Bernie Sanders has released the most comprehensive early childhood policy ever proposed by a presidential candidate, guaranteeing free child care for all children.
Sanders’ proposal would guarantee every child in the United States free full-day, full-week child care from infancy through age three, regardless of income. The plan would also guarantee every child access to full pre-kindergarten education starting at age three.
“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.” Sanders said in a statement on Monday.
“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 more easily balance the demands of work and home.”
The average family in America currently spends almost $10,000 a year on child care. Among low-income families, a full 35 percent of household income goes towards child care.
Sanders’ plan would double the number of early childhood educations from more than 1.3 million to 2.6 million, guaranteeing a living wage and ensuring all lead teachers are paid no less than similarly qualified kindergarten teachers.
The plan, released on Monday, is available on Sanders’ campaign website.