Progressives are pushing for a massive budget plan in Congress. Massachusetts’ astronomical childcare costs help explain why



Alarming numbers put Massachusetts, with an average annual cost of child care at $ 20,913, far ahead California, the state with the second highest of those costs at $ 16,945. California is closely followed by Minnesota at $ 16,087. In comparison, Mississippi is the state with the lowest annual cost of infant care at $ 5,436.

The exorbitant cost of infant care in Massachusetts is easily more expensive than tuition in the state in UMass Amherst and infant care costs about 30 percent more than the average rent in Massachusetts, according to the EPI. Since this data was last updated in October 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has been prolonged and affordable child care options have declined due to understaffing, which has increased the costs.

The $ 3.5 trillion plan proposed by the Biden administration is a massive overhaul of social services over 10 years. It allocates funds to fight climate change, expand healthcare and invest in education, among others.

In its current form, the plan would cover child care costs for families earning less than 75 percent of their state’s median income, cap the amount some families pay for child care at no more than 7 percent. percent of their income and guarantee free access to preschool services for 3 and 4 year olds.

He also proposes to increase the remuneration of child care workers, a step that some providers in Massachusetts have embarked on an effort to resolve a staffing crisis in child care and preschool facilities during the pandemic which is emblematic of a labor shortage across the workforce. ‘artwork.

But the way forward for the package has encountered a number of snags, more than a month after a budget plan of legislation passed in the House narrowly and across parties. In addition to terms set by progressive House members, Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, moderate party members, met with Biden in the White House this week over concerns that the price of the plan was too high.

“We are obviously in a very sensitive period right now in these discussions, a pivotal period in these discussions,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters of Biden’s meetings with the two senators during a press briefing on Tuesday. In a 50-50 Senate, the votes of Manchin and Sinema are needed to pass the measure through the budgetary process of reconciliation that avoids systematic obstruction.

Many members of Congress have cited child custody as a motivating factor in the adoption of the reconciliation plan in recent days. They continued to push for major social services legislation to move forward alongside the bipartisan infrastructure bill, expressing concern that amid the momentum for infrastructure legislation, the move that was promised as complementary to it be left behind.

A number of progressive House lawmakers have said they will not vote to pass the infrastructure bill if it comes before a vote on the reconciliation plan, which could derail the President’s plan. House Nancy Pelosi to introduce the $ 550 billion infrastructure measure for a vote Thursday night.

In an editorial published on CNN’s website Monday, Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Katie Porter and Ilhan Omar cited the exorbitant costs of childcare among the top concerns of their constituents and said they would not support the project. infrastructure law only if the “Build Better Act” is passed first.

Senator Elizabeth Warren appeared on MSNBC on Tuesday to reiterate her position that the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation package should move in tandem, citing child care as one of the critical issues driving the push for adoption of legislation.

Massachusetts Representative Katherine Clark recently took to Twitter to share her own experience as a working mom to illustrate the importance of adopting the plan.

According to the left-wing Center for American Progress, families in the United States would save thousands of dollars a year with the passage of the package.

The center estimated that childcare currently costs Massachusetts families $ 436 per week, or about $ 22,600 per year. But if the Build Back Better Act is passed in its current form, that number would drop to $ 254, or about $ 13,000 per year – an improvement, but Massachusetts remains the state with the highest child care costs. .

Amanda Kaufman can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @ amandakauf1.



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