Joe Biden reinforced that he is the Presidential Candidate that, unlike Donald Trump, cares about the American People, as he unveiled the third phase of his Build Back Better Economic Renewal Plan for the country.

Knowing that the country, especially with the COVID 19 Pandemic, is facing a child and senior caregiving crisis, the Nominee laid out a plan, according to a campaign press release to Medium, that would :

  • Expand access to a broad array of long-term services and supports in local settings.”
  • Ensure access to high-quality, affordable childcare and offer universal preschool to three-and four-year old’s.”
  • Build safe, energy-efficient, developmentally appropriate childcare facilities.”
  • “Treat caregivers and early childhood educators with respect and dignity.”

The plan, with a price tag of $775 billion to be paid for with the repeal of tax cuts for real estate investors, would enhance and strengthen programs, with emphasis on “tax credits and state subsidies” for child and senior caregivers.

What is in the $775 billion plan?

 The plan would include provisions for:

  • “Increased pay, benefits, options to join a union, training, and career ladders for child and senior care workers.
  • Universal Pre K for three and four-year-old’s.
  • Offer low-income and middle-class families an up to $8,000 tax credit to help pay for child care. 
  • Provide access to affordable, high-quality child care on a sliding scale for low-income and middle-class families who would prefer this option over the tax credit for young children.
  • Invest in quality child care standards and a well-trained and well-compensated child care workforce.
  • Ensure families with school-aged children have expanded access to after-school, weekend, and summer care.
  • Invest in child care and other wraparound services at community colleges, so parents don’t have to choose between their own education and their children.
  • Make sure more military children have access to the quality child care Department of Defense provides as well as increased access to senior care providers,
  • Expand access to dignified care for Senior Citizens and reduce wait times, especially for those on Medicaid.
  • Improve caregiving and health outcomes in our nation’s most underserved communities by adding 150,000 community health workers.”

Biden speaks about this third phase of the Build Back Better Plan.

Speaking to members of the Colonial Education Program in Delaware, the former Vice President, referencing his own family experiences, eloquently talked of how people need accessible, affordable, and quality child and senior caring facilities to be able to function in today’s society.

He criticized Donald Trump’s mishandling and ignoring of the Coronavirus Pandemic, saying “he’s quit on you and he’s quit on this country.”

In explaining the third phase of the Build Back Better plan, Mr. Biden said:

“Today I’m outlining the third plank in my Build Back Better program, mobilizing a twenty-first-century care and elderly childhood education workforce, to deal with the caregiving crisis….”

 “If I’m your president, here’s what I would do. First, let’s start by caring for aging relatives and loved ones with disabilities, helping them live independently. Here’s an example. Right now there are 800,000 people who are eligible for home and community care through Medicaid who has already signed up for it. But they’re waiting for a phone call, phone call back. For some the wait is five years. Five years. My plan makes a bold investment so states can clear the waiting list…”

 “Here’s another example. Whether you live in rural North Carolina, central Philadelphia, people of color are economically distressed communities faced punishing health disparities from a system of systemic discrimination… My plan puts to work 150,000 more of these workers in our communities throughout the country. These are the things we can do now.”

“Secondly, we can also make high-quality childcare affordable and accessible. My childcare plan is straightforward, straightforward. Every three and four-year-old child will get access to free high-quality preschool like students have here. And low- and middle-income families won’t spend more than 7% of their income on childcare for children under the age of five. The most hard-pressed working families most would have to spend a dime. Here’s how it works. They can either decide to get up to an $8,000 tax credit for childcare for a middle-class family with a couple of young kids spending 300 bucks a week in childcare, that means an annual savings of $8,000 in their pocket because it’s a tax credit.”

“Third, we expand access to caregiving. We need to pay and support caregivers beyond what they are now. They’re doing God’s work, but home health workers aren’t paid much, they have few benefits. 40% are still on SNAP or Medicaid. So, my plan is direct. It gives caregivers and early childhood educators a much-needed raise. No one should have to work more than one job to make ends meet….”

“The bottom line is that a mobilized caregiving and early education workforce would save families time and money, get their loved ones the care and early childhood education they need, and put more people to work….”

 “Just imagine if we can put three million Americans to work in new care and early childhood education and combined with my proposal to provide families with up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and medical leave, we can free up millions more people to join the paid labor force, increasing economic growth, meaning at least two million additional jobs, more economic growth for the nation. This is a fresh, bold way to build a critical part of the labor force and help us recover faster and stronger.”

 “As many of you know, I was a single parent for five years after my wife and daughter were killed and my two boys were badly injured. Even though I had a lot more support than a lot of people going through tough times today, it was hard. It was hard. If I didn’t have my mom, my sister, and my brother, I don’t know how I’d been able to afford it. Then six years later when Jill and I got married, I said, how difficult was for her to start her teaching career while being a new mom with two kids in school. We care. Well, actually they weren’t in school yet now that I think about it, we cared for our parents at the end. My dad was months in hospice in our home, same with my mom and our entire family was there for our son Bo when he came home from a year in Iraq with a cancer that wasn’t whether he’d live, it’s just how long he would live.”

 To see all of Mr. Biden’s speech, please click on the video link below.

Arizona Reaction to the Biden Plan

Siman Qaasim and Kelley Murphy of the Arizona Children’s Action Alliance commented that the Biden Child and Senior Caregiving Plan:

“I would just say that I’m pleased that Vice President Biden has made access and affordability of child care a priority. His proposal recognizes that the child care system is at risk of collapse from the COVID-19 crisis. But more importantly, it isn’t just a short term fix. It includes policy proposals that address longstanding needs in the child care system. We are still reviewing the specifics of the proposal to assess the full impact.”

On Friday, July 23, 2020, Legislative District 30 State Representative Raquel Teran hosted a roundtable with three child and senior care workers.

All four agreed with Biden that child and senior care services have been in crisis before COVID 19 and the pandemic seriously worsened an already bad situation.

Representative Teran stated that “workers in the care economy are essential and it is time they were treated like they are.”

Another panelist, Marissa Calderon said “there is no economic growth without childcare. When Arizona’s childcare works, the economy works.”

She also acknowledged that rural districts have been really hit hard and state and federal aid are essential to help these areas. This in her (and virtually everyone else’s) mind should be nonpartisan.

One of the panelists, Itxel Ultreras, a mother in rural Bisbee, sadly reported that childcare options for her children are limited and she is handicapped because she lost all her vacation time at her job because she had the Coronavirus. It is taking a long time to get COVID test results for her daughter. She also said that there are people in Bisbee that are afraid to watch other families’ children.

Another panelist, Lacey Chavira, a senior caregiver, described a very tense atmosphere where she worked where the staff has not been able to take breaks or vacations. She also sadly described how families cannot be physically with their parents or grandparents when they visit. They can only interact with them (and sometimes watch them die) through a glass window.

They all supported the key components of Biden’s Child and Senior Caring Plan including:

  • Making Pre K universal.
  • Tax Breaks to make child care more affordable.
  • Paid Family Leave.
  • Better pay and benefits for caregivers.
  • Modern caring facilities.

 Moving Forward

 This nation can no longer care for children and the elderly on the cheap.

The time has come for major investments in child and senior care.

Donald Trump, has former Vice President Biden, Representative Teran, and the other panelists said, does not get it.

Joe Biden and his team do.

Remember November 3, 2020, is 100 days away.

Remember to vote and change the country for the better.

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