Senator Klobuchar on Child Care and Paid Family Leave
Senator Klobuchar believes that early, quality child care and education is one of the most important public investments we can make as a country. She also supports providing paid sick days and paid family and medical leave at the federal level. The United States is the only industrialized nation without a national paid leave program, and only 19 percent of American workers have access to paid family leave through their employer. In the Senate, Senator Klobuchar has been a strong supporter of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act and Senator Patty Murray’s Child Care for Working Families Act. She also leads bipartisan legislation, the Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act, to address the shortage of child care providers by investing in workforce training and child care facilities.
As President, Senator Klobuchar will:
- Create a national paid family leave program to provide workers with 12 weeks of paid leave per year to care for a new child, a family member with a serious health condition, or their own serious health condition. The program would replace up to two thirds of income and will include protections to maintain eligibility for part-time workers, people working at small businesses, and self-employed workers.
- Make child care more affordable by capping spending on child care at seven percent of income for families making up to 150 percent of their state’s median income through a new federal-state partnership.
- Support access to quality preschool by working with states on programs to ensure access to preschool for 3- and 4-year olds from low- and moderate-income families. At the same time, Senator Klobuchar will increase the matching rate for providers caring for infants and toddlers.
- Raise wages for caregivers and early childhood teachers. As part of the federal state-partnership, Senator Klobuchar will require caregivers and early childhood teachers to be paid a living wage that is comparable to what elementary school teachers with similar credentials earn.
- Increase the availability of child care through competitive grants to states to support the training and retention of childcare workers and to building, renovating, or expand child care facilities in areas with child care shortages. The grants will include incentives to provide child care during nontraditional work hours and to allow childcare workers to obtain portable, stackable credentials to advance their careers.
- Strengthen Head Start and Early Head Start through grants to provide full-day and year-round programming.
- Increase resources to meet for vulnerable children to meet their special needs, including homeless children, children in foster care and children with disabilities.
- Protect pregnant workers by requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations in consultation with pregnant workers and prohibiting employers from retaliating against workers who ask for accommodations.
- Provide immediate incentives for employers to adopt paid family leave and child care benefits. During her first 100 days as President, Senator Klobuchar will update federal contract guidelines to reward federal contractors by providing additional points during the contract bidding process if contractors offer paid family leave to their employees or child care benefits.
To pay for these investments, Senator Klobuchar will increase the corporate tax rate one additional point to 28 percent, close loopholes that encourage U.S. companies to move jobs and operations overseas, and reverse the corporate giveaways in the 2017 Republican tax bill.