Biden Utilizes Executive Measures to Enhance Child Care Support

Date:

Facing Congressional roadblocks to secure child care assistance, President Joe Biden is leveraging the authority of the executive branch to alleviate the challenges confronting parents. This predicament stems from the dual realities that child care is not only scarce and often unaffordable but also a subject Congress shows no inclination to allocate taxpayer funds towards.

President Biden, unable to secure approval for child care assistance in a narrowly controlled Democratic Congress and facing a divided current Congress, is employing executive actions to address the concerns of parents. While limited in his options without Congressional support, the White House presented over 50 executive directives on Tuesday, marking a comprehensive effort by any president to aid parents and caregivers, including those tending to elderly or ill family members.

“In the United States of America, we should have no one – no one should have to choose between the parents who raised them, the children who depend on them or the paycheck they rely on to take care of both,” declared President Biden during a White House event introducing the new directives.

Crucially, these executive orders do not necessitate additional government spending; instead, they aim to maximize the value of existing investments made by taxpayers.

They instruct government agencies to identify programs that can support child care and long-term care for federal project workers, potentially making such support a requirement for entities seeking federal job-creation funds.

This indirect approach to encourage the private sector to assist employees with child care and caregiving responsibilities derives from the language of Biden’s CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. This act mandates that semiconductor companies receiving federal funding submit plans for providing affordable child care to their workers.

Furthermore, President Biden has tasked the Department of Health and Human Services with exploring measures to reduce or eliminate co-pays for child care under the federal Child Care & Development Block Grant. He has also directed the agency to take steps towards offering higher salaries to Head Start instructors, who currently earn less than traditional teachers.

Both parents and child care providers face daunting financial challenges, with costs often exorbitant for parents and wages insufficient for caregivers. This imbalance has led to a shortage of child care providers and limited options for parents seeking care.

President Biden has additionally directed government agencies to set an example as “model employers” in terms of assisting employees with child care and caregiving responsibilities. He has requested that the Office of Personnel Management review child care policies and consider establishing standards for providing child care subsidies to federal workers.

The child care crisis, which has long been a source of stress for parents, was exacerbated during the pandemic when school closures and COVID-19 precautions resulted in a lack of available child care options.

A recent report by ReadyNation highlights the significant financial impact of limited child care access for children under three, estimating annual losses of $122 billion in earnings, productivity, and revenue. These losses include $78 billion in forgone earnings and job search expenses, $23 billion due to decreased productivity, and $21 billion in reduced tax revenues for federal, state, and local governments.

The report also underscores the non-fiscal consequences, revealing that two-thirds of parents with child care challenges for toddlers reported arriving late to work or leaving early, while over half admitted to being distracted at work or missing work altogether.

An overwhelming 85% of primary caregivers stated that child care commitments negatively affected their work commitment, with more than a quarter reporting workplace reprimands and nearly a fourth claiming job loss due to stress arising from inadequate child care.

Reflecting on his own experience as a single parent after the loss of his first wife, President Biden acknowledged the overwhelming nature of such challenges. He expressed gratitude for the family support he received during his initial term as senator from Delaware and emphasized that the executive order would help families bridge this critical gap.

Emily Johnson
Emily Johnson
Emily Johnson is a seasoned political analyst with a keen insight into global affairs. Her extensive research and thought-provoking commentary make her a respected voice in the field. Emily's work is dedicated to unraveling complex political landscapes and providing clarity to her readers.

Share post:

Subscribe

Popular

More like this
Related

Tom Emmer, GOP Majority Whip, Gains McCarthy’s Backing in Bid for House Speaker

The race for the Speaker of the House just...

Bill Maher Praises Nikki Haley as a Strong Contender Beyond Trump: ‘She’s Gaining Momentum

During a recent panel discussion on "Real Time" with...

Diamondbacks Secure Dramatic Victory, Preventing 3-0 Deficit Against Phillies in NLCS

The National League Championship Series is off to a...

Violence Flares Up Between Israel-Hamas Continue

A fresh round of clashes has broken out between...