There are about a zillion ways we’ve got to expand opportunity for people across this country. But right now, I’d like to focus on just one part — and that’s Universal Child Care.
Last month in Memphis, I met Latonya, a young mother who told me what it had been like when she was working and going to college.
She struggled with child care over and over. She recalled the years in which she was often forced to choose between letting her young son babysit his even younger siblings or staying home from class and giving up her dream to build a future.
Like millions of Black women in America, Latonya faced the tough odds, made do with what she had and came out on top. Today she has an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree.
But here’s the kicker. Even with all of her diplomas, all of the progress she has made, child care is still holding her back. Her youngest is five years old, and he loves his school, but it costs $400 a month. Latonya said she can’t afford it, and the cost still holds her back from taking on a better job.
How many women have this same story? How many parents are sidelined today because they can’t get decent care for their kids?
And how many kids got a worse start in school because their moms couldn’t afford pre-pre-K or couldn’t send them to the places with small classes and specialized teachers? How many of our kids didn’t make it because America wouldn’t invest in them?
We’re the richest country in the history of the planet. Access to high-quality child care and education during the early stages of a child’s life shouldn’t be a privilege reserved for the children of the rich. It should be a right for every single child in America.
That’s why I’ve proposed a new Universal Child Care and Early Learning plan. But we don’t get what we don’t fight for, and it’s going to take a grassroots movement to get it done.
We can only keep campaigning and fighting for substantive ideas like these because of grassroots donors. Will you pitch in $3 and help fight for big, structural changes like Universal Child Care?
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This fight is personal for me. When I was a young mom struggling to juggle two kids and a new job, child care almost knocked me out of the game.
And high-quality child care is still out of reach for way too many families in this country. But it’s even further out of reach for African American families.
On average, child care for one kid costs the median African American household 22% of their income. Twenty-two percent. Try building a budget around that. The numbers tell the story: Black women are more likely to be breadwinners for their families, work more, get paid less, and are the least likely to afford decent child care.
This isn’t just an accident of statistics. It’s the legacy of decades of systemic discrimination against black women — in pay, housing, finance, health care, you name it. Pile all that together, then make high-quality child care expensive and hard to find, and it’s little wonder that child care — or the lack of good child care — holds back one generation after another in communities of color.
Our plan starts to address and fix that inequality. And I want you to know my plan is not only possible, but it is free for millions of children and low cost for families with higher incomes. That would be life-changing for millions of mothers — and fathers — around the country.
And we already know how to pay for it! All we have to do is make the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share. I call it the Ultra-Millionaire Tax. That one change — asking those at the top to pay their fair share — would bring in all the money we would need to completely cover the cost of this Universal Child Care and Early Learning plan — and have $2 trillion left over.
These are the kinds of big structural changes I would make as president — to make opportunity in America available for everyone.
But I can’t do it alone — we’re in this together. Side by side, we’ll build a future not just for some of our kids, but all of our kids. If you’re in this fight all the way, chip in what you can right now.
Thanks for being a part of this,