by households with young children and working parents — and a persistent problem for poor families.
About 34 percent of children with college-educated parents attended full-day preschool programs in 2017, according to a recent study from the Child Trends advocacy group cited by Sanders’ campaign. By contrast, only 18 percent of children whose parents had less than a high school degree attended full-day preschool.
This isn’t the first idea of its kind to come from Trump’s challengers, but now Sanders is expanding a trademark populist promise. Families would have guaranteed free child care and pre-K spots in their communities, supervised by fairly paid professionals. Using the program, the Sanders campaign claims, “will be as straightforward as dropping your child off at school.”
“As president, we will guarantee free, universal childcare and pre-kindergarten to every child in America to help level the playing field, create new and good jobs, and enable parents [to] more easily balance the demands of work and home,” Sanders said