Brief # 101 Health and Gender Policy
The Biden Agenda for Women Series Part 3: Helping Women Navigate Work & Family
By Erin McNemar
April 10, 2021
In President Joe Biden’s policy proposal, “The Biden Agenda for Women,” he highlights how women have been disproportionately impacted in a number of sectors. Biden explains in the United States women are typically the ones that end up having the responsibility of taking care of their families. While that alone can be a large task, typically only one in six American workers qualify for paid family leave. Additionally, Black and Latina individuals are even less likely to qualify according to Biden.
Therefore most parents are forced to make a difficult decision. They end up having to choose between their jobs and their caregiving responsibilities. Moving to a part-time position can sometimes be a solution but part-time workers will often earn lower wages and less benefits. According to Biden, the lack of policies supporting women and families cause lots of women to leave the workforce entirely. These decisions end up having long term effects. A study done by the Center for American Progress found that women that leave the workforce during their twenties for five years to take care of a child end up making around 20 percent less in their lifetime.
Biden spells out policies that show how he plans to remedy this probllem. One of the key areas he targets is providing support for women who are trying to balance work and family.
In order to address this problem, Biden proposes a number of solutions. The first is providing high quality and affordable child care; beginning with free preschool for children ages 3 to 4. This creates a strong foundation for children’s learning and will save parents thousands of dollars. Additionally, Biden believes in providing lower income families with a tax credit to help pay for the cost of child care. To ensure a high quality of care, Biden also states that there should be an investment in establishing standards of child care and a well-trained childcare workforce.
While reducing the cost of childcare will absolutely lift some of the burden on women and families, Biden understands the importance of accessibility as well. This is why he wants to expand Child Care Development Block Grant subsidies that can increase the number of children that can benefit from afterschool, weekend and summer care programs.