February 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Socialist presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, has unveiled his plans to fund free universal child care and pre-kindergarten programs that would mean all children in the U.S. from infancy would have access to taxpayer funded, full-day, full-week child care and would enter pre-kindergarten beginning at three years old, “regardless of income.”
Sanders says that the $1.5 trillion proposal would be funded through a tax on “extreme wealth.”
According to a statement on his campaign website, child care from infancy to age three would be available for all, regardless of income, for at least 10 hours a day.
The statement explains that the program will be funded “by the federal government and administered by state agencies and tribal governments in cooperation and in collaboration with public school districts, and other relevant agencies and organizations. The federal funding will cover the full cost of child care services and pay for the workers as well as capital expenses.”
The statement also guarantees access for every child to free, federally funded, full-day, full-week pre-kindergarten education, regardless of income, starting at age three.
Sanders appeared to be frustrated when questioned about the plans recently on 60 Minutes. When host Anderson Cooper asked Sanders how he will pay for his universal child care plan, Sanders responded: “I’m getting a little tired … No one ever asks how we pay for $750 billion in new military spending or $1 trillion tax cut for the rich or Wall Street.”
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) February 24, 2020
Last year former Democratic presidential candidate and California Sen. Kamala Harris was accused of advocating “social engineering” of children when she proposed a 10-hour school day that would have kept children at school until 6:00 p.m. each day.
In November 2018, an article from the Foundation for Economic Education laid out some of the risks, disadvantages, and proven negative outcomes of placing children in school at younger and younger ages and asked, “As New York City expands its universal pre-K program to all of the city’s three-year-olds, will compulsory schooling laws for preschoolers follow?”
Expert: ‘This economics and social structure is bad for kids, bad for women, bad for families’
Joy Pullmann, Executive Editor of The Federalist and an expert on education and parents’ rights, told LifeSiteNews via email that “Sanders' plan is one that American children cannot afford, either financially, developmentally, or emotionally.”
“What the United States needs to do for the sake of American children is make it more possible and likely for one of every child's biological parents to be able to parent full-time until every child reaches age three or older,” Pullmann continued. “That's because this is what American mothers most want for their families, on average, and because it is unequivocally best for children.”
“You know our economy and culture are broken when both push the separation of very young children from their parents instead of making it more possible for more families to raise their own children. This economics and social structure is bad for kids, bad for women, bad for families, and therefore bad for the country,” Pullman explained.
Katy Faust, Founder and Director of Them Before Us, echoed Pullmann’s sentiment, saying:
“Women don’t want this. A recent Gallup poll found that 56% of moms would rather stay home and care for their kids than work. And babies certainly don’t want this. Children don’t long to be known and cared for by rotating child care workers. They want their mothers. Mothers are uniquely wired to nurture, care for, and protect their children especially in the early years. Government hinders child development, and breaks their heart, when they incentivize the systematic separation of children from their mothers.”
Pullmann continued: “Children who are primarily raised by people other than their parents will statistically go on to experience much higher rates of emotional, educational, and other life challenges. Their deprivation will add further burdens to an American society already overtaxed with expensive and ineffective attempts to replace families with government programs.”
Pullmann pointed to research from Quebec “that found that its universal from-birth childcare program led to more crime and higher rates of aggression and other emotional disturbances among the children enrolled.”
“Full-time nonparent care for young children is also linked with poorer parenting skills, lower academic achievement, higher hyperactivity and aggression, depression, and defiance,” she explained. “This is true even for older kids in so-called ‘pre-school programs,’ at ages 3-5. So far the biggest U.S. experiment with that is in Tennessee, with its government pre-K program.”
Pullmann has compiled extensive research on the topic here.
Other Democrats call for more government involvement in raising kids
Sanders is not the only 2020 Democratic hopeful who has proposed expanding how much the government is involved with parenting and childcare. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (who in 2004 wrote a book called The Two Income Trap, which explained how the phenomenon of both parents working has made families less financially stable) has called for universal, government-run childcare, although here the scheme would involve families earning more than 200 percent below the federal poverty level, charged on a sliding scale up to seven percent of their income.
Sanders said in the statement announcing the plans to fund universal child care: “We know that the first four years of a child’s life are the most important years of human development, so it is unconscionable that in the wealthiest country in the world, we do not properly invest in early childhood education.”
Sanders is running on an uncompromisingly pro-abortion platform.
In addition to promising taxpayer funds for childcare for the newly born, Sanders has also made clear his commitment to federal funding of the killing of preborn babies. In a recent Democrat primary debate, after promising never to nominate any person to the Supreme Court or the federal courts in general “who is not 100 percent pro-Roe v. Wade,” Sanders said, “we have to significantly expand funding for Planned Parenthood.”
A leaked campaign document shows that Sanders is considering an executive order that would reverse the Trump administration’s Protect Life Rule, which cuts almost $60 million from Planned Parenthood’s annual federal funding by disqualifying abortion groups from receiving “family planning” grants under the Title X program.
Sanders is currently at the head of the pack in the Democrat primary field, with 29.3 percent of the vote according to RealClearPolitics’ national average, a full 12 percent more than his nearest challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Updated to include comment from Katy Faust.