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Michael R. Strain

Biden’s Child-Care Plan Might Only Raise Parents’ Costs

The Democrats will likely want to subsidize demand, as they have for federal student loans — meaning providers will keep raising their prices.

It takes a village.

It takes a village.

Photographer: John Moore/Getty Images North America

Making child care more affordable is a laudable goal of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending plan, which would expand and create an array of new social programs. But the approach Democrats are likely to take will perversely increase its price, in much the same way student loan programs do. Rather than subsidizing the demand for child care, Congress should focus on increasing its supply.

Getting the policy right is important because it would ease the financial burden on working parents and help non-working parents to enter the labor force if they want to.