Many parents are forced to work immediately after they welcome a new child into their family, either by birth or adoption. For nearly all parents, the costs for pre-K and childcare can spiral out of control. In the United States, the natural stress of parenthood is compounded by significant — and preventable — economic risk. I believe in reducing that economic risk and making child rearing affordable for all families.
I support creating a universal monthly child allowance, which would offset the expense of raising a child, an aspect of life that is increasingly unfeasible for working and middle class Americans. I also stand for a national mandate of 40 weeks of guaranteed, paid parental leave.
The achievement gap starts young, with the children of lower income parents falling behind the children of parents who can afford to send their children to early childhood education programs. It’s time we begin free public early childhood education and care beginning at age 6 months and lasting through Pre-K, the same as we already do now with Kindergarten.
Worker productivity has increased for decades, but rather than increased productivity going into wages, it’s gone into record-setting corporate profits that haven’t reached employees. To correct for inflation and increased productivity, we need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage of $22 an hour and automatically index it to inflation and productivity going forward. Raising the minimum wage won’t only help the lowest paid workers, but reinvigorate the economy for the middle and working classes by putting more money and purchasing power into the pockets of everyday Americans.