Presidential Candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren recently unveiled a plan for Universal Child Care and Early Learning. The proposal would shift resources from the mega-wealthy to fund the effort. But some have asked if it would encourage people to have more kids.
Warren is one of the leading economic experts in our country. Surely, she is aware of the depth and effects of inequality as it relates to families and kids. Unsustainable and poor family planning is worst way to exacerbate climate change and inequality.
The Universal Child Care and Early Learning Proposal would benefit millions of kids and help give them a fair start in life. But we can avoid the potential for free child care to incentivize poor family planning. With this in mind, we wrote to her with a suggestion for improving her Universal Child Care and Early Learning Proposal.
We suggest an addition that ties universal child care and early learning to new parent education about the benefits of smaller families.
In a 2.0 version of Sen. Warren’s plan, new-parent education could be required in order to enroll for free child care. This would create a long-term planning approach for family planning in the U.S. Encouraging smaller, well planned families addresses, rather than exacerbates, the greatest threats facing the country – the degradation of our social and natural environment through things like inequality and climate change.
We can break down the barrier between family planning and child welfare, aligning need with resource, as outlined by the Fair Start Model. Sen. Warren’s proposal would shift resources to give kids a fair start in life. Why not take it a step further by planning for our future?
Better child care should be meant to help kids, not simply enable parents to afford larger families. To help kids effectively, we have to aim to protect future kids, because we get the best results when we all plan well ahead.